US

Pet Sitter Hired Through Rover Seen on Video Throwing Puppy on Floor

By Zachary Stieber

A video camera inside a California house captured the moment a pet sitter hurled a puppy on the floor.

The camera was rolling when the animal abuse took place and the dog’s owners received alerts on their phones due to the motion detected by the camera, reported KABC.

The husband shouted at the pet sitter and told her to leave.

She apologized and departed the home. She had been hired through the popular Rover website.

Animal Control is probing what happened.

“It’s heartbreaking because the reason we use a pet sitter is because we love our pet and we don’t want to leave her unattended for very long because she is a baby,” said Amanda Roy, one of the owners of the dog.

Rover said in a statement: “The activity depicted in this video is shocking and appalling. We have permanently deactivated this sitter from our platform and will continue to investigate. Any incident of this nature is extremely rare on our platform, and we take it very seriously.”

Staffordshire bull terrier
A dog is walked in a file photograph. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Reports of Dead Dogs

Issues with abuse by Rover sitters have been cropping up for years, and some pet owners said their dogs died while being cared for by Rover sitters.

“We feel that she took Winnie out for a walk when it was too hot and left her out for too long,” Lauren Astor told NBC LA.

“They deceive everybody,” added her partner Jason Richardson.

They urged Rover to remove the pet sitter from the website but said the site did not.

Another woman said her dog fell off of a balcony after the pet sitter took the dog out there after being told not to.

The woman started a Facebook page for people who suffered similar situations.

‘Wag!’ Walker Charged

A dog walker hired through another application, Wag!, was charged last year after home video captured him kicking and whipping a dog.

Adam Vavrus was seen hitting the dog on Dec. 17, 2018, in Danville, California.

“These people are in your homes. They’re walking your dog. They take care of a part of your family,” David Brown, one of the dog’s owners, told KTVU.

“I had no idea, when you read [Wag!’s] app, they say they vigorously background check their people. It does not say they only do that once,” added Miranda Fulks, the other owner.

Vavrus walked their dogs for several weeks before he called them and said one of the dogs was throwing up blood, prompting the couple to take the dog to a veterinarian, who said it was a sign of extreme stress.

That prompted the couple to review their home surveillance video footage. They saw Vavrus hitting the dog after showing up to the house with four other dogs.

Vavrus told KTVU in an email that the dog bit him. He “needed to test Olly and make sure he understood who the pack leader was.”

Wag! offered the couple a $369 refund and $100 in credit, which the couple didn’t accept, calling it a “hush letter.”

Wag! told KTVU that Vavrus was fired, adding, “We do a robust vetting process that includes an application and verification process, a third-party background check, and two online tests covering dog safety and handling knowledge that each applicant must pass to be approved to work on our platform.”