Michael Hammons, a Veteran of Desert Storm, saw a life in need of rescuing over the weekend, and stepped up to help. The life in need, a small dog that was locked inside of a car during a hot day in Athens, GA. For this heroic act, he was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing, and put behind bars.
Hammons and his wife Saundra have a soft spot in their hearts for all living creatures. He has experienced the stresses of war and suffers from PTSD. “I’ve seen enough death and destruction,” he says.
It is a known fact that even on a mild day with temperatures in the high 70’s that the inside of a car can reach upwards of 110 degrees. Upon seeing the dog in the car, Hammons disappeared and returned with his wife’s wheelchair leg rest. He began smashing the windows to free the animal from the inside of the hot car. Many people, including bystanders believe the man should be treated as a hero, but the owner of the car felt otherwise.
The owner being more concerned about her windows that were smashed decided to press charges against Hammons for criminal trespassing. The officers did not make the choice to arrest Hammons, but had no choice due to the pet owner insisting upon pressing charges. The man who saved the dog from certain death in a hot car was now behind bars.
The owner of the dog has not responded to news media groups trying to speak with her over the phone. Animal control however has cited Elantra Cunningham for leaving her pet in the hot car.
Georgia law allows a person to break into a vehicle in order to rescue a hot child. However, this does not apply to pets, and local animals advocates are trying to see to it that this be changed.
The controversial animal rights advocacy group, P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), has decided to award Michael Hammons with the Compassionate Act Award for his rescuing of the small dog. This award of course does not change the fact that Hammons is receiving criminal charges for his heroic act.
Saundra Hammons, describes her husband as a person who will do anything for anybody or anything. She reassured her husband that every life is important. “They’re leading the blind. They are helping people who have Alzheimer’s, and those who have autism. So they’re more than just a dog.”