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Share Your Own Story.
Our mission is to improve statewide regulations related to independent pet sitters, boarders, and trainers.
Beloved, furry family members go missing, are stolen, sold, neglected, or even killed while under the care of pet sitters, trainers, groomers, and boarding facilities more often than you may realize.
These dog care businesses need to be held to higher standards and regulations. We are seeking to change legislation and to accomplish this, we want to make it clear how large of an issue this really is.
We need your help.
We need to hear your story.
Together, we will create change.
The stories below can be hard to read. Some have a happy ending and others don’t. However, each story shines a bright light on the greater issue we want to solve.
Kano was originally given to me as a foster pup by a co-worker. Kano’s primary caretaker and the owner were sadly diagnosed with health issues and temporarily placed in a care facility. Her son lived with her but was incarcerated once again for DUI and related charges.
As a result, Kano was abandoned in a home with no heat in the frigid winter. The other dog in the home was discovered deceased and decaying amongst the house debris.
Kano arrived at my home on February 18th. He was dirty, horribly emaciated, and so dehydrated that his coat was plagued with dandruff, his lips were cracked and bleeding, and his eyes were bloodshot and cloudy. He was later diagnosed with a double ear infection, interdigital dermatitis, conjunctivitis, separation anxiety, and atopic dermatitis.
Under my care, Kano thrived. On March 26th, during a meeting at a local dog park, Kano’s owner told me and my boyfriend that we could keep Kano: “I can see how happy he is, and how much he loves you and you love him. Keep the dog.” We were officially a family. Or so we thought.
At the end of April, the son was released from jail and began demanding “his dog” be returned. A grueling legal battle for custody of Kano followed. Despite days of testimony about the abandonment, neglect, and abuse Kano suffered, even with no proof that Kano was registered or licensed to this man, on Friday, September 16, 2022, the Gloucester Township civil court of NJ ruled that Kano be returned to this man’s custody.
The two deciding factors were: 1.) that there was no physical “receipt” for Kano’s owner relinquishing her ownership, and 2.) Kano, like all pets, is considered PROPERTY.
According to the current laws, pets are no different than a TV or toaster. Therefore, Kano’s best interests don’t matter.
I started a petition to change the laws:
– Sofia M
Charley & Nellie‘s Story
May 23, 2020, BOTH my dogs, Charley-a Blue Weimaraner, and Nellie-an Aussiedoodle mix, vanished without a trace from a pet sitter’s house who I hired on ROVER. Many people have suffered losses like mine at the hands of sitters hired on apps.
There is so much foul play that is hidden from the public eye, and so many victims like myself and my beloved dogs. The law does not protect us or our animals. I did everything right, except I trusted a “vetted” pet sitter and thought the “Rover Guarantee” would protect my pets.
I used Rover for years. Successfully. Both my dogs were microchipped. Both supposedly had their collars on. My boy Charley has a condition called megaesophagus and needs a special chair to ensure his food and water make it to his stomach properly. I was OCD with his care. You’d never know his illness by looking at him.
Sadly, I don’t know how he could still be alive. My sweet beautiful Nellie girl was only six months old and in perfect health. Such a little sweetheart. Thankfully, I had her spayed early and she could not be used as a breeding dog. She and Charley were immediately the best of friends. Dogs don’t vanish. Mine did. Never a photo, a sighting, or a single clue as to what happened.
My $15,000 reward has not been enough. Their story immediately went viral in my community, and hundreds were out looking the very day they vanished. I have spent well over $50,000 doing everything I could think of from scent dogs, private investigators, and news and radio stories, to billboards, flyers, and mailings. There is a TikTok post with over 4.4M views. Posts on their dedicated Facebook page (Bring Charley and Nellie Home) have tens of thousands of likes and shares. Hundreds still look.
Many reach out to me on almost a daily basis. The Rover sitter’s efforts were a joke. Rover as a company hardly did anything. A few flyers and a $100 reward. Foul play happened at some point. What really happened?
WHERE are my dogs?!!! My children and I have no closure.
