"... their mayor has admitted — without a smidgen of remorse — that for months she's been harboring Puddles, her neighbors' cuddly Shih Tzu.Okay as Mayor she should know the proper way to go about this. Just because you are Mayor doesn't mean you can circumvent the law or interprete it in the way they suits you best.
At first, Mayor Grace Saenz-Lopez lied to the family, telling them that the dog had died while they were vacationing. Now she's refusing to return the pooch, which she calls Panchito. She argues that the dog's owners have forsaken the right to keep such a tender animal because they failed to shower him with loving care when he was ill and needed them most. That's triggered a bizarre custody battle that has both sides howling for sympathy...."
But to lie to these people is just plain cruel.
"... The Puddles-Panchito feud started in the summer, when Rudy Gutierrez and Shelly Cavazos asked Saenz-Lopez to dog-sit their sickly black and white pup while they took their four children to an amusement park.Okay so they weren't so irresponsible to leave the dog without care -- they just need to be a little more careful who they chose to dog-sit. While they may be guilty of being poor pet owners -- the punishment was NOT to be handed out by the mayor in this manner.
Puddles had gotten trapped under their home weeks earlier, and by the time he emerged had been ravaged by fleas. He was deathly ill when the family decided to go away, Gutierrez and Cavazos admit ..."
"... After one day, the mayor called them with terrible news: Puddles was dead.
"We broke the news to the kids on the way home, and they cried," Cavazos said. "Everyone was very upset."
It was easy to believe, given the dog's condition ..."
So the mayor punished the children along with the parents ... actually probably more so. Shame on her!
" ...by small-town happenstance they learned it was a lie. On Halloween, Cavazos' aunt went to a local groomer to scout a potential breeding partner for her Shih Tzu; she was struck by the male dog's uncanny resemblance to Puddles. Then it hit her: It was Puddles.What a way to find out!
"I asked who the owner was, and the groomer said [the city mayor]," the aunt, Sylvia Trevino, recalled... "
".... Authorities initially considered criminal charges, but Jim Wells County Attorney Jesusa Sanchez-Vera declared it a civil matter..."
Well this could go either way, actually. Since dog's are concidered property there is a criminal case here, but being the worth is under $3000 it would be concidered petty theft in many places.
But either way, the mayor blatantly broke the law and needs to be impeached!
Oh it should also be said that Jim Wells County has been linked to several 'questionable' acts in the past.