Wanted: ACO in TX. Must Not Hate Pets.

I don’t trust an animal control officer who doesn’t have a single pet.  Case in point:  Meet the petless ACO for Galena Park, Texas, Juan Enrique Hernandez.  On February 16, a local family woke up in the middle of the night to find their 2 month old puppy missing from their fenced yard.  Neighbors report seeing the town’s ACO taking the puppy away.  The reason for taking the puppy is a mystery.  As is the explanation for why the ACO allegedly shot the pup and dumped the body in a trash bin.  When the owners showed up at the shelter to redeem the pup, the ACO denied taking him.  The owners went to the police:

Instead of answering why he may have shot the dog, Hernandez told investigators that he put the body in the trash bin on that day because it was scheduled to be emptied soon, [Assistant Harris County District Attorney Belinda] Smith said. He told police he did not want the carcass to stay in the bin for another week.

Mr. Hernandez was charged with animal cruelty and is free on bond.  The city bought the owners a new puppy and changed the hold period on strays from 3 to 5 days.  The judge ordered Mr. Hernandez to have no contact with animals, which won’t be a problem since he doesn’t have any pets.   City officials put Mr. Hernandez on administrative duty elsewhere in the city and hired a new ACO.  Hopefully one who likes pets.  Or at least doesn’t run around town under cover of night, stealing puppies and shooting them to death.

“Why he went out and did this is beyond me,” Galena Park Police Chief Robert Pruett said. “We’ll let the jury decide, but I’d say it’s a clear-cut case. It’s pretty cut and dried.”

Meanwhile, the owner of the puppy Mr. Hernandez allegedly stole and killed is left wondering:

“If he did it to my puppy, what other animals did he do that to?”

6 thoughts on “Wanted: ACO in TX. Must Not Hate Pets.

  1. I don’t understand how he kept even an administrative job. I guess they’re waiting for the results of the trial before making a final determination of guilt and firing him?

    1. That would be my thinking too. He has to be treated like everyone else in the justice system, that is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

  2. I disagree that a person has to have a pet in order to make a decent ACO. I knew a couple who worked long hours at the shelter, did their best to place a lot of generally unadoptable dogs (read black, Pit Bull, Rottie, etc) but didn’t have pets. This is because they worked 12-15 hour days and didn’t feel comfortable taking on the responsibility of another living being who they couldn’t provide superb care to. :)

    That’s a really creepy story. I am left wondering why an 8-week old puppy is alone in a yard. That isn’t an excuse, just more of a what are they thinking sort of deal. I certainly hope he is fired or never allowed to work with animals. Shooting an 8-week old puppy is inexcusable, that’s even ignoring the whole trespassing and theft business!

    1. I intended it to be taken as a generalization. I generally feel people involved in caring for pets should be pet owners. That’s not to say someone who owns pets and has a job taking care of pets is be definition a swell person. Or the other way around, as in the person you mention. Just a general feeling of mine.

  3. Just as the more I hear about the Catholic hierarchy the more I think South Park nailed it (http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/103969), the more I encounter “ACOs” these days, the more I think the Little Rascals had it covered (http://ourgang.wikia.com/wiki/The_Pooch).

    I got this really skewed view of ACOs years ago, from one of my training mentors who is a PROFESSIONAL ACO and conducts herself as such. Notsomuch around here.

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