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.

Photo credit (main image): Thinkstock

1294 comments

Tashia H.
Tashia H.about a month ago

So very heartbreaking!!'

Tashia H.
Tashia H.about a month ago

I am dealing with a similar situation. My 5 month old dog some how escaped from my fenced in yard on Friday the 21st 2016 around 8pm. I live just a few blocks from the police station so the cops drive by many times a.day. the office picked up my dog did not make contact with me at all and took her out of town and dropped her off on the side of the road. The office her then comes back to my house and tells me what he has done then tells me you can go look for her she may come back or she may not. She is not an aggressive dog so I did not want to shoot her the officer said. It is now Monday the 24th and I still cannot find her. I have called our mayer, animal humane society, our county sheriff, our judge, and no one will help me file a complaint against the officer!!! I need help!!!

john prini
john prini6 months ago

WHAT A PIG of a person, in fact that is an insult to pigs ( im sorry piggies). THIS BARSTARD is UNSUITABLE to be a COP, or a HUMAN, PATHETIC abuse of power, & LIKELY to be a RACIST. id like to see him left in the desert for a week or 3

Roy Way
Roy Way6 months ago

We don't know the other side of the story as it is going to take six months for the Police in Texas to make it up. Yep, they're not very bright.

esther w.
esther w.7 months ago

this confirms how the rest of the world believes texan cops treat latin americans. pity we're proven correct

Sen Heijkamp
Sayenne H.7 months ago

Thank you for sharing. Very sad.

suzie c.
suzie c.7 months ago

So mad,,, some people are jus hearthless

Tammy Andrews
Tammy Andrews8 months ago

It said this tragic event happened almost 2 years ago. Care2 please post what happened. Thanks.

kathy bonard
kathy bonard8 months ago

Made me cry,poor little Guero,God bless you.

Elaine W.
Past Member 8 months ago

This is over the top mean and sad. Doesn't this action break an animal abuse law?