All About Animals

All About Animals

Blind Woman Says Law Enforcement Offered No Help to Her Dying Service Dog

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A blind South Florida woman said in her time of need, Miami-Dade Police and 911 turned their back on her and because of that, the service animal who took her everywhere is dead. NBC 6's Willard Shepard has the exclusive report. (Published Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014)

    A blind South Florida woman said in her time of need, Miami-Dade Police and 911 turned their back on her and because of that, the service animal who took her everywhere is dead.

    Nancy Alfonso said she was dining at a restaurant in Doral with another woman who also had her dog, when Alfonso’s dog became violently ill. Nancy said the dog, named Kiroo, was in good health until he started vomiting inside the restaurant.

    Alfonso said she was begging for help to rush the dog to the vet, which was about a mile away. However, the women said a police officer who was at the scene and a 911 operator didn’t lift a finger to help.

    “He (Kiroo) needed help and inside the restaurant was the police,” Alfonso said. “He (officer) came out at the door and he said, “Ah, it’s a dog” and he went inside too. Nobody helped us.”

    The manager at the restaurant told NBC 6 the dog was lying on the pavement and a uniformed Miami-Dade Police officer was eating inside.

    “Luz asked the police, ‘You don’t have a service dog with you too? What if this happened to your dog,” Nancy said. “And he said we’ll take to our car. And you cannot take this animal who is a guide dog for a blind person? You don’t care about a blind person?”

    The manager said he called 911 and told them it was a service dog in trouble.

    “They were no help at all,” Nancy said.

    Nancy and her friend estimated that 45 minutes passed before a Good Samaritan drove Kiroo to the Doral Centre Animal Hospital. Unfortunately for Kiroo, it was too late.

    Miami-Dade Police said there is nothing in their policy that directs an officer to transport an animal. A disability expert NBC 6 spoke to said the situation falls into a gray area and a law enforcement officer may have more of a duty to take action than the 911 operator.

    MDPD said before they can even investigate the incident further, they need to confirm that it was a MDPD officer on the scene and an official complaint about what happened would need to be filed and none of that has happened.

    Nancy said she hopes her story will help prevent the incident from happening again.

    “To bring people more conscious that the dog is of course not a human being, but the dog is a service animal and we are human. We are human. Blind, but we are human,” Nancy said. “And the police department also has service animals.”

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