A man is accused of leaving an 8-week-old puppy in a car without running air conditioning while he went on a 30-minute shopping trip Saturday afternoon.
According to an affidavit, Chandler Allen Bullen, 20; is charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals, a Class A Misdemeanor.
Just after 4 p.m., police said they responded to a Walmart located in the 11923 block of U.S. Highway 290 after receiving a call about a blonde-colored puppy; a Mexican Wolf/ German Shepard mix named Annabelle, inside of a vehicle that wasn’t running.
At the scene, officers said they saw Annabelle panting; crying and appearing to seek shelter from the sun under the rear passenger seat.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature on June 17 was 99 degrees with a 109 heat index at 4:30 p.m. Officers said they used the partial opening of the sunroof to unlock the vehicle and rescue the puppy.
However, when police got a hold of her, they noted she appeared to “be in poor condition” physically because she was flea-infested and had several lesions.
It was heartbreaking for the officer who has two dogs of his own.
“It’s sad to hear, they are defenseless, much like children. They can’t get out of the car by themselves. They are kind of stuck in there. So, they rely on the owner to take care of them and be responsible,” Sgt. Randall Anderson said.
Officers said Bullen exited the Walmart at 4:22 p.m. and was arrested. Bullen admitted to going shopping for 30 minutes and leaving Annabelle in the hot car because he “did not want to waste gas.”
Police said it doesn’t take long for something detrimental to happen. They suggest leaving your puppy at home, or if you have to take them with you, run errands in the non-peak hours when it isn’t as hot.
Annabelle is being treated at the Austin Animal Center.
Allen is being held in the Travis County Jail on a $4,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and a fine.