Dog walking company Wag! is in deep doo doo for an incident involving a dog dying under its care and then reportedly trying to cover it up.
Nick and Sara Moore welcomed a Wheaton Terrier named Winnie into their home this past August. When they had to go on a vacation, they turned to Wag! for someone to stay at their home to watch and walk their dog.
“That walker fell in love with Winnie and Winnie fell in love with her,” Nick Moore told People in a statement. “So from then on we only used her if at all possible. When we did ask her to walk Winnie it was maybe once or twice a week.”
But when the pair was unable to take Winnie on a walk during lunchtime on Dec. 10 and they needed a last-minute walker for Winnie, their usual one wasn’t available.
The new walker didn’t sit well with the Moores. According to them, she didn’t provide her real name in the bio, and was not responsive.
“When Sara did not receive the confirmation that Winnie’s walk was over (as you typically receive) Sara became even more concerned,” Nick said on Facebook.” “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.”
However, five minutes later a representative from Wag! called, delivering heartbreaking news: Winnie had died. She got struck by a car during the walk, and after being brought to the nearest pet hospital, didn’t make it.
If that wasn’t awful enough, the Moores claim that Wag! tried to silence them.
Wag! had assured the couple they would cover the cost of cremation under its “Wag! Trust and Safety Guarantee,” but when the Moores sent them the bill for the $188 service, Wag! added stipulations, according to the couple.
“After sending them our receipts, Wag then chose to send us an e-mail saying that we would only be reimbursed if we signed a settlement agreement essentially stating that we would never tell anyone what happened, not write any negative reviews, nor post anything on social media, completely leaving their company name and walker out of it,” says Nick in the Facebook post.
After the Moores declined, Nick says they did not hear from Wag!, despite the team claiming they were investigating their case.
It wasn’t until the Moores posted their frustrations on Facebook on Jan. 17 that they finally received a response.
“After we made our posts on social media, and those posts starting getting much more attention than we anticipated, Wag! sent us an automated email saying something along the lines of ‘click here to immediately receive money from Wag! directly to your bank account,” Nick tells People.
When This Dog’s Life asked Wag! if the company did ask people to sign an NDA before reimbursing funds and what specific changes the company would be making in the future, we received this response:
“We use various standard business practices, including confidentiality agreements, to protect the privacy of pet parents and the Wag! community. We are exploring changes to our policies and procedures and will be able to provide more specific updates when we have them.”
This isn’t the first time Wag! has come under fire. Last year, the New York Post said the company had lost at least eight dogs in New York City alone, including five in 2018.
The Moores do admit having a good experience with the walkers of Wag! until her death and the aftermath of it.
“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,” Nick writes on Facebook.
The couple plan on getting another puppy in February, but stated, “We will not be using Wag.”