A Georgia Army veteran who saved a dog from a hot car has been arrested for smashing a window to free the animal.

Trace Gallagher reported on "The Real Story" that Michael Hammons of Athens was charged with criminal trespassing after freeing a small Pomeranian mix from a vehicle parked outside a shopping mall.

Gallagher said that several shoppers noticed the dog in distress and called the authorities.

Hammons wasn't waiting for police to arrive, so he grabbed the footrest of his wife's wheelchair and smashed the window.

When the dog owner came out, she was irate and demanded that deputies arrest Hammons, Gallagher reported.

"I full well sympathize with what he did," Oconee County Sheriff's Deputy Lee Weems said. "Unfortunately, I don't see an exception in the law that allows for that action to be taken."

Gallagher noted that beginning in July, Georgia law does allow one to break a window to save a child in distress, but not animals.

"Animal rights activists say they are working to change that," Gallagher said.

Despite the charges, Hammons, who served in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm and suffers from PTSD, said he would do the same thing again.

"I knew there would be consequences, but it didn't matter," Hammons said. "I mean, glass? They make new glass every day. But she could never replace that dog."

The owner was cited for leaving the animal in a hot car and could face up to 20 hours of community service.

Watch more from "The Real Story" above.

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