Adoption lottery to be held for puppy rescued from hot car outside Melbourne mall

A puppy that was put up for adoption after being rescued from a hot car last week in Melbourne has garnered so much interest that a lottery is reportedly being held to select his forever home.

Last week, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said Animal Control Officer Steve Anderson received an anonymous call from someone who noticed a puppy inside a parked car outside the Melbourne Square Mall. The windows were rolled up and the temperature inside had reached 100 degrees.

They said that Anderson had to break in to get the pup, who was only 10-weeks-old at the time.

"The puppy was laying on the floor behind the passenger seat, screaming in pain and barely moving. I removed the animal from that situation and placed it inside my vehicle in the air-conditioned truck," he said.

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Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said that the original owners of the puppy, Brandon Mclaren and Mecaila Johnson, arrived back at the car 30 minutes after the puppy had been rescued.

They admitted to leaving the puppy inside the car "while they were walking around inside the mall in the comfort of the air conditioning," Sheriff Ivey said.

Mclaren and Johnson were reportedly arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

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The puppy, now named Dillard, was put up for adoption afterward but so many people have expressed interest in him, that a lottery is being done to select his forever home.

Those interested have been entered into the lottery and a name will be drawn this week.

The animal control officer who saved Dillard hopes that this story serves a reminder to pet owners, especially during hot Florida summers where they have been seeing more of these cases.

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"Lately we have been dealing with it on a regular basis. People don’t understand that it doesn’t take long for an animal to overheat inside a car without proper ventilation even when you turn your a/c on and the car shuts off. It does not take long for that to take its toll on the animal," he said.

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