PENSACOLA, FL -- An officer took extreme measures to free a puppy from a car as temperatures broke into the 90s on Sunday in Florida.
Footage from a body-worn camera shows how a Pensacola police officer saved a puppy from a parked car.
Officer Anthony Giorgio had been dispatched to the mall for two reports of dogs locked in parked cars. On the first call, owners returned to their car the same time the officer arrived, but the second call, the officer took matters into his own hands.
"I'm putting my hands in the window, I get on the radio and call my sergeant and he tells me to get in it," Giorgio said.
The puppy's faint barks could be heard coming through a cracked window. Thankfully its SOS was heard.
Giorgio took a baton to the passenger side window, smashing the glass to pieces and was able to unlock the door of the car. None of the glass got on the puppy because it was tucked away under the back seat.
Once he pulled the puppy out, the mall parking lot crowd came to help. The puppy was given water, put in front of AC in the patrol car, and then eventually put on ice. It survived.
The puppy's owners were cited by Escambia County Animal Services.
"The dog was returned to them because it was such a young puppy that we just wanted to make sure it got back with its mother where it would be OK," said John Robinson, division manager with the Escambia County Animal Services.
The owners were given a civil penalty for Cruelty to Animal, a fine that carries $150 for first offenders. Robinson explains if the dog died, they would have faced criminal charges. He adds they are very lucky it did not.
"I've seen pictures of the puppy. I haven't seen it personally," Robinson said. "The size and the age, it's pretty lucky it's still around."
According to PETA, on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a car parked can reach up to 120 degrees in just minutes.
WEAR reports that if the puppy stayed in the car any longer, it likely would not have survived. Giorgio said he was not going to let that happen.
"I have a couple of dogs at home," Giorgio said. "I do, I do love dogs."