Gerasimos Klonis and his girlfriend were having lunch in Albuquerque at the Little Anitas restaurant when they noticed a dog trapped in a car that was parked next to theirs, according to KRQE News 13. Klonis said that he noticed the dog was in distress in the heated car, but wasn’t able to open the door to let the animal out.
“There was a vehicle parked right next to me, and what got my attention was I heard a dog crying,” Klonis told the news outlet.
Klonis told KOB4 that the dog was attempting to get air by sticking its snout through the crack through the lowered window. “It was obviously struggling to breathe,” he said.
The couple waited a few minutes, in case the owner returned to his vehicle, but when there was no sign of the owner, Klonis’s girlfriend called the police, CBS 17 reported.
Klonis told the news outlet that ten minutes after calling police, no one had shown up yet, and the dog was still clearly suffering. “We didn’t feel comfortable waiting too long cause every minute counts and that dog was not happy,” he told the news outlet.
“The longer I waited the more I was thinking about this moral dilemma to myself the more the answer became obvious to me because the dog was in clear distress,” Klonis said, according to KOB4.
Ten minutes later, authorities still hadn’t shown up, so Klonis decided that he couldn’t wait anymore because the dog was clearly suffering in the hot car. He smashed the car window and removed the animal from the vehicle. Klonis said he didn’t want to break the owner’s car, but felt he was left with no choice but to smash it, saying he did not want to see the dog die because of his inaction.
“It was pawing at the window, it was trying to dig its way out of the car,” Klonis told KRQE News 13.
After removing the dog from the car, the owner showed up. Klonis, confronted him about the dog trapped inside the hot car, according to KRQE News 13. Klonis could be heard saying, “Is this your dog? He was not having a good time in your car.”
The police and the animal welfare officials also turned up shortly afterward.
The dog was given water, and KRQE News 13 reported that the dog couldn’t stop drinking the water.
“An action could be the difference between life and death,” Kronis told the news outlet.
After the incident, the owner of the dog was cited with animal cruelty and could face up to $500 in fines and up to 90 days in jail. Klonis told the news outlet that he believed that he did the right thing.
He told the news outlet that while he was afraid that he may face criminal charges for breaking into a car, but the authorities told him that it was legal for someone to break into a car to save a baby or dog that was in distress. Klonis would not be facing any charges nor damage done to the car during the rescue of the distressed animal.
According to the animal welfare worker Adam Ricci it did not take long for the temperature in the car to reach 120 to 130 degrees.
Dog Trapped in Hot Car Dies
A Georgia woman is accused of causing her dog to suffer a cruel death in a hot car on July 20.
Acworth resident Tanya Lee Kuhlman was charged with animal cruelty after authorities discovered the body of a dog in her car. Official broke into the car to rescue the dog but found the animal to be unresponsive.
The dog was taken to a nearby veterinarian for emergency treatment but it was too late.
“The dog was rushed to a local animal hospital where a veterinarian advised the canine was deceased,” McIntosh said according to CTLN.
11 Alive confirmed that Kuhlman was arrested, questioned, and transported to the nearby Acworth Detention Facility a short time after for bonding purposes. Investigators believe the dog was alone in the hot car for about four hours, according to CBS46.
NTD Staff Writer Richard Szabo contributed to this article.