Good Samaritan’s Hot-Car Dog Rescue Prompts PETA Praise

Cleveland Man Who Was Cited for Breaking Car Window to Save Dogs Gets Recognition From PETA—and a Hammer

For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Parma, Ohio – Cleveland resident Richard Hill received a citation for criminal damage after breaking the window of a parked car in order to rescue two dogs who were locked inside, so PETA—which offers emergency window-breaking hammers for sale on its website and has celebrity ads that say “Do whatever it takes”—sent him a letter today praising his actions and offering to help if a fine is incurred.

“This man acted compassionately to save dogs from potentially baking to death in a parked car, and he should not have been cited for that,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes everyone will always unhesitatingly do whatever it takes to help dogs and children if they are trapped in a hot car.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to Richard Hill follows.

August 1, 2018

Dear Mr. Hill,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across Ohio, to thank you for taking emergency action to prevent harm to, and possibly the deaths of, two dogs left behind in a hot car in a Walmart parking lot.

Already this year, at least 40 dogs have died because of hot weather, and those are just the deaths that have been reported. This figure is a stark reminder of the dangers of leaving any helpless living being trapped inside a vehicle when temperatures rise. Many dogs and children die every year when their guardians forget that they are in the car or leave them locked inside a vehicle while they “run inside for just a minute.” At least 50 more animals left behind in hot cars were lucky enough to have been rescued, mostly thanks to the observant eyes of good Samaritans like you.

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in just minutes, even with the windows slightly open. Dogs can cool themselves only by panting, so these vulnerable members of our families can suffer from heatstroke in just minutes, resulting in brain damage or death.

We trust that you will fight this citation, as we believe that any reasonable judge, aware of the facts, will know you were only doing what you believed was necessary to save lives. If the citation does result in a fine, we will be there to help. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind