COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Losing a pet is devastating, but losing a pet while it's under the care of somebody else is a complete nightmare.
That's why a Colorado woman is warning others about using the popular dog-sitting app called Rover. The app allows dog owners to search and request pet sitters, a dog walk and overnight care — but she claims her experience with the app turned into tragedy.
Elaine Conoly never got to say goodbye to her dachshund Wally.
"He got along with cats and dogs and people and just wanted nothing more than to sit in your lap,” Conoly said. "I mean, he was supposed to turn 10 next month. I don't get those years now."
While on vacation for the Fourth of July holiday, Conoly placed her two dogs with a sitter she had used once before through Rover. Two days into her vacation, she got a message from the sitter.
"Sorry, a mastiff completely mauled your dog and killed him instantly,'" the message read, according to Conoly.
Unbeknownst to Conoly, another dog was at the sitter's home and attacked Wally.
"He didn't need to be outside, near a 150 pound dog," Conoly said.
Since that day, Conoly says she has not heard from the sitter and can’t find Wally's remains, after he was left at a pet hospital.
Conoly also says she still had to pay for her services through Rover. She said she received an apology through email, but nothing more has been done.
Rover's public relations spokesperson provided the following statement:
“As dog owners ourselves, we are distraught by Wally’s passing and join his family in their grief during this heart-wrenching time. Upon learning of the incident, our trust and safety team immediately opened an investigation and we remain committed to providing support to the Conoly family. We have deactivated this particular sitter from our platform.”
- Dave Rosenbaum
That's a little too late for Conoly. She plans to press charges and is hiring an attorney. She hopes others learn from her tragedy.
"Truly, it was like having my heart ripped out of my chest. You can’t replace 10 years of memories,” Conoly said. "I just want them to be held liable for their actions. They are falsely advertising to people."