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Pet store helps veteran who saved dog from hot car | News

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Pet store helps veteran who saved dog from hot car
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ATHENS, Ga. – The community is rallying around a veteran who was arrested after rescuing a dog from a hot car.

Michael Hammons took action after seeing a dog locked inside of a rapidly heating car at a Athens area shopping center. The U.S. Army veteran broke the window of the car to free the dog.

Afterwards – at the insistence of the dog's owner -- Hammons was arrested for criminal trespass.

UPDATE: Charges dropped against vet who saved dog from hot car

Hammons' story went viral after it aired on 11Alive, sparking a debate over the need for laws protecting animals.

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Shannon and Mark Martin, the owners of Pets Supplies Plus, are among those stepping up to help Hammons.

"Seeing what happened to him struck a very personal cord with Mark and I," said Shannon Martin.

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The Martins say they've busted in a few windows and doors themselves, saving 8,000 animals after Hurricane Katrina. They've offered to help pay for anything the family needs as a result of his arrest.

An online petition to get Hammons' charges dropped has thousands of names.

Hammons; attorney reportedly took the case pro bono and the local Ford dealership offered to replace the dog owners' window. But Mark says there is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed

"The laws need to be changed to protect the animals, not necessarily the people," Mark Martin said. "We are the voices for the animals; they can't speak for themselves."

Current Georgia law states you can break a window to save a person, but not an animal.

"Sometimes what's right is not the law and that's why the law news to be addressed," Mark Martin said.

The Martins plan to work with other animal advocates in getting legislation passed so that people who go out of their way to save animals in Georgia don't have to face prosecution.

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