Laguna Beach police officer adopts injured German shepherd puppy found during search


Laguna Beach police detectives found a cute, cuddly and malnourished surprise earlier this month at the home of a San Bernardino man wanted in connection with a string of car burglaries in Laguna.

While at the house on June 11, detectives discovered a German shepherd puppy who had an injured paw and appeared frightened, Laguna Beach Sgt. David McGill said Thursday in relaying what detectives told him. Detectives had executed a search warrant on the house.

The dog belonged to the parents of Johnny Cervantez, one of the suspects, McGill said.

Cervantez, who lives with his parents, was not home at the time police arrived, McGill said, adding that detectives told the parents to turn in their son and offered to help find a new home for the dog.


Laguna Det. David Gensemer suggested calling the unnamed dog Gordon as tribute to Gordon French, McGill said. French was a Laguna officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1953.

McGill liked Gensemer’s suggestion and shortened the name to Gordo.

“It seemed more fitting for a dog than Gordon,” McGill said.

Another of McGill’s colleagues, reserve Officer Spring Sendele, called rescue groups to inquire about fostering Gordo and decided on Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue Group.

McGill admitted he was interested in bringing Gordo home as a playmate for Stan, his 9-year-old Chihuahua rat terrier mix.

McGill sent a photo to his family and said his youngest daughter replied, “You’re bringing him home, right?”

McGill filled out adoption paperwork and waited. The call came June 16 with news that McGill could take Gordo, who is 9 weeks old, home.

Two days later, on Father’s Day, McGill and his family drove to Hermosa Beach to pick up Gordo at the home of his foster family.

“He’s doing great,” McGill said. “He’s got some puppy behavior. He ate all the peppers off the plant in the backyard. Apparently he likes spicy food.”

And he’s only had a couple of accidents in the house, McGill said.

Cervantez was arrested and is charged with possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, receiving stolen property and grand theft, all misdemeanors, the Daily Pilot reported last week. His arraignment is scheduled July 24.

Redlands resident Rachel Alvarez was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation after pleading guilty to grand theft and receiving stolen property, both misdemeanors, in connection to the vehicle burglaries, according to the Pilot.

Twitter: @AldertonBryce