Dog Gone: Cop Misconduct Goes Unpunished

Published by PETA.

Some officious cop in San Marcos, Texas, recently thought it a better idea to berate a grieving couple instead of helping them get their dying dog to a veterinary hospital. Krystal Hernandez held Missy, a choking teacup poodle, as Michael Gonzalez rushed south along I-35 from their home toward the New Braunfels Veterinarian Clinic. The trio sped by Officer Paul Stephens at 95 miles per hour in a 70 miles per hour zone.

The rookie officer pulled the couple over, then called for backup. After Stephens pulled the couple over, things got really crazy.

Once Officer Stephens realized that the dog was in danger (according to him, Missy’s tongue was out of her mouth, and she was unmoving), he gave Hernandez and Gonzalez a hard time instead of a helping hand. As another officer struggled to clear Missy’s airway and administered CPR, Stephens lectured Gonzalez about his driving and imparted this insightful jewel: “It’s a dog, OK? You can get another one. Relax.” Check out the video below:



The officers claimed that the dog was already dead at that point, so there was no emergency.

San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams ordered a reprimand against Stephens, who is 23 and has served as an officer for 15 months, but found him not guilty of misconduct. The department also discussed dismissing Gonzalez’s speeding ticket.

Gonzalez filed a complaint against the officer and claimed that valuable time was wasted, which resulted in Missy’s death. Choking is a deadly serious matter and appeared in recent headlines when Oprah Winfrey lost one of her beloved dogs last year from a choking accident. We recommend reading up on the Heimlich maneuver for dogs. We also recommend asking the San Marcos Police Department to implement a sensible strategy for cases like this one that involves training for these situations and disciplinarian action should the death of an animal result from an officer’s nonchalant and overbearing attitude. That’s what community relations classes are for. Get involved here.

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— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind