Dog's Owners Still Want to Know Why Officer Allegedly Left Their Dog to Die

Guerodog.jpg
Courtesy Josie Garcia
Did a Houston police officer leave a couple's dog, pictured here as a pup, on the side of the road?
An internal Houston Police Department investigation into a complaint that an officer left a dog on the side of the road to die after arresting the dog's owner could take up to six months, according to an HPD spokesman.

First reported by ABC-13, 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. The officer found a controlled substance (identified in court records as phencyclidine) on the vehicle's passenger. Both men were arrested, and the 14-year-old Chihuahua (who suffered from cataracts) was left on the road despite the driver's pleas to call his wife so she could get the dog, according to the wife, Josie Garcia.

The dog, Guero, was found dead on the shoulder of an off-ramp about half a mile from where the police officer left him, Garcia says. (Incredibly, the arrest occurred right near the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. If, as Garcia claims, the officer didn't want his detainee to make a phone call, we don't understand the decision not to call an animal control officer to collect the dog.)

After her husband's arrest on a Sunday, Garcia says, she posted "missing" fliers for Guero in the area where the dog was left. The following Tuesday afternoon, she claims, a man called to say he saw Guero walking upward on the ramp. The good Samaritan tried to scoop him up, but was prevented by rush-hour traffic. By the time he called Gonzalez and got her out to the scene, Guero had been killed, Garcia says.

Garcia asked for a public apology at a public input session before Houston City Council July 22.

Mayor Annise Parker apologized on behalf of the City and stated she wanted to look into "who made the decision to abandon someone's pet on the side of the road." (We also called the towing company, Orozco's Automotive and Storage, to see if we could get more information, but the woman who answered the phone referred us to HPD.)

Internal affairs investigations triggered by complaints could take up to 6 months, if not longer, according to an HPD spokesperson. 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.

Yet this is the same police department that failed to investigate 20,000 criminal cases in 2013 and, according to the Chron's excellent reporting on the subject, "barely investigated" nearly 24 homicides "spanning almost a decade."

Yet, both the Houston Police Department and Mayor Annise Parker's office appear perfectly content to allow the very police department that has come under intense scrutiny for how it investigates -- and in some cases doesn't -- thousands of other crimes.

Parker has admirably spoken up about the surfeit of strays in the city, which is why we're surprised she wouldn't want to nip this one in the bud.

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.



My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
senk8105
senk8105

If what is alleged here is true, this is unforgivable. An apology by Houston's mayor, however sincere, would then be far from enough. The "responsible" officer should in that case have all of his assets, including his pension, confiscated and given to Josie Garcia. The stupid thug with a badge should then *at least* be *very* publicly humiliated and degraded -- a la the TV show Branded -- and imprisoned for life. Left to me, again assuming these allegations are true, he'd be publicly executed by a firing squad of civilians, with his fellow officers required to watch.

innerlooper
innerlooper

When I saw this report on the news it made me sick for what that poor little dog suffered as well as his humans grief.  The officers name should be publicized.  He's obviously a sociopath and this is surely not the first or last horrible thing he's done against animals or humanity.

wylderich
wylderich

They need a POLICY to figure out how to handle a situation such as this?  How about exercising some common decency, responsibility and compassion?  One of the duties of law enforcement is to PROTECT the innocent -- I'd think that would include the most defenseless of all.  Obviously, this officer's head is elsewhere than on his shoulders.

luvflorida80
luvflorida80

This POS cop needs to be fired!!! He thinks because he has a badge that he can do whatever the hell he wants. No he can't!! We need to fight for this dog that shouldn't have died that way... So sad.

warrington76
warrington76

I am so sad about the treatment of this poor little dog and his master, i can't tell you how hurt i am thinking about that poor little dog not knowing what was going on.This cop should be sacked.Who wants cops with shitty attitudes like that.I hope you have some pain mister.

sarahdweiss
sarahdweiss

This absolutely is a case of animal cruelty.  Regardless of how far away the pound was, to toss a tiny, half-blind (or any) dog onto the side of a freeway is inexcusable.  I live in Texas and am positive these men were treated this way because they are Latinos.  My heart goes out to the Garcias for losing such a loved family member under such hideous and needless circumstance.  

RIP Guero

tioa07
tioa07

I hope the officer responsible dies of cancer.  His actions are unforgivable. Unforgivable.

CTJPMarie
CTJPMarie

The cops an a-hole...flat and simple. Glad he's not in our town. 

jmam4321
jmam4321

Sue this redneck cop and the department! What a disgrace

philforrest
philforrest

This incident begs the question as to why police agencies are given the privilege of investigating accusations of their own misdeeds.

f88bb412
f88bb412

How is a heartless piece of crap allowed to "serve and protect?" Not only should this "man" lose his job and be charged with animal cruelty, the family has grounds for a very interesting lawsuit. 


The officer's actions are not only disgusting, but CRIMINAL. In contrast, failure to use a turn signal is NOT a criminal act. 

Nancy Hinnen-Newton
Nancy Hinnen-Newton

This is extremely wrong. The arresting officer should have made arrangements of some kind, for Guero. Some people have no love or compassion for animals. Unless they purchased them for themselves.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...