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Cop Forces Man to Abandon His Elderly Blind Dog by the Road to Die

Cop Forces Man to Abandon His Elderly Blind Dog by the Road to Die

This is how a simple traffic stop turns to tragedy.

If you’re a dog lover, this story will make your blood boil and will break your heart. In fact, you merely need to be a decent human being to be outraged.

According to Houston, Texas, resident Josie Garcia, her husband and a friend were out in their truck on Sunday, July 13, when the police pulled them over for failing to use a turn signal. With the men in the truck was the Garcia family dog, little Guero.

Guero, a 14-year-old white Chihuahua, suffered from cataracts and was nearly blind. He always accompanied Garcia when he tooled around town.

family photos of guero

Family photos of little Guero. Photo credit: Garcia family

Upon conducting a search of the truck, the officer reportedly found a controlled substance belonging to the man riding with Garcia. He took both men into custody and arranged a tow truck to move the vehicle. What he reportedly did not do was make any arrangements for taking care of the dog.

“My husband pleaded with the officer to let him call someone to come get Guero, and asked him to call [the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC)], but he said it wasn’t his problem, that the dog would be fine,” Garciatold KTRK.

Just like that, Garcia was hauled away in a police car, forced to watch as the cop and the tow truck abandoned his little blind dog by a busy road. To see a Houston TV news report that includes video showing the location where Guero was left, click here.

As it turns out, the scene of this arrest was literally two blocks away from the BARC facility. Getting animal control to the scene or dropping the dog off at BARC would have been easy and quick. Despite this, the police officer apparently did nothing and left Guero to fend for himself.

Imagine the poor dog’s confusion at this moment. His human, obviously distressed, is driven away by a stranger in a car while the familiar family truck is towed away and then everyone is just gone. There Guero must have sat, alone by the road, listening to the roar of traffic, paralyzed with fear, wondering when someone was coming back for him.

The Search for Guero Ends in Heartbreak

When Garcia finally reached his wife, Josie, that Sunday, she began peppering the area with “lost dog” fliers. Here’s one captured by a Twitter user. We’ve redacted the Garcias’ phone number for privacy purposes:

lost dog flyer

From Sunday to Tuesday, there was no news. On Tuesday, a caller told Josie Garcia that he’d seen Guero walking on a traffic ramp and had tried to grab him. Unfortunately, rush hour traffic prevented him from successfully rescuing the dog. Josie rushed to the location, only to find her dog’s dead body on the shoulder of the highway about a half mile from where he’d been left.

Guero had been struck and killed by a car. Josie wrapped his tiny, crumpled body in a towel and took him home to bury him.

“I felt so much pain like I never knew I had,” Josie Garcia told KTRK.

Officials dropped all charges against Garcia, by the way. In the end, he did nothing wrong except fail to use that turn signal, but now his beloved dog is dead.

An Apology From Houstons Mayor is Not Enough

Devastated, Josie Garcia appeared before the Houston City Council on July 22. She spent her allotted three minutes telling her story. You can watch video of her statement and the reaction of the mayor and council members at this link. Fast forward through the public comment session to 105:32.

“Let me give you a public apology right now on behalf of the city of Houston,” Mayor Annise Parker immediately responded. “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.”

Reportedly, the mayor and city council members now are wondering whether Houston has a clear policy regarding the proper handling of pets involved in law enforcement situations. If they don’t have such a policy, they clearly need one.

josie garcia befor city council

Josie Garcia makes her statement to City Council. Photo credit: City of Houston

The Garcias have filed a complaint with the Houston Police Department (HPD). HPD says its internal investigation into this incident may take up to six months to resolve. Whoa stop the clock. Six months?

Craig Malisow of the Houston Press took the city to task in a blog post on July 29, 2014. Excerpts from that post hit the nail on the head:

We can understand why a complex case with multiple witnesses with conflicting stories might be a real quagmire of a case, but, really, to say it could take 180 days to determine whether an “airhead” (to quote Mayor Parker during the public input session) left a freaking dog on the side of the road is a bit of a stretch.

