Leaving your dog with a stranger is a stressful situation for many people. In some cases, you’ll find a life-long sitter, but for a few, a tragedy occurs instead. Nia Morgan from Illinois has always turned to friends to watch her 10-month-old Poodle mix. But when they were all unavailable, she looked for other options.
Morgan settled on Rover.com since many recommended it. But instead of getting the amazing service she’d heard about, she was faced with her worst nightmare. Her new dog sitter lost her dog within an hour, and she’s still desperately trying to bring the pup home.
A Web of Lies
Morgan didn’t want to share her pup’s name with the public because she doesn’t want people yelling it at him. He is in a very nervous state and is likely to run. Morgan had grown up around family dogs and service dogs, but this pup was the first dog of her own. He can be a little skittish, but he and Morgan are inseparable.
“He’s basically a roommate, a best friend, everything you need,” Morgan said.
So, when Morgan chose to use Rover.com to find a pet sitter, she did her research carefully. She narrowed her choices down one by one until she settled on a woman who claimed to have experience in a veterinarian’s office and a boarding facility. Even after conducting interviews and a test day, Morgan was still worried about leaving her best friend with a stranger.
And she had a right to be worried. When she asked the sitter for updates during her trip, red flags popped up.
“She didn’t send me any pictures though, but she had said, early on during his stay with her, that her phone was broken so she was only communicating with me through Rover.com on her laptop, so she kind of excused herself for not sending pictures or for a potential delay in her response,” Morgan said. “And I believed her.”
The Truth Comes Out
The sitter didn’t show Morgan a single photo of her dog for the entire trip. When Morgan’s flight was about to return a few days later, she got a bizarre and heartbreaking message.
“She messaged me saying ‘I have really bad news. Your dog, I had to bring him to my boyfriend’s house because a maintenance guy came into my apartment and he got freaked out, and so I brought him to my boyfriend’s house, just to get away for a little bit, and he unfortunately got away,’” Morgan said. “She claimed that my dog pushed through the side gate of her boyfriend’s house in Waukegan.”
But Morgan’s friends quickly found out about the lies when they visited Waukegan Animal Control. They learned that the dog had been reported missing about an hour after Morgan dropped him off. Morgan also found out that the sitter contacted Susan Davis, who is a licensed humane investigator. The scared pup could’ve traveled very far after three days of lies!
Bring the Pup Home
Sadly, Morgan is still on the lookout for her beloved pup, who has been missing for almost a month now. He is thought to be in the Lake County or broader Chicago area. If you see him, Morgan asks that you don’t call to him, yell at him, or chase him since he is in survival mode. Instead, she asks people to take a picture of sightings and then call 773-231-9349.
Unfortunately, Rover.com only covers dog medical bills in certain situations. They do not cover lost dogs, dogs that have died with a sitter, and any criminal activities. When asked about the situation, Rover’s senior relations manager Dave Rosenbaum didn’t state how often things like this occur. He said that the sitter in question had over 330 successful services, but neglected to say if they had any similar offenses. After this, the sitter was removed from Rover. But sadly, it’s not the first horrific incident on the site.
If you want to see updates on the search for Morgan’s pup, you can check out the Facebook page. Hopefully, he’ll be home in no time!