– Joy C
Nutella Rose‘s Story
Nutella Rose was born on June 4th, 2020. On July 16th, 2022 I took her to the groomer who was working out of her home at the time. I got a call at 1:32 pm that day saying they had left her unattended on the table for roughly 10 minutes. I have messages of the groomer admitting and apologizing. We rushed to her house and performed CPR all the way to the nearest Vet. Nutella did not make it. She was healthy. She just had blood work done 2 weeks prior because I have annual bloodwork done on all my dogs to ensure their health. I was supposed to take her sister with her that day to the grooming appointment- but only Nutella went. She should have never been left unattended on a grooming table to jump off. I was then told ” she never jumped before” – implying that she has left her alone prior. Nothing was done to this place of business and when trying to make a police report we basically got shrugged off. Groomer paid for cremation, then told me I could have just buried her and didn’t have to make a huge fuss since she apologized through text. I still have all messages admitting to this if anyone is interested in seeing the story further.
We are located in South Texas.
Nutella should have never been left unattended.
Leia’s story resonates with our family so much because we still have Honey, Nutella’s sister from a different litter and it impacted her and our whole family.
This was preventable.
If a child was left unattended, it would be a different course of action- Nutella was a life lost to something that could have been prevented.
– Molleigh F.
Morgan Hill, CA
We lost our sweet English bulldog, Lucy, to our pet sitter who left for an appt and left her teenage niece in charge, who left the side door open to the back, where they just put in a pool and Lucy drowned. Lucy was in the water for over 3 hours, according to the vet. We were gutted. We decided not to sue to drag out the situation and feel like there is a special place for someone like her. To add to the loss she ran a daycare with little kids. This happened on June 14, 2022, and we still have not received an apology or Lucy’s items returned. No offer to help with the cremation, nothing. We found Nicole Edsberg on Nextdoor and I hope to god she no longer is watching animals let alone children.
I boarded my Doberman Rocky for four days at a veterinarian clinic in Austin, Texas. I was assured that they would walk him and take good care of him.
When I returned and picked him up his paws were cut and bleeding from apparently trying to get out of an enclosure, he had a fever and his eyes were matted. I took him to another vet to be treated. They treated him and gave him antibiotics. I wrote a letter to the vet who had boarded him and sent him the vet bill. He paid it without hesitation. Even though it was terrible neglect and cruelty on their part, I felt guilty for having trusted him. Rocky got well and lived for years after that but I have learned never to board a high-energy dog like a Doberman. If you must leave then get someone to stay with them at home or take them with you. It always hurts me to think they did this to him. I own another Doberman now and I take him with me when I leave in our motorhome. I just can’t leave him with anyone. That veterinarian clinic is no longer in business. They closed many years ago.
Our oldest dog Leon was at daycare. They had a staff member dress up as a giant Easter bunny. A dog standing near Leon freaked out. He attacked Leon and punctured his neck. The daycare said he just had a minor wound, hair pulled out. We didn’t inspect it because we trusted them. Four days later he had developed a large abscess. He required emergency surgery to survive. Thankfully he has made a full recovery. It was extremely traumatic for him and us.
I have a special needs dog, who’s diagnosed with refractory epilepsy. That means drug resistant and cluster seizes. So he’s on anticonvulsant meds every four hours, every day.
I had to go out of town for the first time since my pup was diagnosed so I got on Rover to start searching. The Rover sitter I found, specifically mentioned she had experience with special needs dogs, oral meds, and injections, all of which my dog gets daily. She came over, we met, she met my dog, told her the routine, and she seemed fine to help. My dog did have a few cluster seizures under her care. This means she needed to give him his rescue med, which is a federally controlled substance and is hard for even me to get from the pharmacy for my dog. My dog’s seizures are hard and traumatic, so for her inconvenience, I paid her an additional $100 outside the Rover app.
I came home to find that his brand-new rescue med bottle, had 2 pills in it. 6 pills are one dose over the course of 48hrs though. The RX gets filled with 24 pills equalling 4 rescue doses. When I asked her about the pills she wouldn’t respond to me. Since I just filled the RX before I left, the pharmacy wouldn’t refill it. So I had to make a police report and file it with the DEA. I was able to get a refill, but these rescue doses are hundreds of dollars out of pocket for me. Not to mention, my dog would literally die if he doesn’t get this medication to stop his seizures. After speaking with the DEA, my dog’s life-saving medication is apparently a desired drug on the black market. So likely she stole his meds with the intent to sell. Rover says they kicked her off the platform but she never should have been on the platform, to begin with.
