A family is mourning the unexpected loss of their two dogs, who died while being transported by a company from Michigan to California. As reported by the Detroit Free Press, the Ervin family hired VIP Pet Delivery to take their two Great Danes, Penny and Cookie, to Napa – but the dogs never made it.
According to the news agency, Rachel Cottrell, the owner of the company, had assured the dogs’ owners that her family would do the transport themselves, but they ended up using another driver after someone in the family was exposed to another person who was positive for Covid-19.
The new driver, identified as Jack Nakamoto Jr., had told the Ervins that they could track his journey on an Apple app, but the man turned it off after leaving Michigan. Texts that the news agency accessed between Cottrell and the Ervins reveal that the driver unexpectedly diverted to Texas – then the texts stopped, until the family learned that their dogs were dead.
The driver’s father has stated that one of the dogs appeared to be sick during the journey – he said, “The dog named Cookie was laying down and wouldn’t get up.” In a video, his son said, “She can’t walk no more. That’s it. (Penny’s) fine, drinking, she didn’t eat nothing…I had to carry (Cookie) to the car.”
Nakamoto’s father tells the news agency that his son was worried and frantically calling and texting him. He said, “So, he was driving through the night and when he got to the house, he wakes me up and he’s like, Dad, Dad, I told you, I told you, I told you, they passed.” The driver’s father tells the news agency that efforts to reach Cottrell went unanswered, and the dogs were taken to a crematorium in California because they “started to smell.”
Bill Ervin tells the Press that it was the driver’s father who made the call about the dogs dying:
“The guy said, I’m (the driver’s father), and he’s very broken up, and I need to tell you, and then he said, very matter of factly, that both of your dogs are dead,” Ervin said. “As you can imagine, we were like, ‘what are you talking about? Our dogs are dead?’ And then he said, ‘and since they smelled so bad, I had them cremated.’ And we were like, ‘what do you mean?’ So then he said, ‘I’ve got a video of your dead dogs, if you want me to send it to you.’ And we said, ‘why would we want to see a video of our dead dogs?’”
As it turns out, the crematorium didn’t actually cremate the dogs because they felt that the driver’s story was “fishy.” The dogs are being sent to a California state lab for a necropsy. As for the transport company owner – she apparently was less than sympathetic to the dogs’ owners:
“She was very, almost accusatory, there was no sorrow or remorse,” Ervin said. “She just said, you know, dogs were old… And then she said, ‘the dogs got sick immediately after leaving your house.’ And, in our contract, it states very clearly that if the dogs are sick upon pickup, or if they become sick during the drive, that we will return them to you, because there’s just no reason to bring sick dogs across the country. If they became sick, we were never notified. And at no time did anyone call us and say, you know, ‘the dogs aren’t doing well, and we want to get them to a vet as soon as possible, how can we have your permission?’ I mean, as far as we knew the entire time, they were perfectly fine.”
For now, nobody knows why Penny and Cookie died.
Will I still fit on your lap mom?
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