ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico man said he had to break a car window to save a dog from the summer heat, and he said he’s glad he took action.
Gerasimos Klonis used a crowbar to shatter the glass.
“It was pawing at the window. It was trying to dig its way out of the car,” said Klonis, who appears in a video of the rescue.
Klonis and his girlfriend were having lunch at an Albuquerque restaurant 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,” Klonis said.
After a few minutes passed with no sign of the owner, they called 911.
“We didn’t feel comfortable waiting too long because every minute counts and that dog was not happy,” he 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 saying 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.
Animal Welfare showed up to deal with the owner, who they cited for animal cruelty.
“It takes very little time for temperatures to get up to 120, 130 degrees inside that vehicle,” said Adam Ricci, with Animal Welfare.
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.
It is legal in Albuquerque to break a car window if a baby or dog is in distress.