Oscar Nominees' Gift Bags Include a Little Hammer to Smash Car Windows

Laura Sky Brown
·2 min read
Photo credit: PETA via YouTube
Photo credit: PETA via YouTube

At tonight's Academy Awards broadcast, you won't get to see the gift bags that are handed out to nominees in the top categories—but they're the stuff of legend anyway. This year's collection of over-the-top luxury items is valued at more than $200,000, the New York Times reports. One of the less expensive products it contains, however, is a small but sturdy hammer meant to smash car windows.

Photo credit: PETA
Photo credit: PETA

The gift hammers are labeled with a keychain that reads, "The car is insured—the dog is irreplaceable," and the idea is that if, say, Frances McDormand or Gary Oldman were to spot a dog sweltering in a locked car, they should use it to smash the window and get the animal free. PETA already sells hammers for this purpose, albeit in a clunkier, less streamlined design.

Stars beware: at least one would-be dog saver has been cited for just such an act of Good Samaritanism. In 2018, Richard Hill of Parma, Ohio, was leaving a Wal-mart store when he saw a commotion around a parked Audi and heard people saying two dogs were trapped inside a hot car. "I decided to grab a hammer and went ahead and broke the window," Hill told Fox 8. Police and the car's owner, who claimed to have been gone only a few minutes, disagreed that the window needed breaking.

So maybe before you pull out a hammer and break a car window, check out your state's regulations about rescuing dogs on this handy list from Michigan State University. It lists the 31 states where it's illegal to leave an animal in a vehicle under dangerous conditions—including warm weather. It also names the states where a person trying to save an endangered animal from a vehicle is likely to be immune from prosecution for it.

Good news for the Oscar-nominated: California is one such state.

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