New York, NY
This is the (public ) version – sounds like you can relate .. we also cannot wait to share our FULL STORY as it so much deserves to be heard far and wide – so this may never happen to anyone ever again! And that day is coming.
We are in this together my friend. We understand.
Cash is a 1.5 year old Weimaraner pup and he really misses his mom and dad. When his parents came to pick him up from his dog sitter in February -they were no where to be found. They later find out the dog sitter has transferred ownership to a business associate of hers and refused to give him back. Although this is a criminal matter, Police continue to claim civil because of the ownership dispute. Cash has been living in Matawan, New Jersey since then with a strange man who now calls him Shadow.
Although his parents have shown more than enough supporting evidence of ownership, loving care, and how the situation is clearly theft, the town police have sided with the man who lives in their town.
Cash is a victim of theft and his voice cannot be heard. Please sign to show you support Cash coming home! Every little bit helps! We will be adding these signatures along with in person signatures from Cash’s neighborhood as testimonials for supporting documents to the court.
Thank you so much!
more about Cash: https:/
– Laura K.
We used a dog trainer, operating under the business “Ty the Dog Guy” in February of 2022. After an evaluation, it was decided Blue would go to her home for a three-week board and train, which we paid $3,200 for. One week into his training, on March 5th 2022, we got a call from the trainer that Blue was found unresponsive in his “crate.”
We rushed to the emergency vet where he was taken and the vet told us his body temperature was unreadable when he arrived, meaning it was above 109 degrees. Despite best efforts at the ER, Blue did not recover and ultimately had to be put down. A referral to the DA’s office was made for animal cruelty by the city’s Animal Services Officer, and the company agreed to stop operations in Texas.
We later found out that the facility was not licensed in the city, and a similar incident occurred with the same company in their Utah facility. (https:/
Blue was only 3 and was in very good health.
We went to her home to pick up his belongings, and we were shocked to see where he was kept. His “crate” was too small for him, and was the type that is often used to transport dogs, and the guest bedroom he was kept in had baffling on the walls to silence sound.
There were 3 adults in the home the night/morning this occurred. We also did perform a necropsy which did not show any underlying conditions that could have caused this. The most frustrating part of all of this is that there is no central database to report animal abuse, neglect, or death when entrusted in the care of others. If I had seen his living arrangements, I would never have sent him.
My heart still hurts every day for Blue because as owners, we feel we failed him. The trauma you have from losing a pet in a horrific way never goes away.
Bridge City, TX
I brought my dog, Dakota, to a dog sitter while me and my family went on a vacation. The second night we were there, the dog sitter called to let us know that both Dakota, as well as my mom’s dog, had broken out of the fence and were lost. Shortly after, my mom’s dog was found. I had many people searching for Dakota. She was a rescue and very timid. She was hit by a car and killed at only 4 years old. The dog sitter said she had never had something like this happen in all the years she had been dog-sitting. Me and my family are still heartbroken.
I left my precious Gertie with a dog sitter on September 6th 2022 in Manhattan Montana, she went missing on September 7th. I have been endlessly searching for her since. We believe she was stolen. We do not believe the sitter was involved. I literally cry daily. We are so heartbroken. My husband and I don’t have children, she is our child! Gertie will turn 2 years old on December 27th…. It will also be our 25th anniversary. I pray for God to give us a miracle and return her. She is a spayed german wirehaired pointer. Very friendly and very active. She would jump in anyone’s car, because I took her everywhere with me. There have been possible sightings with a middle-aged man in downtown Bozeman MT. We have a 5k reward for her safe return. Please pray, we miss her so much.
Feb. 24, 2022, was one of the most icy, cold dark midwestern nights of the year. My sitter who I found thru Rover.
This dog’s Story
We hired a Rover sitter to watch our dog for 4 days. After nearly 24 hours of asking for pictures multiple times, I finally got them. Within an hour of that, the sitter TEXTED (not called!) to tell me my dog had run away. The sitter’s story is that she was in the process of taking out the trash, front door open, screen door ajar as she was walking outside. The sitter did not have eyes on or control of my dog, and my dog bolted out the door from behind her. She basically handed my dog the opportunity to escape.
