A customer at a Wal-Mart in Manor, Texas, became a hero to a neglected puppy this weekend. While walking through the store’s parking lot, the customer spotted a blonde puppy who’d been left in a locked vehicle.
In the sweltering Texas heat, a locked car is a death sentence. Temperatures in the town, located outside of Austin, reportedly reached 99 degrees, with a heat index of 109 during the time of the incident.
Police responded to the scene, where the overheated puppy was panting and crying inside the hot car.
According to reports, the police officers were able to use a tire iron to unlock the car by lowering it through a partially open sunroof. Once the car was unlocked, a police officer opened a door, pulled the dog from the vehicle and immediately offered it water.
Officers moved the rescued puppy into an air-conditioned space and continued giving it water to help it cool down. After they got a closer look, the officers allege that they found an abundance of fleas as well as lesions on the dog’s skin.
When the puppy’s owner, Chandler Bullen, 20, returned to his car, police were waiting for him.
He told police that he left 8-week-old Annabelle locked in the car because he “didn’t want to waste gas.”
Bullen was arrested at the scene and later charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals, a Class A Misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.