The mayor of Houston, Texas, apologized last week to a woman whose beloved family dog died when a police officer forced her husband to leave it on the side of the road after a traffic stop. The helpless little 14-year-old chihuahua was already mostly blind from cataracts and didn’t stand a chance when the officer arrested Josie Garcia’s husband — on a charge that was quickly dropped anyway — and refused to let him call anyone to pick up the dog.
Josie Garcia appeared at a Houston City Council meeting on July 22 to tell her story.
On July 14, she said her husband gave a friend a ride home from a family gathering when a Houston police officer pulled his truck over, saying that he made a turn without using his turn signal.
The cop then searched the car and found, according to court records, that the friend was in possession of the drug PCP. The officer then took the two men into custody. But Garcia said her husband pleaded with the officer to let someone come and pick up Guero, the lovable chihuahua who enjoyed riding in the truck and was along for the trip.
But the Houston officer refused, telling the man to leave the dog by the side of the road, but according to Garcia, the arresting cop said it wasn’t his problem, that the dog would be fine.”
What makes the story even more unbelievable is that the arrest happened close by to Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. But in addition to refusing to allow the man to call someone to get Guero, the officer didn’t even bother to call animal control to collect the dog.
Charges against Garcia’s husband were dropped and they put up “lost dog” posters, hoping someone had picked Gero up and they would see the dog again. Instead, they got a call from a Good Samaritan who said he saw Guero wandering up a freeway ramp near where the officer forced him to be abandoned.
The Good Samaritan said he tried to get the dog, but traffic was too heavy. Before he could reach Guero, the dog was struck and killed.
“Let me give you a public apology right now on behalf of the city of Houston,” Mayor Annise Parker said at the council meeting. “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.”
The report is one of many recently involving family dogs killed by police officers, seemingly for no reason.
The Houston Police Department says an investigation into what happened and why Guero was dumped on the road could take an astounding six months.