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Couple says Rover dog sitter left puppy’s body in plastic tub, didn’t explain how he died

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LOS FELIZ, Calif. -- A California couple's beloved pug puppy, Shrimp, died after being left in the care of a Rover dog sitter.

Victor Reznik and Constance Melkonian said the sitter left the puppy's body in a plastic tub on their porch for more than 48 hours, and gave them no explanation as to how he died. They said the company also did little to help them.

"Rover gave us a $100 credit to get a new dog walker," Reznik said. "'To vet new dog walkers' were the words that they used, and they said that they can't provide us with any more information because of their confidentiality policy."

Rover spokesman Dave Rosenbaum said the company was investigating the incident, and that the sitter was removed from Rover's platform.

He provided the following statement:

"As you can imagine, these types of incidents are extremely rare on our platform. For context, since Rover’s founding in 2011, there have been close to 500,000 stays booked in the Los Angeles area."

"I’d like to highlight an important distinction -- pet care providers who offered their services on the platform are not Rover employees, but independent business owners. Pet care providers who offer their services through our platform must pass a background check, complete a safety quiz, and have their profile reviewed by a member of our team. We regularly monitor reviews left by pet parents to ensure our high-quality standards for care are being met. We also offer educational opportunities to sitters focused on dog safety and wellbeing."

"Almost all stays on Rover go exactly as planned. In the rare instance when something does not go right, we have a 24/7 trust and safety team to offer helpful suggestions and connect sitters with a veterinarian (also 24/7). We also offer the Rover Guarantee as a part every stay booked on the platform to reimburse for certain expenses when a stay doesn’t go exactly right. Following an incident, our team will conduct an in-depth investigation and take appropriate actions. In this instance, we have removed the sitter from our platform."

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