A man tried to rescue a 14-year-old dog who was tethered to an SUV on a sweltering afternoon in Sebastian, Fla., and for his efforts, he was arrested, reported Wednesday's WPTV News.
The incident took place last Thursday in the parking lot of a Publix supermarket. The senior dog, "Davey," was tethered to a vehicle, and the outside temperature was above 90 degrees.
Indian River County S.P.C.A. President Van DeMars discovered the dog, who was panting heavily and appeared to be in distress from the heat, and made the decision to help after seeing that the dog's owner was nowhere in sight.
DeMars told WPTV News:
He was literally choking himself, trying to get under the car.
Hoping to lead the dog to a shaded area, DeMars un-clipped the dog's leash, and phoned law enforcement.
As it turns out, Davey's owner, 83-year-old Robert Huffman, was none-too-pleased that a good Samaritan had attempted to provide help for his dog. Davey's owner, who had been inside of the store for approximately 30 minutes, saw no harm in having left his dog alone in the oppressive heat; in fact, he stated that he had done so before.
Unfortunately for the would-be rescuer, good intentions were not sufficient to prevent charges.
A few days after trying to help, DeMars was arrested and issued a misdemeanor charge of “Petit Theft, Second Degree.”
According to a statement on the Indian River County S.P.C.A. Facebook page, the charge will be fought; they state:
We are confident that this charge will be dropped once the State Attorney views the evidence and documentation of the incident. Sadly, we have no choice but to file a formal grievance against this Deputy with Sheriff’s Office. We are obtaining legal Counsel.
When DeMars was asked if he regretted trying to help, he replied:
If the price of that dog's safety and life was me going to jail and even facing further consequences than so be it,"
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