An Albuquerque, New Mexico, man saved a dog's life after breaking open a hot car window as the canine was left inside. Gerasimos Klonis used a crowbar to smash the window to get the dog out.

“It was pawing at the window, it was trying to dig its way out of the car,” Klonis told local media.

The incident was caught on camera and shared online. Local media reports said Klonis and his girlfriend were having lunch at the Little Anitas on Sunday when they found the dog struggling.

“There was a vehicle parked right next to me, and what got my attention was I heard a dog crying,” Klonis said. After a few minutes passed with no sign of the owner, the couple called 911.

According to a witness, the dog had been sitting in the car for about 30 minutes in 90-degree heat.

"We didn't feel comfortable waiting too long because every minute counts and that dog was not happy," Klonis said. "And that's when I decided I can't wait anymore. The animal was suffering too much."

After taking the dog out, Klonis gave the animal water to calm it down.

"I didn't want to break that guy's window, but at the same time, I also didn't want to see a dog die," Klonis said as he confronted the owner.

Animal welfare workers arrived at the scene and cited the owner for animal cruelty. The citation comes with a fine of up to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.

“It takes very, very little time for temperatures to get up to 120, 130 degrees inside that vehicle,” Adam Ricci, with the animal welfare, said.

Albuquerque police said it's legal in the city to break a car window if a baby or dog is in distress.

In this image, a dog's paw reaches through the kennel fence at the Queen Anne's County Department of Animal Service in Queenstown, Maryland, Jan. 24, 2008. Getty Images/Jim Watson