ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — An Albuquerque man said he had to take matters into his own hands, breaking open a car window to save a dog from the summer heat—and he said he’s glad he took action.
The shattered glass went everywhere as a man broke out a car window with a crowbar, to save a dog. “It was pawing at the window, it was trying to dig its way out of the car,” said Gerasimos Klonis, who appears in the video.
Klonis and his girlfriend were having lunch at the Little Anitas on Menaul and University on Sunday when they found the dog struggling.
“There was a vehicle parked right next to me, and what got my attention was I heard a dog crying,” said Klonis. After a few minutes passed with no sign of the owner, they called 911.
“We didn’t feel comfortable waiting too long cause every minute counts and that dog was not happy,” said.
The couple waited another 10 minutes for help to arrive. “I decided I can’t wait anymore, the animal was suffering too much,” Klonis said.
So he took the dog out himself and confronted the owner. “Is this your dog? He was not having a good time in your car,” Klonis can be heard in the video. “I didn’t want to break that guy’s window, but at the same time, I also didn’t want to see a dog die,” he said.
The dog couldn’t stop drinking water as they tried to get it some fresh air. “It takes very little time for temperatures to get up to 120, 130 degrees, inside that vehicle,” said Adam Ricci with Animal Welfare.
Animal Welfare showed up to deal with the owner, who they cited for animal cruelty. Klonis said it’s the action they took that makes him believe he did the right thing. “An action could be the difference between life and death,” he said.
The owner could face up to a $500 fine, and up to 90 days in jail. The Albuquerque Police Department said it is absolutely legal to break a car window if a baby or dog is in distress.
Animal Welfare said the good news is, the number of calls for dogs in hot cars this year is actually down from previous years.