Woman blames Pine Belt pest control company for her dog's death

Woman blames Pine Belt pest control company for her dog's death
Source: Tracie Walters.

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Jones County family is searching for answers after they say a local exterminator killed their dog earlier this month.

But, it wasn't the pesticide that caused the death.  Tracie Walters said it was a hit by the local pest control company's employee that lead to her dog's death.

"Anyone that's ever come and sprayed knew that Boo Boo was blind, knew that he was old," Walters said.  "All of eleven pounds and it was his room, there's a pet trap door in there."

Walters said Boo Boo usually hid under the bed and would stick out his nose to smell whoever walked into the bedroom. That's when she believes the man with the pest control company hit Boo Boo on the head.

Alberta Henderson said she was in the bathroom, right next to the bedroom, when it happened.

"I heard a noise and I walked out of the bathroom and he said 'you need to go check on the dog, I hit him with the wand, the end of the sprayer.'  So, I went in there and the dog was laying down, he was out of it," Henderson said.  "He had been hit between the ears, there was a lick between his ears and he was bloody."

Walters said she took Boo Boo to the veterinarian, where she was told the best option for the dog was to be euthanized.  The family then drove the dog to Mississippi State University for an autopsy.  Walters said she is still waiting on results.

"Anything is hard to do right now," Walters said. "I can't, when I go in my room I just start crying, the memories of him come back."

Walters showed WDAM 7 blood spots on the carpet of the bedroom, as well as on the comforter in the bedroom.  She said she did talk to the owner of the pest control company, who apologized for the loss of her pet.

"I know some people say 'well he was just a dog.'  No, Boo Boo was not just a dog," Walters said.  "None of my animals are just animals, they are part of my family."

Walters said a Jones County Sheriff's Deputy was called to the home and a report was made.  Sheriff Alex Hodge said from that report it was concluded the incident was a civil matter, not criminal.

"We did not see any criminal intent on behalf of this technician to go into the house and cause this dog any type of bodily harm," Hodge said.  "It's unfortunate the dog was injured in this case.  As a result of the information that was provided to us, we referred the case to justice court. "

"I would beg to differ," Walters said.  "He came into this home and struck Boo Boo, my blind dog."

Walters said she would like to see the person responsible to face more charges.

"The family was referred to Justice Court, it is my understanding at this time that they have in fact filed charges and appropriately so the judge in justice court will hear this case," said Hodge.

"The pest control man came into our home, into our bedroom and Boo Boo never walked again," said Walters.  "I just want the law enforcement, the justice court system to treat it like Boo Boo's life mattered."

Walters said this incident brings the conversation of animal abuse in the state to light.  She believes the man who hit her dog, leading to it's death, should face animal abuse charges.  But, in Mississippi, there must be proof a person committed the act to be charged with a felony.

WDAM 7 reached out to the owner of the pest control company. Calls were not returned Monday.

"These animals that we have in our home, they are our family and they are our loved ones," Walters said.  "They can't be replaced, so I would really encourage other pest control companies, other service oriented companies, please train your employees. Don't let this happen to another animal."