July 29, 2014
According to a Houston Police Department spokesman, it could take six months or longer to make a decision in the case of a 14-year-old dog left on the side of the road during an arrest.
Josie Garcia, whose 14-year-old chihuahua Guero, has filed a complaint with Houston Police Department Internal Affairs.
First reported on July 24, the complaint stems from the July 14, 2014, arrest of two men stopped near U.S. 59 and Collingsworth, for failure to use a turn signal. When the officer found a controlled substance (later identified as PCP) on the vehicle’s passenger, both men in the vehicle were arrested and the SUV impounded.
Unfortunately, car-loving Guero was with them at the time. At least until the officer involved decided to put the dog on the side of the road, despite pleas by Josie Garcia’s husband to call his wife to come get the dog.
The officer refused, saying the dog would be fine left where he was.
It’s ironic that the traffic stop happened in close proximity to Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. Why didn’t the Houston officer just call an animal control officer to take Guero to safety?
A Good Samaritan had tried to catch the dog, but traffic was too heavy. For the next three days Josie put up missing posters and searched for her beloved dog. Eventually, she received a call to let her know Guero, who suffered from cataracts, was hit by oncoming traffic at the shoulder of Eastex Freeway.
Charges were dropped against Josie’s husband three days later.
At a city council meeting, Mayor Annise Parker apologized to the family saying
“Let me give you a public apology right now on behalf of the city of Houston. I don’t know what airhead — there’s another word in my mind but I’m not going to say it — would throw, you wouldn’t put a kid on the side of the road. You shouldn’t put someone’s pet on the side of the road.”
It would be understandable as to why a complex case with multiple witnesses with conflicting stories might require months to investigate, but to say it could take six months to determine whether an “airhead” (as Mayor Parker put it) left a small, senior, partially blind dog on the side of the road to defend for itself.
What kind of officer does this? Even if the male Garcia being arrested hadn’t pleaded and begged for the life of his wife’s dog, finding a safe place for the dog to go should have been the only option for this officer.
If a private citizen had walked off and left a dog in the middle of the freeway, that person would be in jail on animal cruelty charges.
Shouldn’t we expect the same of those hired to ‘protect and serve?’ Protect and serve who? The dog wasn’t served. Guero is dead, due to the stupidity of one officer. Let’s hope it’s stupidity because the only other option is the Houston Police Department has a sociopath working for them.
As for the six months, the department needs to investigate the case, well, good luck with that. Houston is known for not investigation many of their criminal cases. The only way this investigation will take place in a timely manner, and this officer is held responsible, is through public knowledge.
Contact information is listed below
Houston Police Department
1200 Travis St., Houston, TX 77002
Mayor Annise D. Parker
City of Houston
P.O. Box 1562 Houston, TX 77251
Phone: 3-1-1, or 713.837.0311
The Houston PD also has a Facebook page.
Please feel free to leave a comment on what should happen to the officer responsible for Guero’s horrific death. Sweet baby, you didn’t deserve to die this way, and we will get justice.