Greg Abbott, the man who hopes to succeed Rick Perry as governor of Texas, has supported the criminalization of sodomy, doesn’t believe carbon dioxide is a pollutant, crushed abortion rights and doesn’t believe the American With Disabilities Act is Constitutional even though he’s paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair after being hit by a falling tree.
Now, he’s decided not to help a dying 16-year-old Dachshund.
John Mark Cobern is the county attorney for Titus, Texas and he brings his ancient chocolate colored Dachshund named Belle with him to his office every day, that is, until bureaucrats removed the dog from the office when they decided to ban all animals from the courthouse.
Belle is suffering from Cushing's Disease, a glandular disorder that often affects older dogs. Cobern made a plea to keep his dog at the courthouse because it keeps him safe. He appealed to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for help.
“The primary reason for bringing my dog to the county office was to make my office a safer work environment,” Cobern wrote in his appeal. “My job responsibilities require me to interact with pro-se criminal defendants and parents whose parental rights may be terminated, among others. This frequently results in having to interact with the mentally ill and potentially unstable individuals.
“These are the types of individuals who are prone to extreme acts of violence such as the mass shootings we have witnessed recently. It has been my experience that a dog's presence often can have a calming effect these individuals. With the violence directed towards prosecutors, I feel that a dog's presence in my office makes my work environment safer.
“This particular animal has never bitten anyone and the breed is not known to be aggressive.”
In a similar kind of ruling, the attorney general's office ruled that a commissioners court can't ban smoking in the office of an independently elected official, even if it's made the courthouse itself a smoke-free environment. Cobern was asking the same for the dog ban.
But no, the man who may hope to be governor of Texas issued his official legal opinion in the case of Belle and decided the dog couldn’t go to the office anymore with Cobern.
In a world where Republicans seem to rail against government intervention and allow freedom and liberty, and where taking your gun around is an unquestioned right, it’s obviously a problem to bring your old Dachshund to work in Texas.
“I’d just like to have my dog back with me,” Cobern said.