The sitter’s listing showed her as operating under her training and boarding business and described her as a “certified behavioral trainer”. Only later because I located her last name on Facebook via a post she made about my missing dog, was I able to find that she had been arrested earlier this year for a DUI. I also went to the local police department to see if I could file a police report against her, only to find out they are very familiar with her, her family and criminal activity at her address. But Rover does background checks???
She is uninsured, of course, and I am pursuing a small claims suit against her, as well as working with local officials to determine facts against her that will likely turn this into a criminal matter.
My dog has now been missing for almost a month. I don’t know if my sweet girl is alive or dead and may never know.
I hired a pet sitter through WAG to dog-sit Teddy for 4 days! On day 3, WAG called me to tell me that she had lost Teddy. Apparently walking him on an unfamiliar trail 25 miles away from home after an alleged off-leash dog lunged at Teddy and in the scuffle, she let go of Teddy’s leash. We searched for days to find Teddy with no sightings. We were then told that we were trespassing on private property and couldn’t be there to search for Teddy.
It has been a nightmare, but we are not giving up on finding the truth and the hope that our Teddy will be found.
– Denise M.
This was in Houston at midtown doggy daycare about 5-6 years ago. I had to go to a funeral and boarded my two Aussies. I’ve used this place before and thought they did a good job. One of my dogs, Tuna, had diabetes, cushing and an enzyme issue in his liver. So he had to take 3 pills and had to get two shots of insulin every day. The facility has taken care of him before with all these conditions. Tuna would get stressed without me and sometimes would not eat and usually, the workers would have to hand feed him. This time they did not ensure he was eating but still gave insulin which caused Tuna to have seizures. I was on my way home learning all of this at the airport and the daycare rushed him to a nearby vet. Tuna died as I was taking off. When I landed I still had to go pick up my other dog from the daycare and then go to the vet.
It was a cavalier response from the owner. I didn’t pay for their boarding which the owner offered. I came back after a few days and presented the vet bill to her which was $1200. I was very nice to her and said mistakes happen and I know your worker feels terrible. I told the owner you do what you think is right. I’m not going to write a scathing review or sue you, I also don’t expect you to slice a check right now but my address is here if you want to mail me anything.
I was already planning on moving to Austin in a month so on top of losing my grandfather, my dog, a new move, and my work being gawd awful to me after giving them a 60-day notice, I knew that I had to move forward and let her morals decide. I never got a check and got stuck with the vet bill. I had to put down tuna’s brother this year at the age 14 because of cancer. I felt and still do like I failed him and he was alone when he died. I truly hope you find your puppy alive and healthy but certainly, I hope you find the truth and closure at some point. I watch your story every day hoping that it’s a post you got her back.
– Kendall S.
A pet sitter called to tell us our new dog was nowhere to be found. We drove as fast as we could to get home, staying away at a resort. We got home and found her in less than an hour, she had found a hole in the fence. I offered the lady 100 dollars an hour to stay and search, she did not. She simply had better things to do. She said not to come home the dog will probably turn up later. She just doesnt get it.
We used a new Rover sitter as our usual one was booked up. We expressly told this sitter to crate our dog if she was going to leave her home or open the front door because our pup can be a runner. Well of course this sitter did not heed this warning, so my dog was off running down South Lamar at 10 AM on a Saturday. The only reason we retrieved her safely is because of six amazing and kind angels who happened to be walking down the street at that moment. They were able to corral my pup until I could safely make it to them near the intersection of South Lamar and Barton Springs. We somehow were blessed and lucky in our situation but it could have gone much worse and there would be no true recourse for us. Even reporting the incident on the Rover app did not remove this sitter from the platform. Change must be done to hold these irresponsible sitters accountable.
In July of this year, the neglect of a Rover sitter in resulted in the escape and death by drowning of our dog Hollie. Rover paid the cremation bill but nothing else. The sitter, Desirae W., has yet to apologize or accept any responsibility for her actions.
– Amy E.