When Desert Storm veteran Michael Hammons saw a small dog trapped in a sweltering car, he immediately sprang into action. Using the footrest of his wife’s wheelchair, he smashed the car’s driver-side window, freeing the dog from the unrelenting heat and possibly saving the animal’s life. As a reward for his heroic rescue, he was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.

Veteran? Wife’s wheelchair? Small dog in danger? Government overreach? I think every middle-aged mother on Facebook simultaneously shared this story.

Michael Hammons in action. (Photo courtesy of WXIA-TV, Atlanta)

Michael Hammons in action. (Photo courtesy of WXIA-TV, Atlanta)

Despite the fact that Hammons was attempting to save her dog’s life, the unnamed car owner was irate about her window. She insisted that she’d only left the animal alone for five minutes, a claim that was directly contradicted by several other witnesses at the scene.

“She said, ‘You broke my window,’ and I said 'I did,’” said Hammons. “She says, 'Why would you do that?’ I said, 'To save your dog.’”

Police say the car-owner insisted on pressing charges, leaving them no choice but to arrest Hammons. A recently passed Georgia law grants immunity to people who rescue children or the elderly from hot cars but has no provision for pets.

“I understand why he did what he did, but we don’t get to decide whether people are guilty or innocent. That’s why we have juries,” said Oconee County Sheriff Chief Deputy Lee Weems, adding that Hammons would most likely not be convicted.

Officers at the scene also cited the dog’s owner, which could result in a $250 fine and community service. No photos of the owner were available, but here’s an artist’s rendering…

The dog-owner in question?

The dog-owner in question?

“I knew there’d be consequences, but it didn’t matter,” Hammons told Atlanta’s Fox 5. “They make new glass every day, but they could never replace that dog.“

They could never replace that dog? Apparently he’s never been to the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter in Van Nuys. But I digress. Kudos to you, Mr. Hammons! I hope you beat the rap.

(Source: NY Daily News, H/T Gawker)