ATHENS — Georgia state law allows an individual to break a car window to save a child in distress, but the same protection does not apply when a pet’s life is at stake, as one man has quickly found out.

Michael Hammons of Athens was charged with criminal trespassing after smashing the window of a Mustang to free a Pomerian mix left inside the hot car in a shopping center recently.

Witnesses said that while a group of shoppers waited for police to arrive to free the dog, the Army veteran smashed the window, multiple news outlets report.

“I knew there’d be consequences, but it didn’t matter,” Hammons told WAGA-TV. “They make new glass every day, but they could never replace that dog.”

Deputies said the car’s owner, Elantra Cunningham, 22, of Athens insisted Hammons be arrested. Cunningham was cited for leaving the dog in the hot car.