Officers rescue puppy trapped in hot car

Manor police and Travis County deputies rushed to save the life of a puppy trapped in a hot car and it's captured on video. The temperature at the time felt like 109 degrees.

On Saturday afternoon Manor police and Travis County deputies worked to free a puppy from a hot car.

Chief Ryan Phipps says a woman called 911 after seeing the puppy alone in the car in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The windows were up, but as seen in the dash camera video -- a deputy was able to slide a tire iron through a crack in the sunroof and unlock the doors.

Officers say at the time the temperature outside felt like 109 degrees and the puppy was noticeably in distress.

"Panting, the dog was trying to seek a cooler spot. Trying to get underneath the seats of the car,” said Phipps.

Phipps said the owner, identified as 20-year-old Chandler Bullen, told officers he was shopping for at least 30 minutes.

He was arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

Anabelle, as named by the owner, is being cared for at the Austin Animal Center. She did not suffer any damage to her health. Veterinarian Kathryn Lund said the owner's choice to leave Anabelle in the heat put her in imminent danger.

"She probably surely would've died. I mean we get animals in all the time and once they get into heat stroke it's really difficult to get them back. So whoever helped her out of the car, she's very lucky,” said Lund.

Lund said just like babies, young animals cannot tolerate heat. On a 100 degree day, like it was on Saturday, the temperature inside a car can reach 140 within 15 minutes.

Phipps says if you see an animal inside a vehicle, call 911 and let officers assess the situation.

With children, it's different. Take action. You can break a window if necessary.

"You're not going to go to jail if your intensions are good and you're trying to save a life, you're going to be alright,” said Phipps.

So far this summer Phipps and his officers have not responded to a report of a child in left in a car. As for Anabelle, he is working to ensure she is never put in danger again.

"We're going to try and ensure through the court process that the dog doesn't go back. If we're able to, great. If the dog does go back, we just hope he learned his lesson and takes care of the dog,” said Phipps.

In Austin, it is illegal to leave an animal in a car. The fine if caught can be up to $500 dollars.
 

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