In Houston, the owner of a 14 year old Chihuahua named Guero gave a friend a lift on July 13, taking the pet along for the car ride. A Houston police officer stopped the vehicle for failing to signal a turn. And because Houston apparently takes turn signals terrible-awful seriously, the officer decided to search the SUV. The search turned up prescription medication belonging to the passenger. But the officer decided to arrest both men. BECAUSE TURN SIGNAL.
The officer called for a tow truck to impound the vehicle but refused to call anyone to pick up Guero. The owner, Mr. Garcia, pleaded to be allowed to call someone himself but the officer refused. In Houston, animal control can be reached by calling 311 but the officer refused to make that call nor would he allow the owner to make it. They were 2 blocks away from AC, at the side of the highway ramp.
Instead, the officer instructed the tow truck driver to leave the dog at the side of the road. Mr. Garcia begged for Guero’s life, explaining that the pet was nearly blind from cataracts and needed medication. The officer replied that it wasn’t his problem.
Charges against Mr. Garcia were dropped (apparently not everyone in Houston is on the same page when it comes to zero tolerance for turn signal criminals). The family put up Lost Pet signs in the area and received a call a few days later from someone advising that a dog matching the description was at the side of the road where the officer had ordered he be abandoned. The caller was unable to help the dog due to the heavy traffic. The family went to the area and found their pet dead, having been hit by a car. They wrapped Guero in a towel, took him home and buried him.
Mrs. Garcia filed a complaint with the Houston police department. Receiving no response, she addressed the city council on July 22. There she received a public apology from the mayor. The police department will investigate itself in the matter, which may take 6 months.
In the meantime, I suggest the unnamed Houston police officer whose reckless disregard for the life of a member of the Garcia family and the tow truck driver who was just following orders when he abandoned the helpless pet at the side of the road ask themselves some serious questions. Starting with What The Fucking Hell? The tow truck company isn’t responding to the media, instead hiding behind the police department’s skirts. And the police department is busy looking for turn signal violators apparently.
Here’s my question: How does Houston deal with asshats who leave blind dogs in traffic? If the police officer and tow truck driver aren’t dealt with in exactly the same manner in this case, I call shenanigans on the city of Houston.
Mrs. Garcia says her family has been torn apart by the death of Guero, who had been part of their family his entire life. In an interview with the local ABC affiliate, she tearfully said:
I felt so much pain, like I never knew I had.
We get it Mrs. Garcia. Pets are family. Good on you for refusing to give up in trying to get justice for Guero.
(Thanks Lisa and Davyd.)