A Houston, Texas, couple claims that Wag!, an application which connects pet owners with dog walkers, tried to buy their silence after the death of their puppy. Nick and Sara Moore lost their 10-month-old puppy, Winnie, on December 10 – the puppy was fatally injured after being hit by a car during an outing with a Wag! walker.
Nick Moore turned to social media to recount what happened – his Facebook post reads, in part:
As many of you know, and many of you don’t, on December 10 our precious dog Winnie passed away. Winnie was hit and killed while on a walk with a walker that we ordered through Wag—a dog walking service that allows you to “order” a dog walker similar to the way you order an Uber.
We used a Wag walker on days that neither Sara nor I could come home from work to let Winnie out. We made a lot of great relationships through our use of Wag and it allowed our sweet Winnie to be cared for while we maintained busy lifestyles. Every walker fell in love with Winnie. However, since the incident, Wag has been cold, unhelpful, and we believe less than truthful to us.
When Sara did not receive the confirmation that Winnie’s walk was over (as you typically receive) Sara became even more concerned. Sara texted the walker, but did not receive an answer. When Sara called the walker, the walker answered and assured Sara that Winnie was home safe. Five minutes later Sara received a call from a Wag representative saying that Winnie was not home safe, but had been hit and did not survive.
According to Moore, the details surrounding the fatal incident have not been shared with them – he explained:
To this day we do not know a single answer as to who was involved, what happened, where it happened, or why it happened. Wag has not provided us any information, and the walker has not contacted us.
Moore claims that Wag! offered to pay for expenses if he and his wife would agree to keep the deadly situation private – he wrote:
The representative also told us that Wag would take care of all of the expenses, such as Winnie’s cremation. However, when we submitted our receipts, we received in response a settlement and non-disclosure agreement. If we wanted to be compensated we had to agree not to tell anyone what happened, we could not leave any negative reviews, we could not make posts on social media, we could not hold Wag or the walker responsible, and only then would Wag reimburse us for Winnie’s cremation.
ABC 13 News has released the response from Wag!
We extend our sympathy to the Moores during this difficult time. As a company of dog lovers and pet parents, we were devastated about what happened to Winnie.The hit-and-run accident involving Winnie was an unusual situation, and we provided the Moores with updates as we investigated what happened. We’re addressing concerns about our response procedures, and we’re changing our policy for paying claims to reflect a higher level of sensitivity to each situation.
We’ve reviewed the walker’s records and can confirm that she is who she said she was, and that the name she used on her profile is a nickname. We cannot speak for the walker’s response to the pet parent, but we do know that she, along with a good Samaritan, took the dog to a nearby veterinarian immediately after the accident. The walker has been deactivated from the Wag! platform. Prior to this incident, she had very high ratings for her walks and no safety incidents.
We care very deeply about the health and safety of the dogs walked on our platform. We use a robust vetting process that includes an application and verification process, a third-party background check, and online tests covering dog safety and handling knowledge that each applicant must pass to be approved to work on our platform.”
Have you utilized the Wag! application? If so, have you had a positive experience or a negative one? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
(Screenshot of puppy via Facebook/Nick Moore)
More news, updates, funny videos and memes on the National Animal News Facebook page.
Yesterday: Man fatally mauled after jumping into lion enclosure at zoo – the story here.
Heartwarming! Recently rescued dog found alive 17 days after bolting from her foster home – more here.
Enter Rescue10 at checkout for a 10% discount! Your purchase helps support our writing efforts.