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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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994 comments

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1:21AM PDT on Apr 27, 2015

Just sickening and cruel

11:55PM PDT on Apr 26, 2015

it's heartbreaking and too painful to think of what that dog went through.
that can't be legal surely I'm so hurt that someone would do such a thing. my heart goes out to the owners such heartache and pain that they must be going through.

6:38PM PDT on Apr 24, 2015

How could you leave a defenceless animal on the side of the road? A BLIND one at that? The "officer" needs to be assigned to Animal Control for the six months that it takes to be investigated and let him see the heartbreak that goes on EVERY DAY!

6:38PM PDT on Apr 24, 2015

How could you leave a defenceless animal on the side of the road? A BLIND one at that? The "officer" needs to be assigned to Animal Control for the six months that it takes to be investigated and let him see the heartbreak that goes on EVERY DAY!

6:37PM PDT on Apr 24, 2015

How could you leave a defenceless animal on the side of the road? A BLIND one at that? The "officer" needs to be assigned to Animal Control for the six months that it takes to be investigated and let him see the heartbreak that goes on EVERY DAY!

6:37PM PDT on Apr 24, 2015

How could you leave a defenceless animal on the side of the road? A BLIND one at that? The "officer" needs to be assigned to Animal Control for the six months that it takes to be investigated and let him see the heartbreak that goes on EVERY DAY!

3:36PM PDT on Apr 24, 2015

FUCKING COP.

1:43PM PDT on Apr 24, 2015

Those cruel officers should be ripped off their job and put behind bars, they have no quality to be in the field. Hope their children be taken away just like the way they did to the poor cute little dog, may he rest in peace and justice should be served.

6:03AM PDT on Apr 17, 2015

That poor little dog. I don't have words for this. He must have been so scared and confused. Maybe he even wondered what he did to be deserted like this. And poor Josie, too. I can't even imagine the pain she and her husband have gone through after losing Guero in such a horrible, horrible way. This was deliberately cruel. But like Janet N. said: Surprise, surprise, another cop commits a crime and gets away with it. Ridiculous.

10:25AM PDT on Apr 15, 2015

I can see that the press/media are up to their bs fabrications for a story again.

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