ONG Worker Charged with Animal Cruelty in Pug Death
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
MUSTANG, Oklahoma -- An Oklahoma Natural Gas worker who Mustang Police say admitted to hitting and killing a family's pet is now being charged with a felony.
"We have charged the worker with one count of animal cruelty," said Canadian County District Attorney Paul Hess.
The worker has been identified as 22-year-old Kyle Alan McCormack. ONG spokesperson Don Sherry responded to the charge saying, "We reemphasize that our reaction is of deep regret. We do not condone the abuse of any animals."
The charge stems from an incident that happened back on June 22. According to the owners of Mimi, a Chinese Pug, McCormack came to their house to shut off their gas after they forgot to pay their bill. While there they say McCormack hit and killed their dog with a wrench.
"I am very happy it's going as far as it has," said the dog's owner Cindi Holderbee. "I feel like he should definitely have charges against him, get what he deserves."
The family says Mimi weighed 16 pounds, was nearly blind and had missing teeth. Despite that Mustang Police say McCormack told them he hit the dog out of self-defense.
"He felt he was in danger, we are not taking a position on this, that is what he said," Sherry said.
"I just don't know if I could believe that just because she was such a small dog, just her temperament in nature. I just don't see it in her to attack anyone," Holderbee said.
ONG said because McCormack was working when the incident happened they are paying for his legal expenses, however, they ask people not be angry with them.
"This says nothing about our opinion of what happened. This says nothing about advocating violence or use of force against dogs. It's simply an expression of our obligation to our employees," said Sherry.
The incident has garnered a lot of public reaction, so much so, there is now a web site with nearly 500 signatures advocating for McCormack's firing. It's why ONG wants the public to know they are sorry and don't condone the actions of their employee.
"We understand the trauma and the sadness this incident has created, and how upset people are by it," Sherry said.
ONG spokesperson said McCormack has made arrangements to turn himself in and has also sought private legal council. As for the animal cruelty charge, it carries a maximum five-year sentence and or $500 fine.
While the case is being tried in the courts, ONG said McCormack will continue to work for them but has been reassigned and is no longer going to customer's homes.