KINGWOOD, Texas - A local family says a CenterPoint Energy contract worker beat their dogs with a pipe wrench at their home.
The incident was captured on the family’s home surveillance video and after it was posted online, has gone viral.
The video, which homeowner Mike Willcox posted to Facebook on Sunday morning, had racked up more than 400,000 views as of 11 p.m. Sunday.
“Right in here where he got hit with the wrench, almost got his eye,” said Willcox, describing some of the injuries on Flash, his 8-year-old Weimaraner bird dog.
A swollen jaw, concussion, and at least $2,000 in vet bills, including a scheduled surgery on Friday, are just some of the impacts the dogs are still recovering from.
The second dog, Shutter, is also an 8-year-old Weimaraner.
“Never bitten anybody, very friendly,” said Willcox, of the dogs. “It was like the guy was swinging to kill.”
Willcox says around 9:40 a.m. on March 23, 2016, a man claiming to be from CenterPoint Energy showed up unannounced in the backyard of his Kingwood home.
Willcox says his home surveillance video shows that man hitting his dog Flash with a pipe wrench.
“You can see the ripple right there,” said Willcox, pointing to the screen while watching the video Sunday afternoon. “It’s where his tooth went flying into the water.”
He says it all happened while his wife and two young children watched from the living room just feet away.
“My 4 year old son was very upset about it,” said Marina Willcox. “He started crying. He was scared.”
Marina says the man told her he was in her backyard to work on the meter and turned down her offer to put the dogs inside.
She says she went to check on Flash, realized he was bleeding, and rushed to tell her husband.
“Now we got more of a problem,” said Mike Willcox. “Now I register we’ve got an issue.”
Mike said he went outside just in time to see the man swing the wrench at Shutter.
“I said ‘I need to know your name,’ and he’s like, ‘CenterPoint’. And I was like, ‘Okay, you need to get off our property before things get really ugly here.’”
Willcox says his father filed a complaint with CenterPoint, but the family has yet to hear back.
Now they’re hoping all of the attention their story is garnering online will lead to action.
“I would love to see some policy changed and get to the bottom of this,” said Willcox.
On Sunday afternoon, Olivia Ross, a spokesperson with CenterPoint Energy, sent KHOU 11 the following statement:
“We have determined that a CenterPoint Energy contractor was at this address on this date. CenterPoint Energy does not condone or tolerate abuse of animals by our employees or our contractors. We have notified the contract company and they have assured us that they will conduct a full investigation into the incident.”
Ross also told KHOU 11 that both employees and contractors are trained in how to deal with animals, which includes asking homeowners to put them inside.
Mike Willcox says he has given a copy of his surveillance footage to the Houston Police Department, who he says will be investigating.