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2016-06-02

Joslin: animal control employee fired

By Melissa Cantu Trevino

By Melissa Cantu Trevino
Reprinted by permission
Special to the Courier

(Editor’s note: A post on the Internet alleged that former Animal Control Officer Rose Mary Hawkins had returned to the home of the woman who had originally reported the injured dog. The woman had also snapped photos of Hawkins dragging the dog. Hawkins allegedly issued a veiled threat to the woman. The Courier emailed the City Manager Andy Joslin and asked if this allegation of Official Oppression was being investigated, but has not yet received an answer.)

At approximately 5 pm, Thursday, May 19, Rose Mary Hawkins, an animal control employee with the City of Alice who was under investigation for dragging a wounded dog, was fired, according to City Manager Andy Joslin.
City and police officials began an investigation Wednesday into an incident that involved Hawkins due to a social media post where she allegedly dragged a wounded dog. The picture was posted on Facebook.
When asked for the reason behind Hawkins dismissal, Joslin stated it was a personnel issue.
The City of Alice sent out a statement at approximately 3 pm on Wednesday, which stated they had been informed on Tuesday evening of a social media post about an incident with their Animal Control Department.
The stray dog had been shot three times by an unknown person, officials said. Animal Control was called out and employee Rose Mary Hawkins arrived to pick up the dog.
Law enforcement officers with the Alice Police Department have also conducted an investigation into the unknown assailant that resulted in the dog being shot in an Alice neighborhood.
Sources say the dog was alive at the time, but later had to be euthanized.
According to sources, the investigation into the incident is not complete. “We are in the process of putting everything into place,” said Lt. Luis Barrera, who oversees the Animal Control Department. “We are taking the appropriate measures and cannot elaborate more on the ongoing investigation.”
Lt. Barrera started a criminal and civil investigation into the incident, Joslin stated.
Hawkins was called into the police department to discuss the incident.
“I have nothing to say right now,” Hawkins said. “What people don't understand is that this is a hard job.”
According to Joslin, once the investigation is complete he will review the case and make a decision about any wrongdoing on the part of the city employee.
Texas Code 42.092 under Animal Cruelty states there must be three criteria before charges can be filed. “The criteria is 1) The person must have knowingly or 2) recklessly or 3) intentionally caused the animal harm.”
“Rest assure that we will bring everything to light,” Barrera said. “We must wait until the investigation is complete.”
Anyone with any information about the shooting of the dog is asked to call the Alice Police Department at 361-664-0186.
(This article was originally printed in the Alice Echo News Journal and updated online on May 19 after Hawkins was terminated.)