Target: Victor Rodriguez, Chief of Police, City of McAllen Police Department
Goal: Thank investigators for quickly laying charges against officer suspected of leaving K-9 in a hot car unattended.
A police officer has been arrested after leaving his K-9 partner unattended in a squad car, killing it. The Belgian Malinois, named Rex, was a three-year veteran of the San Juan police force, and was working on the SWAT special assignment unit before he died. According to the police chief, the death was definitely heat related, though official cause of death will need to be determined by a necropsy.
According to police, Officer Juan Luis Cerrillo Jr., who was responsible for the care of his K-9 partner, left the dog in his vehicle after returning home. The dog was left in the car in 100 degree Fahrenheit heat for several hours. When Cerrillo finally remembered the dog, he called police. Responding officers from the McAllen Police Department found that Rex was already dead.
Officer Cerrillo was immediately suspended without pay pending an internal investigation. He was charged with cruelty to a non-livestock animal, and could face up to a year in county jail and a $4,000 fine if found guilty. If convicted of this class A misdemeanor, he would also become ineligible to obtain a police officer license.
Police officers caring for K-9 officers have a duty to ensure the well-being of their partners. This officer’s negligent failure to do so resulted in the death of an animal that has done a great service to the citizens of San Juan. All too often in these cases, we see officers get off with a lax punishment. Sign the petition below to praise the harsh charges against this officer.
Dear Mr. Rodriguez,
A K-9 officer is dead after his caregiver allegedly forgot him in a hot car in the height of summer heat. The dog, a Belgian Malinois named Rex, was found dead in the squad car when Officer Juan Luis Cerrillo Jr. remembered him, several hours later.
Officers charged with the care of a K-9 take on important responsibilities, and an innocent dog is dead because this officer neglected to perform these responsibilities. The animal cruelty charge laid against him, which carries a potential one-year jail sentence and a $4,000 fine, could also ensure that this he is barred from the police force. We, the undersigned, applaud you for moving to quickly bring justice to Rex.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Micheal Pereckas