Puppy rescued from hot car in Manor finds new home

A puppy rescued from a hot car by law enforcement in Manor has been surrendered by the owner and now has a new home.

The puppy named Annabelle was turned over to the Austin Animal Center, but she didn't stay there long. Just one hour after being put up for adoption a new family applied to take her home.

“A young couple came in looking for a puppy, didn't know anything about her, had no idea what they were adopting, and they applied and they fit all our criteria, so as soon as she gets spayed tomorrow, they'll be taking her home,” said Mark Sloat, program manager at Austin Animal Center. 

“It's a happy ending to the situation,” said Sgt. Craig Struble of the Manor Police Department. 

10-week-old Annabelle used to belong to 20-year-old Chandler Bullen, but about 10 days ago officers responded to a 911 call about a puppy alone in a car in the Walmart parking lot.
Once on scene, they found Annabelle panting and crying inside the locked car that was not running.
The outside temperature was hovering around 99 degrees with a heat index of 109. So, they knew they had to act quickly.

“The dog was showing signs of distress, which is why we unlocked the door and got her,” Struble said. 

As seen in dash camera video, a Travis County deputy was able to slide a tire iron through a crack in the sunroof and unlock the doors.

Bullen told officers he was shopping for about 30 minutes and turned off the car so he didn't waste gas.

“That's really a really short trip to a lot of people, but your dog can be dead in that time,” said Sloat.

Bullen was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, but the Manor Municipal Court ruled that Annabelle be returned to him.

“We went to the civil trial hoping to get custody of Annabelle, so she could be put up for adoption and we were disappointed whenever the judge ruled that he could have the dog back,” Struble said.

Bullen was ordered to pay court fees and shelter fees within 30 days in order to keep custody of Annabelle, but Wednesday, he turned over ownership of the pup.

“We're happy with the outcome. I think it's going to end up being what's best for Annabelle,” said Struble. 

Annabelle’s new family will get to take her home Thursday after she is spayed.

“We hope she has a happy, healthy life,”  Struble said.

Bullen will still have to face an animal cruelty charge, a class A misdemeanor.

Leaving a dog in a hot car can cause organ failure, brain damage or even death.

If you see a dog inside of a locked car you are asked to call 311 or your local police department.