When officers from the local police department found an 8-week-old puppy inside a sweltering-hot car parked at a Manor, Texas, Walmart, she was barely hanging on.

According to KXAN, officers spotted the light-colored puppy “crying” in a locked Ford Focus and attempting to hide in the shade of the backseat.

Image Credit: Manor Police Department

It was one of the hottest days of the summer yet, reaching 99 degrees with a heat index of 109 degrees. Manor Police Sgt. Randall Anderson told KXAN:

“It’s sad to hear because they’re defenseless much like children. You know, they can’t get out of the car by themselves, and it’s kind of just stuck in there.”

In order to get the puppy, who’s named Annabelle, police reached through the partially open sunroof and unlocked the door around 4 p.m., according to the Houston Chronicle.

But once they got inside, they realized Annabelle was in rough shape. Not only was she overheated, but she was also covered in fleas and “had several lesions,” reported KXAN.

Officers gave the suffering puppy some water and waited for the owner, 20-year-old Chandler Bullen, to return to his car.

Image Credit: Manor Police Department

The owner, who described the dog as a “German Shephard and Mexican wolf,” admitted that he had been inside the Walmart for at least 30 minutes. His reason for leaving Annabelle without air conditioning was troubling.

Anderson told KXAN:

“The officers just spoke with him and asked him why, you know, they left the animal in there with the windows up and the extreme heat. And his reaction was, basically, he didn’t want to waste gas.”

The owner was charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals and can face up to a year in prison if sentenced. Bullen’s bond was set at $4,000.

Sadly, Annabelle’s owner isn’t the only one mistreating dogs in the Lone Star state. A Houston man landed in hot water this week after knowingly selling puppies infected with a deadly disease. He has not yet been brought up on charges.

There’s no word on Annabelle’s current condition, but with any luck, the 8-week-old mutt will soon find a loving, forever home.

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