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Dog killed while in care of sitter hired through Rover app

Posted at 9:09 PM, Jul 11, 2018

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Losing a pet while its under your care is devastating - but losing it while under the care of somebody else is a complete nightmare. 

Which is why a Colorado woman is warning others about using the popular dog-sitting app called Rover. 

Elaine Conoly never got to say good-bye to her dachshund Wally.

"He got along with cats and dogs and people and just wanted nothing more than to sit in your lap,” said Conoly. "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, she had placed her two dogs with a sitter she had used once before through Rover. The app allows dog owners to search and request pet sitters, a dog walk, even overnight care. Two days into her vacation, she got a message from the sitter.

"Saying, 'sorry, a mastiff completely mauled your dog and killed him instantly,'" said Conoly, recounting the message.

Elaine says another dog, unbeknownst to her, was at the sitter's home and attacked Wally.

"He didn't need to be outside, near a 150 pound dog," said Conoly.

Since that day, Conoly told Denver7, she has not heard from the sitter and can’t find Wally's remains, after he was left at a pet hospital.

As for Rover, Conoly said she still had to pay for their services and only heard from them through an email in which they company apologized - but nothing else has been done. 

After Contact7 reached out, the company'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

But 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,” said Conoly. "I just want them to be held liable for their actions. They are falsely advertising to people."