We don’t understand why a complaint as odd as this is allowed to remain unresolved for more than 72 hours. Either Garcia is withholding part of the story, or just fabricating it outright, or this police officer acted irresponsibly. Call us selfish, but we think the public — if not Garcia and her husband — deserves a timely answer.

Forcing someone to abandon a helpless pet by the road is inexcusable conduct. That a law enforcement official is reportedly to blame for making Garcia do such a heartbreaking thing is outrageous.

If you agree, please sign this petition. Care2 will ensure it gets to Mayor Parker as well as Houston’s Chief of Police and its City Council. It asks them to ensure there’s an appropriate disciplinary outcome to this investigation, and to ensure there is a mandatory protocol for handling a situation like this so it never happens again.

Poor little Guero. We’re sorry, buddy. You didn’t deserve this.

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Photo credit (main image): Thinkstock

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915 comments

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8:36PM PST on Jan 26, 2015

PLEASE! Fire that cop! He has no business carrying a gun or serving and "protecting" the town's citizens! How cold and uncaring could this cop be? Fire him and charge him with animal abuse and neglect! May he receive all that he deserves from God, the Universe, Karma, all of the above, etc..

2:38PM PST on Jan 24, 2015

This made me cry. I cant believe the officer wasn't fired for such cruelty. My heart goes out to this poor family and their sweet little dog.

2:34PM PST on Jan 24, 2015

This made me cry. I cant believe the officer wasn't fired for such cruelty. My heart goes out to this poor family and their sweet little dog.

9:41PM PST on Jan 23, 2015

This is freakin' disgusting and that numbnuts cop still has a badge and a gun?

9:03PM PST on Jan 23, 2015

Have signed.

8:54AM PST on Jan 17, 2015

When cops are getting off scott free after shooting unarmed people do any of you really think anything will happen to these pigs who left a dog beside a busy road? I'd be surprised if they even talk to these two so called Protectors of the Peace! And I have no doubt they didn't have a legal reason to even stop this man but did so just because they were hispanic. Thats what they all deal with on a daily basis just like the blacks do in New York! How else could they meet their quota's every month. But I also agree with the person who said they'd never move to Texas. The whole state is corrupt and run by a bunch of idiots! I have no uise for most police today, yes there are some good ones, but when they remain silent it makes them as bad as the bad ones. Martin Luther King once said; "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that really matter." We as a country have remained silent about important things for too long now! Everyday it seems like we're losing more of our rights and although the slaves were supposedly freed years ago they still face the same discrimination they always have. It's no better for the hispanics either ,whom without, our crops would all die on the vine.The Christian party is working night and day to divide us and for a good part they have, who do you think they'll come after once their all gone? It's time to come together as a nation that has always been a melting pot of races and give these people something to think about for a cha

10:55AM PST on Jan 12, 2015

He should not only be fired but charged with animal cruelty. I would have used my gun to protect my pets. No ONE harms my babies-no one. I don't care what they are wearing!

3:07AM PST on Jan 12, 2015

what is it with US police? He needs to be charged with animal cruelty. What is it with the character of some of the people who are employed? It is all totally unnecessary. Cruelty in regard to animals should never be tolerated.

6:20PM PST on Jan 9, 2015

I would have gone ballistic during my three minutes!!!!! That is all I can say about this.

10:07PM PST on Jan 7, 2015

I would never move to Texas. Too many things wrong and not being dealt with appropriately. This situation is absolutely mortifying and sickening. Our pets are our family members. A 14 year old dog is equivalent to a 98 year old human - is that what anyone with a conscience would do to a family member???!!! That cop should be fired and not allowed to be a police officer anywhere in this country. When you don't have basic common sense, and humanity, you are of no help to the police force which is supposed to be PROTECTING AND SERVING WE THE PEOPLE. And we need to be paying good officers, and every occupation that serves and protects us, more money, instead of in the garbage ways it's currently being spent by dirty, greedy, self-involved, uncaring politicians. Every community needs to be going after these people. AFTER something happens is too late. The responsibility comes down to every single citizen.

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