KINGWOOD, Texas – A family has filed a complaint after watching a CenterPoint Energy contract worker beat and severely injure their dogs in Kingwood. The family released a video Sunday showing the incident on Facebook, which the homeowner later shared with News4Jax sister station KPRC in Houston.
The homeowner, Mike Willcox, said a CenterPoint Energy worker entered his backyard unannounced around 9:45 a.m. March 23, and caught the attention of his two Weimaraners. When the dogs -- named Flash and Shutter -- approached the contractor, the video shows him swinging at the animals with a pipe wrench.
Willcox said the contractor went into the backyard to read the house's meter without informing the family first.
"Honestly, I'm really upset [at] the fact he stepped into our backyard like that and he was swinging to kill my family pets," Willcox said. "It just made me wonder how many other times that guy's done that."
Willcox said he, his wife and their 4-year-old son watched the attack go down from a window about 5 feet away. According to CenterPoint Energy, the worker seen in the video is not an employee with the company but a contract worker.
Willcox said Flash suffered a concussion, a cut below the eye and a lost tooth. According to the family, Shutter's injuries require surgery.
The family members said they later filed a complaint with CenterPoint Energy.
CenterPoint Energy released a statement Monday that read, "Like many of those we heard from today, we were disappointed to see that a contractor working on our behalf hurt our customer's pets. We absolutely understand the reaction to these images. We must reiterate that CenterPoint Energy does not condone or tolerate the abuse of animals by anyone. We have launched an investigation internally. The contract company has assured us that they are also conducting a full investigation. We are reviewing our processes to ensure that we continue to respect customers’ property and pets. Thank you for your messages today."
The family said its dogs are "non-aggressive" and have never bitten anyone. The Willcoxes hope viewers will share the link to the video. Willcox said he hopes increased awareness of the situation will encourage the company to change its policy regarding how workers handle pets.