People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered to pay a man's fine if the court upholds the citation he received after he broke a car window to rescue two dogs on Saturday.
Richard Hill, a Cleveland man, thought he was being a good Samaritan when he took a hammer and smashed out the window of a vehicle in the Parma Walmart parking lot to rescue two dogs. Instead, Parma Police cited him with a misdemeanor criminal damaging and said he should have simply waited for police to arrive.
Officers arrived four minutes after a 911 call was made. Surveillance video shows the dogs were left in the vehicle — with the windows cracked and panoramic sunroof open — for only two minutes before police were called. Hill said he plans to contest the citation, and police said it will be up to a judge to decide if it sticks.
PETA sent Hill a letter praising his actions to save the dogs and offering to help if a fine is incurred.
"This man acted compassionately to save dogs from potentially baking to death in a parked car, and he should not have been cited for that," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. "PETA hopes everyone will always unhesitatingly do whatever it takes to help dogs and children if they are trapped in a hot car."
Even after receiving the citation, Hill said if he had to do it all over again, he would do the same thing.
“This is why nobody will do anything, they’re too worried, too afraid they’re going to get in trouble. So that’s why people keep on walking,” Hill said. “And yeah, I could’ve walked on by, but then the very next day, I could’ve seen on the news that those dogs died.”
To further show that the organization supports Hill's decision, PETA said it offers emergency window-breaking hammers for sale on its website and has celebrity ads that say, "Do whatever it takes."
According to PETA, at least 40 dogs have died this year because of hot weather, and those are just the deaths that have been reported.
Richard Hill will be arraigned on Aug. 15 at 1:30 p.m.