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Gas Meter Reader Killed Yorkie With Rubber Baton

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A Southern California Gas Company meter reader who fatally hit a yorkie at a Redlands home with a rubber baton is off the hook.

The Humane Society presented the case to the San Bernardino District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, but prosecutors decided to not file charges against the employee. They weren't able to determine that the employee intentionally meant to kill the dog, according to CBS Los Angeles and the San Bernardino Sun.

Cathy Rodriguez told the Press-Enterprise that she saw the meter reader walk up to her home on the 1400 block of Washington Street on April 24. She said that she told the employee to wait outside until she brought her three yorkies inside the house. However, he didn't listen to her instructions and her dogs began barking at him and came up to him.

“They’re not vicious. But Ziggy … might have nipped him on the pants,” she told the Press-Enterprise. “I was calling (the dogs) into the house, and I turn around and he’s in my yard with the fence shut. He couldn’t wait.”

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Rodriguez says the meter reader used a rubber baton-like stick (that some employees use to shoo away animals) to hit her five-year-old dog named Bean Bean. She claims he said he had been already bitten three times that day and it wasn't his problem he hit her dog. The six-pound dog later died at an animal hospital from blunt force trauma to her head.

“She didn’t have a mean bone in her body,” Rodriguez told the Press-Enterprise. “That’s why it’s so heartbreaking.”

The Human Society's cruelty investigation officers will be working with the Southern California Gas Company to discuss protocols with meter readers.

UPDATE 5/2/14, 11:00 a.m.: The Southern California Gas Company told CBS Los Angeles that they fired the employee that killed the yorkie:

“The individual no longer works for the company. Again, the employees of SoCalGas send their condolences to the Rodriguez family for their loss. SoCalGas’ meter reading policies and training are designed to avoid situations that can negatively impact the safety of both our meter readers and customers’ pets and we are working with the Humane Society to review our procedures,” said company spokesperson Anne Silva.

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