A Texas couple was left distraught after their beloved Wheaten Terrier, Winnie, was hit and killed by a car during a walk with Wag, an on-demand service often referred to as "Uber for dogs."
Nick and Sara Moore of Houston shared their experience on Facebook Thursday, detailing the heartbreaking circumstances that led to the death of their pet on Dec. 10.
Nick explained that they used the service regularly with no previous problems. But on the day of Winnie’s death, there were several red flags.
“The walker that was with Winnie when she was killed had a different name in her bio paragraph than was shown on her profile — which makes me wonder if Wag is monitoring whether or not the people walking your dog are who they say they are,” Nick wrote.
He also said the walker ignored Sara’s multiple text attempts to contact her. She finally called to make sure Winnie had made it home safely, which the Wag app normally notifies the owner about, but didn’t on this day.
“When Sara did not receive the confirmation that Winnie’s walk was over (as you typically receive) Sara became even more concerned...When Sara called the walker, the walker answered and assured Sara that Winnie was home safe,” Nick wrote.
However, about five minutes later, a representative from Wag allegedly called Sara to tell her Winnie had been hit and killed by a car.
“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,” he explained.
The company spokesperson told them Wag would cover the expenses to have the dog cremated, but they would have to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to receive the compensation.
“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,” Nick wrote.
Wag responded to the incident in a public blog post written by the CEO, Hilary Schneider, claiming the company has changed its “standard” process when processing a payment claim.
“In the rare instance when there’s an incident in which we need to work with the pet parents to make sure their needs are addressed, we’ve required them to sign an agreement — a common practice in the business world. It was so routine for us, in fact, that we didn’t pause to see if it made sense for every situation,” Schneider wrote.
“As a result of your feedback, we’ve already updated our policy regarding such agreements so that we’re responding with the highest level of sensitivity to the nature of each individual case.”
The Moores still don’t know what exactly happened that resulted in Winnie’s death. This also isn’t the first time Wag has been called out for the loss or death of a dog. The company has been linked to at least eight different incidents in New York City alone, according to The New York Post.
A spokesperson for Wag told Fox News the walker who had Winnie was who she said she was, but has been removed from the dog-walking platform. Prior to the incident, the spokesperson said she had very high ratings and no safety incidents.
"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," the spokesperson said.
"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."
Nick shared that he and Sara will be welcoming a new puppy in February from the same breeder as Winnie but that they will not be using Wag.