A landscaper in Fort Worth, Texas, is facing a charge of animal cruelty for allegedly attacking and injuring a woman’s dog with a weed-whacker. According to Friday’s publication of the Star-Telegram, 31-year-old William “Michael” DeWitt, of DeWitt Lawn Care, injured a Labrador retriever mix named “Moxie,” with the gardening device.
Moxie’s owner, Dawn Painter, alleges that she told DeWitt not to enter her backyard if nobody was present to supervise – she claims that she warned the man that Moxie in particular is “wary” of strangers. She told the Star-Telegram, “I made it very clear.”
Despite the alleged warnings, DeWitt was observed “scaling a fence” to enter Painter’s yard. It is surmised that the man entered the yard, without anyone present, in order to get an “early start” on the yard project. In an affidavit, Detective R. Molina described the dog’s injuries after the alleged weed-whacker attack:
“DeWitt used the weed eater on Moxie causing deep lacerations across Moxie’s entire chest, belly and slightly underneath her muzzle.”
A roommate who was home at the time told the authorities that she could hear the weed-whacker and the sound of dogs crying. The roommate confronted the landscaper about the situation and claims that after varying recounts of what took place, the man admitted to hitting the two dogs who were in the yard with the weed-whacker.
Moxie suffered the most serious wounds in the incident and a veterinarian who examined her confirmed that she would have been “in pain” from the wounds. The evidence proved to be enough for DeWitt to be arrested on October 31 and charged with animal cruelty. If convicted, he could face stiff fines and up to two years in jail.