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COPY-Couple says dog dies while they are kept waiting for ticket

Associated Press - August 14, 2008 1:05 PM ET

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) - San Marcos police are investigating an officer who stopped a car to an emergency veterinary clinic, then kept the occupants waiting while their poodle died.

Michael Gonzalez was allegedly driving 95 miles per hour when he and girlfriend Krystal Hernandez were stopped early August 5th as they headed south on Interstate 35 toward the New Braunfels clinic. Missy, their teacup poodle, Missy, died while the pair said they waited 20 minutes for Officer Paul Stephens to issue a ticket.

Says San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams, "This was not our finest hour." Williams said the department began an investigation after Gonzalez filed a complaint over the incident.

Gonzalez and Hernandez said they pleaded with Stephens to allow them to continue on and later turn themselves in to be ticketed. They also said they offered for Gonzalez to stay behind while Hernandez drove with Missy to New Braunfels.

Hernandez said Stephens responded: "Chill out, it's just a dog, you can buy another one."

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