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The dog had been left inside the car at Newbury Retail Park in Berkshire on what was one of the hottest days we've had in the UK this year.
Viral footage showed Bill Morris, 58, smashing through the window with a massive axe, later being praised by social media users for acting fast.
Morris, a Registered Firearms Dealer for Thames Valley Police, had been attending Newbury A&E, but while waiting to be seen by a doctor he went to the nearby retail park to pick up a new vacuum cleaner.
He spotted a dog in the back seat of a car that was 'minutes from death', and became concerned as he noticed the animal looked 'lifeless' while its owner shopped on Monday afternoon.
Speaking to The Sun, Morris said: "The little Yorkshire Terrier was very distressed. It was on its side and was heavily panting - it was leaning up against the window.
"It was like it had become lifeless - its eyes were closed - it looked completely exhausted.
"The dog was minutes away from dying and I just thought 'I need to do something here'.
Morris, who has three German pointers initially called 999 but was put through to 101, but while waiting decided to 'take the law into my own hands' as time was running out, and went to fetch an axe from his car.
"I managed to break the window after eight attempts because I couldn't get a good grip on it," he recalled, adding that two police community support officers nearby came over to the car before taking the dog to a vet for treatment.
"The police took all of my details but at no point did they charge me or caution me for a criminal offence or even say what I did was wrong," Morris continued.
"As someone who is ex-military I am very focused. And in that moment I knew that if I didn't act then the dog was going to die.
"The dog should have been groomed as well, he was absolutely boiling. If I was in the same situation tomorrow I would do exactly the same thing. I don't regret it.
"People are saying that they want to buy me a pint, I'd much rather that they donated to Battersea Dog's home or a dog's charity instead."
Morris said when the dog's owner returned she didn't seem particularly emotional but was 'very shocked', and said to him: "I don't know what I'm thinking."
A statement from a Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "A member of the public did smash a car window to get a dog out of a car.
"Two of our PCSOs attended, the dog was taken by one of the PCSOs for a check over.
"The owner of the vehicle returned and was given advice."
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