Owner claims Florida garbage truck driver attacked dog

Posted at 7:20 AM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 10:05:24-04

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. -- A Lehigh Acres dog is without an eye after allegedly being hit with a baseball bat by garbage truck driver.

"They're still in disbelief because they can't see it, it's sewn shut," said Clifford Green, the dog's owner. "The eye itself is gone and I don't think they're going to comprehend it anytime soon, but that's one of the worst things about it."

The swelling makes it difficult to tell, but 9-year-old pit bull 'Buddy' is now living with just one eye.  "They took the eye out and stitched the lids together," said Green.

It was an emergency operation Green says was needed after a garbage truck driver hit his dog with a baseball bat.  "Just out of nowhere the guy felt the need to attack my dog with my kids watching. I still don't understand it," said Green.

Green says he was told the Progressive Waste Solution's driver swung the bat in self-defense.

"He still had no right to get out of a truck and beat my dog with a bat. My dog didn't attack him, my dog didn't attack his helper," said Greene.

Fox 4 contacted Progressive Waste Solutions and was told the employees felt threatened. Chaya Cooperberg, Vice President of Corporate Communication, says during an internal investigation the driver says he only intended to scare the dog off with the bat.

Cooperberg also said the company was unaware the driver was carrying a bat.  "We did not know and I want to be clear we do not condone the presence of bats on our trucks," said Cooperberg.

Progressive Waste Solutions is working with the Lee County Domestic Animal services on the investigation into the incident. The company says they do not plan to discipline the employees involved in the incident.

"Now my dog has to suffer and live with one eye. I'm sure he'll maintain but he had a great normal life with two eyes before this incident occurred," said Green.