SF family demands answers after dog lost while staying with sitter booked through pet care platform Rover

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Before vacationing in Hawaii, a San Francisco family booked a pet sitter on popular pet care services platform Rover. The family’s estrangement from home increased further after learning that their dog had escaped his caretaker.

Coco Maltipoo, 2, is missing. The white dog with black spots was last seen Friday night in San Francisco. More than just a dog for owner Alyson Ruiz, Coco was gifted by Ruiz’s parents to comfort her during the pandemic.

“I’m still in shock. I can’t believe it,” Ruiz told ABC7 News.

Before leaving for Hawaii, Ruiz made accommodations for Coco through the Rover app. Through the online marketplace for pet sitting services, she booked a pet sitter. Ruiz said she had used the platform once before, describing Rover’s convenience, care and cost.

However, this time was different after a late-night text from Coco’s caretaker.

“” Oh, I don’t know if the app contacted you, but your dog bit me and ran away. And I couldn’t catch it,” Ruiz recalled of the text message she received. “And then I liked it, I started to panic. And I thought, what? I’m in Hawaii…they canceled my flight.”

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Since returning to San Francisco on Saturday night, Ruiz and his family’s search for Coco has not stopped.

“When we got here, we started putting flyers in the Western Addition and the Fillmore in the Tenderloin,” Ruiz’s aunt Joselyn Barrera said.

She explained that while the family was roaming the area on their own, a passerby mentioned seeing the dog running and in distress on Octavia Street. This is the type of action Barrera wants Rover to take.

“If we were able to find out 48 hours after the incident, I’m sure someone with a little more expertise, like a private investigator, will be able to find a lot more from businesses in the area – thanks to surveillance by cameras,” Barrera suggested. “And also, you know, what they’re doing to rectify to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

ABC7 News contacted Rover.

The company said: “As pet parents ourselves, our hearts go out to Coco’s family and we are working hard to help bring him home safe and sound. Our 24/7 Trust and Safety team /7 immediately began supporting search efforts as soon as we learned that Coco was missing. We are offering a $500 reward, payment for flyers, and posting to online pet search websites, that send alerts to local shelters and veterinarians.

We have suspended the Guardian’s account on our platform while our 24/7 Trust and Safety team conducts a thorough investigation. We stay in regular contact with Coco’s family and offer them a full refund.

The safety and well-being of our community’s pets is a top priority, which is why all sitters who list their services on the Rover platform must pass a background check and safety quiz, in addition to have their profile approved by a member of our team. We also back every service booked through our platform with the Rover Guarantee, which is designed to support pet parents and guardians. To learn more about our commitment to trust and security, please visit our site.

It’s a far cry from the typical Rover experience and our team takes it very seriously. For added context, Bay Area pet owners have booked over 541,000 stays through the platform, with over 97% of reviewed stays receiving a 5-star rating. »

Still, the family feels that what Rover has offered isn’t enough to find little Coco.

“As an aunt, as a friend of the family, to see her go through this emotional distress and this trauma of losing your first dog… It’s very traumatic,” Barrera told ABC7 News.

If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

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