PetSmart worker accused of abusing dogs

HOUSTON – A PetSmart worker was accused of throwing a chemical on two dogs while working on the job.

Ezekiel Reynard Pitts said very little as he left home Friday morning. However, court documents show Pitts was charged with the felony offense of cruelty to an animal. He was accused of throwing a caustic cleaning disinfectant on two dogs in February when he worked at the PetSmart on the West Loop just south of 59.

Investigators said two animals, named Tulip and Nala, got sick while they were at the store. Police said surveillance video showed Pitts measuring a poisonous and toxic cleaning agent then throwing it onto the two dogs. Police said Pitts knew better, because he had been retrained after he, himself, was injured by the chemical.

Police said Pitts told them he was having a rough day, and one of the dogs had nipped at him, so he threw the cleaner on a dog, and the dog jumped up, spilling more. However, court documents showed Pitts appeared to go directly to the dogs and throw the chemical on them. The documents show PetSmart took the dogs to a veterinarian and were found to have a long list of problems. PetSmart confirms Tulip died and that Pitts no longer works at the store. 

Petsmart released a statement saying, “We are heartbroken by the loss of Tulip and injuries sustained by Nala. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of pets, and we take full responsibility for the pets in our care. We immediately conducted an internal investigation, and based on our findings, we initiated contact with the local police. We are continuing to work with the police as they investigate this matter. Additionally, the individual involved is no longer employed by PetSmart. Any incident of animal cruelty goes against everything we believe as a company and as individual pet parents. No words can express our deep sorrow for the family.”

An arrest warrant was issued for Pitts’ arrest.