HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Two Richmond men took matters into their own hands to save a small dog, stuck inside of a hot car.
They were at the Shops at Willow Lawn and after waiting minutes for the dog’s owner to show up, they decided to break the car window to rescue the dog. By law, you can be charged with causing damage to someone else’s property. In this case, those two men say it was worth the risk.
"Don't worry little puppy. Police are on the way,” Mark Castro can be heard saying in a cell phone video as the dog sat inside the car.
But Castro and his friend couldn't wait any longer. They say 20 minutes had passed since they arrived to Willow Lawn to find a Chihuahua in a hot car.
"At this point it was the middle of the day. It was hot…It was a black car with dark interior,” Luciano Mijares and Mark Castro said.
Frightened for the small dog’s safety, they grabbed a hammer and took action.
"I just went whack and I hit it the first time, nothing happened. I hit it the second time, it didn't shatter…and then I hit it a third time really hard. My arm went through," Castro said.
By that time, a Henrico officer arrived followed by Animal Control - who got the dog out.
“Alright, the puppy is free. Yay," people could be heard saying in a video.
Castro says 25 minutes later, the dog's owners arrived.
"Oh they were pissed…They both claimed they were in there for 15 minutes. And the officer said that was not truth because he had been there for 20,” he added.
"She came out and saw all the glass in the car and I was like, ‘well better all that glass than a dead dog’…Yeah, we saved your dog so you’re welcome,” the men added.
Under Virginia law, the owners of the car can obtain warrants for vandalism. So far, that hasn't happened.
“Are you kidding me? Like I can get in trouble for doing something and saving somebody’s life or saving some animal’s life? That’s ridiculous and that needs to change…We didn’t seek out their car and say ‘I wanna bust your windows in,’” Castro said.
Instead, they say the owners should be thanking them.
"They probably wouldn’t have a dog. It was hot as hell on Sunday,” he added.
Police can charge pet owners with a misdemeanor for leaving a pet in a hot car. If the animal dies, that charge would rise to a felony offense. In this case, there were no charges as officers noticed the dog did not appear to be in distress.
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