MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - MLGW is apologizing after a meter reader pepper-sprayed a family pet in East Memphis on Monday.
Ryan Brown says he heard Roux, a rescue dog he adopted with his wife 3 years ago, barking and looked out his kitchen window to see a MLGW meter reader approaching a gate to his backyard.
"He encounters a dog, feels like the dog is being hostile and coming at him, and as a last resort, he uses the mace," said Glen Thomas, a spokesman for MLGW.
"I saw with my own eyes, that is not what happened, in my opinion, he was intent on getting the meter read," Brown said.
Brown said the meter reader couldn't have felt that threatened because he remained on one side of the fence, and Roux remained on the other.
"At that moment he has to make a judgment call," said Thomas. "He felt his safety was threatened."
"It made me feel upset, I was very upset," Brown said when he heard MLGW's account of the incident. "The only thing I can guess is he wanted to get the meter read so bad he felt it was worth macing my defenseless animal."
"Dog bites are an issue for our field employees, I think we have had about 45 in the last five years," Thomas said.
Thomas said MLGW looked into the incident and apologized to Brown.
Brown says Roux will be ok. He just wants to make sure what happened to her, doesn't happen to other dogs.
"I don't want to cost anyone their job, I don't," he said. "I don't want anything else besides no dogs to get maced. That's my whole point."