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Good Samaritan Breaks Into Hot Car To Save Dogs, But The Law Wasn't On His Side

Every summer dozens of children and pets end up in hospital or even worse, lose their lives after being left in a hot car.

Just like us humans, dogs and cats also experience dehydration and heat exhaustion, and leaving them in car with no air conditioning can be a fatal.

According to the Humane Society, on a 80 degree day, it only takes a minute for the inside of the car to reach 99 degrees! Having the windows down is still unsafe because the heat will continue to be unbearable for your pet, who could die in as little as 20 minutes.

This is why some people across the country have been attempting to rescue pets trapped in cars. However, not all states have laws protecting the Good Samaritans who break into cars to save the poor animals.

One man in Ohio has recently learned the hard way that the law isn't always on the rescuer's side.

Richard Hill was out on a warm day when he saw two dogs that were "locked in a car with it being 79° at that time." He noticed that one of the dogs was "jumping around," which set the car alarm off, but the younger pup, who was "maybe 2-3 months old," was lying still.

A bystander called the police and informed Hill that they were "in[sic] route," but he was worried the situation would worsen so he proceeded to smash the windows with a hammer and get the dogs out.

In a detailed Facebook post, Hill claimed that the dogs must've been in the car for at least 30 minutes, however surveillance footage later revealed that their owner was only gone for four minutes before the authorities were called.

Hill broke into the car two minutes after the police were dispatched, so contrary to what he said, the dogs were trapped for six minutes.

Unfortunately, Hill's rash decision has earned him a citation for criminal damage, while the car owner, Carly Hartman, was cleared of any charges.

Sergeant Dan Ciryak of the Parma police said the incident didn't appear to be "a matter of life and death," especially since the car's sunroof and rear windows were open, a fact Hill denies.

"We believe his heart may have been in the right place, but he should have waited a little more," Ciryak told "He knew the police were coming. I don't know what his sense of urgency was."

It's possible that Hill reacted this way because there actually is a legislation in Ohio that protects people who rescue pets and minors from hot cars.

Senate Bill 215, or the "Hot Car" law gives legal protection to individuals as long as they call the police first and are able to prove that the situation is life-threatening.

Jeremy Papaso - Boulder Daily Camera

Despite getting into legal trouble, Hill insists his actions are in accordance with the law.

"I didn't know how long it was going to be for [police] to get here, and I truly felt that the puppy needed out," Hill said. "I've had to wait for police before and know that it can take 15, 20 minutes, or more than half an hour."

Still, he does not regret his decision and would do it all over again. "I even told the officer I would do it again in a heartbeat," he added.

Hill plans to fight the citation in court on August 15, 2018.

To avoid being in a pickle like Hill, make sure to follow these 3 steps to rescue a dog in a hot car.

Do you think the car owner should've been cited too? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.