Ohio man charged with crime for breaking car window to save dogs from heat

An Ohio man is facing criminal charges after breaking into a car to save two dogs inside from the heat.

Richard Hill said he was walking through the lot of the Walmart in Parma on Saturday afternoon when he heard the car’s alarm going off and noticed people standing around it. He told Fox 8 that when he approached, he saw there was large dog and a motionless puppy inside.

Someone had already called 911 and was told police were on the way to check it out, but Hill decided to take matters into his own hands.

"I wanted to get that puppy out of there and make sure that he was okay," said Richard Hill. "So at that point I decided to grab a hammer and went ahead and broke the window."

But while Ohio has a Good Samaritan law that intended to protect people trying to help children and animals in hot car situations, police though Hill overreacted and charged him with criminal damaging after they arrived less than four minutes later.

"The temperature that day was about 78 degrees," Sgt. Dan Ciryak said. "So we don't condone leaving dogs in hot cars but what's reasonable and not unreasonable."

According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, the cabin of a car sitting in 78 degree temperatures can heat up to over 100 degrees in less than 20 minutes.

The dog’s owner, Carly Hartman, had also left two windows and the sunroof cracked open as she went into the store for one item, Cleveland.com reported. She was not cited with any crimes.

"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 told the website. "I've had to wait for police before and know that it can take 15, 20 minutes, or more than half an hour."

Hill said that he has no regrets and plans to fight the charges in court.