On July 13, 2014, Josie Garcia's husband and a friend were pulled over by the Houston police for failing to use a turn signal. When a search of the vehicle turned up a controlled substance on the person of the passenger, both men were arrested and their truck towed. Garcia's little dog, a 14-year-old blind Chihuahua, was also in that truck.
Despite pleas from Mr. Garcia -- and despite the fact that Houston's animal control facility was a mere two blocks away -- the police officer refused to make any provisions for the care of Guero. He refused to allow Garcia to call his wife to pick up the dog. He also refused to make any calls himself to ensure Guero was picked up and properly cared for.
Outrageously, the police office told Garcia his dog would be fine and forced him to leave it by the side of a busy Houston roadway. After the family was finally alerted later that day, they couldn't find Guero.
Three days later, his little body was found on the shoulder of the road about half a mile away. He'd been run over by a car. The family, as expected, is devastated.
The Garcias have filed a complaint with the Houston Police Department. This matter is now under investigation by Internal Affairs. Please sign this petition asking Houston Mayor Annelise Parker, City of Houston Chief of Police C.A. McClelland, and the Houston City Council (1) to ensure the police officer involved in this unprofessional incident is appropriately disciplined and (2) to review the city's policies on how to handle pets that become involved in police incidents, to ensure this kind of tragedy never happens again.
Dear Mayor Parker, Chief McClelland and City Council Members:
Those who have signed this petition, like many other members of the public, were deeply distressed and angered to learn that one of Houston's police officers reportedly forced a man to abandon his little blind dog by the road when he was taken into custody on July 13, 2014.
Because the police officer refused to make provisions to care for this little blind dog named Guero, he wandered the roadway for three days and finally was killed by a car. The Garcia family is devastated.
We understand that this matter is now under investigation by the HPD's Internal Affairs division. If investigation validates the allegations made by the dog's owners, we ask that you impose a disciplinary response in keeping with the truly outrageous and heartbreaking nature of this incident. A token gesture would simply not be appropriate here. The Garcia family also deserves an apology from the officer.
Additionally, please follow through with the sentiments expressed at the July 22nd City Council meeting. You indicated you would look into the city's policy regarding pets which become involved in police incidents to ensure something like this never happens again. If you don't have such a policy, please enact one. If you do, please ensure it is clear and it is followed.
No one should be forced to just abandon an innocent pet at the side of the road because a police officer refuses to deal with it. That's heartless and unprofessional. Please don't let this happen again.
We thank you for giving this matter the attention it deserves.