Annabelle the 8-week-old puppy was rescued from a fatal situation by the quick work of a Good Samaritan and the Manor Police Department.
On Saturday, the first day this year to hit 100 degrees in Austin, Texas, someone spotted a blond-colored canine in a Ford Focus parked in the parking lot of an area Wal-Mart.
The car containing the puppy had all of its windows rolled up, except for a crack in the sun roof, and was left baking on the asphalt with the engine and air conditioning turned off. The Good Samaritan who spotted Annabelle called the local police for help, according to KXAN.
When officers from the Manor Police Department arrived they found the puppy panting, crying out and attempting to hide under the seat for shade. The quick rescue that followed was caught on the dashboard camera of the responding officers.
“All the windows were up on the car,” Manor Police Chief Ryan Phipps told KEYE. “The sunroof was cracked just a little bit, wide enough for them to get up and use a crowbar to hit the unlock button, open the door and get the dog out.”
Annabelle was overheated and dehydrated; her rescuers also noticed the puppy was covered in fleas and had several lesions on her skin. Shortly after removing the puppy from the car, the vehicle’s owner returned from shopping at Wal-Mart.
According to the police, the car’s owner said that Annabelle was his Mexican wolf and German Shepherd mix and that he left her in the parked car without air conditioning because he “didn’t want to waste gas.”
“It’s sad to hear because they’re defenseless much like children,” Manor Police Sgt. Randall Anderson told KXAN, also noting that the temperature outside was 99 degrees when Annabelle was rescued. “You know, they can’t get out of the car by themselves, and it’s kind of just stuck in there.”
Annabelle’s owner was arrested and charged with the Class A Misdemeanor of Cruelty to Non Live Stock Animals because, according to Anderson, the owner “knowingly and intentionally failed unreasonably to provide necessary shelter and water for an animal in his custody.”
The owner’s bond was set at $4,000. If the owner is convicted of the misdemeanor, he could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
The Manor Police Department hopes this event serves as a stern reminder to keep your pets at home if you are planning to leave them in the car while you are out. It only takes 15 minutes for a car in 100 degree heat to reach 140 degrees inside the vehicle; this heat can easily be fatal to pets, especially those covered in thick fur.
Annabelle is currently under the devoted care of the Austin Animal Center while she waits for a court to decide on her new living situation.