CHICAGO (CBS) — A West Rogers Park couple says a dogsitter they found through a popular app and trusted to take care of their pet left their apartment a mess and didn’t do her job.
Rebecca Smith and her partner Alyssa Bates went to Nashville for a wedding Friday and used the app Wag! to hire a dog walker for their 1-year-old boxer mix. They became concerned after the walker didn’t show up during the specified time to take care of Micky.
When they did reach her, Smith says the dog walker said, “The sitting wasn’t supposed to start until 6 p.m. At this point I figured, ‘hey, technology, mix-ups happen,'” Smith said.
Smith says the walker contacted them around 5 p.m., said she couldn’t open the Wag! lockbox, then couldn’t be reached.
“We hadn’t heard anything, had no proof that Micky had been taken out, that she’d been fed,” Smith said.
So, the couple called friends to go to their apartment.
“They came up our back steps and saw that the Wag! lockbox was open, and there were no keys inside. So they tried the door. It was unlocked and they could hear Micky crying inside.”
Smith’s friends said both the back and front doors were unlocked and the balcony door wide open. They called police thinking the home had been burglarized. When they entered, they were greeted with an egg-caked stove and frying pan, a nearly finished bottle of vodka and something else.
“They walked back to our back bedroom, opened the door and found the Wag! walker intoxicated, asleep in our bed,” Smith said. “To find the person we had trusted, not only with our space but with our dog, not taking care of either of those and actually, completely violating everything, was pretty shocking.”
This situation for Wag! customers is not uncommon. In New York, cameras captured a dog walker, opening the refrigerator and making himself at home.
“I’ve been putting out on Twitter and everything, ‘don’t ever use Wag! again’,” Bates said. “I know there are good people that actually care for dogs and want to care for dogs that use Wag!, but I wouldn’t do any overnight anything. If you’re going to, meet the person, talk with the person before they actually gain access to your home.”
Wag! says they have let the employee go and that her alleged behavior was completely unacceptable and contrary to all of their guidelines. An investigation is underway.
Smith and Bates asked to be reimbursed by Wag! for their cleaning expenses, but they initially did not receive a response.
After CBS 2’s inquiry, Wag! says the couple will be fully reimbursed.