A meter reader is under police investigation after the Tulsa city worker allegedly beat a resident’s 5-pound dog to death with a metal rod.
Julie Bailey told KJRH that she was on the front porch of her Tulsa, Oklahoma home with her two dogs when a city worker arrived to read the water meter.
When he entered the yard, her small, 5-pound dogs ran toward the meter reader, their leash trailing behind them as they approached him.
“They were still on the leash. The leash was going down the yard. I immediately got up to chase after the leashes so I could step on them, but they were faster than I was,” she said.
When 6-year old Thumper reached the city worker, Bailey says he reared back and swung a metal rod, the tool used to open the water meter cover, striking Thumper in the head.
Although Thumper dropped after the first strike, Bailey says the man continued beating her.
“I could see Thumper right down by the manhole cover. Thumper was down, and the man picked up and went like that and like that on top of Thumper twice after Thumper was not moving,” she said, demonstrating how he continued striking the dog after he was already down.
That’s when the city worker told Bailey to call his supervisor and left the home, leaving the homeowner standing in her yard, holding Thumper who was now seizing and bleeding.
She rushed him to a veterinarian, but the damage to his skull was too extensive to be repaired. The 5-pound, 6-year old dog died.
The City of Tulsa has since fired the employee and Tulsa Police have launched an investigation into the dog’s death.
Jean Letcher, with Tulsa Animal Welfare Shelter explained, “We are not determining whether someone is guilty; we are putting together the best information in the case we can to present to the District Attorney.”
The investigation is ongoing. If found guilty of animal abuse, the worker could face up to five years in prison.
The Mayor of Tulsa reached out to the Bailey family with condolences, explaining that water meter readers are required to undergo mandatory training in dog encounters, including the use of mace as a deterrent.