Yorkie Dies After Incident Involving Meter Reader

The Humane Society is investigating an animal cruelty case in Redlands

A meter reader was under fire on Friday after a woman complained he struck her dog with his baton, fatally wounding the 5-year-old Yorkshire terrier.

Cathy Rodriguez said a meter reader with the Southern California Gas Company came by her Redlands home Thursday to check the meter. He used his baton to strike her 9-pound dog, Bean Bean, she said.

"It's uncalled for," she said. "He needs to be in jail."

Through tears, Rodriguez said the meter reader told her he had been bitten three times that day and it wasn't his problem.

Anne Silva, a Gas Company spokeswoman, said in a statement the worker, whom she did not indentify, "did not follow the company's policies and procedures." The statement did not say what punishment the worker faces or what policy he violated.

"Pets hold a special place in our hearts and minds and we feel very badly," she said.

Animal contol officers are investigating the case to determine what, if any, charges would be filed.

Rodriguez said that when the meter reader arrived at her home, she told him to until she put her three dogs away before he opened up the gate.

She said he went in despite her request and her dogs confronted him. He used rubber stick to strike Bean Bean in the head, said Rodriguez, through tears.

She rushed her dog to an animal hospital, but Bean Bean died, said Frank Padilla, humane officer with the Humane Society of San Bernardino.

A necropsy has been performed, but the official cause of death has not yet been released. Padilla said that the Yorkie dog suffered from blunt force trauma to the head.

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