"I have never felt so utterly violated," home owner Shayna Bryan wrote on Twitter

By Robyn Merrett
November 23, 2019 12:21 AM
WLNY

An angry Wag! user is demanding justice after a dog walker, employed by the company, was caught stealing from her home.

On Thursday, Shayna Bryan — from Long Island, New York, shared a series of tweets, containing security footage of the concerning incident.

“Dear @WagWalking, this is your @WagWalking employee stealing from my home. Please kindly respond to my email dated November 17, 2019,” Bryan wrote alongside the video.

In the clip, a woman is seen filling her bag with items from around the house as Bryan’s dogs watch helplessly. At one point in the video, the woman opens a closet door and takes out a puffer coat.

As the woman attempts to stuff the coat in her bag, an alarm — triggered by Bryan — blasts throughout the house, startling the dog walker. She then puts the coat back into the closet and leaves the house.

“I am writing this public letter to express my extreme disappointment in the lack of regard given to the recent situation in which your @WagWalking employee’s priority was not to walk my dogs but rather to steal from my home,” Bryan continued in a separate tweet.

Bryan then said she’s already brought the issue to Wag! directly, but has not received an explanation or a resolution.

“It is disheartening that my several attempts to garner empathy and support from your @WagWalking staff has resulted in this course of action,” Bryan wrote, adding later that she even had to create a Twitter simply to address the incident.

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“While your website boasts ‘vetted and background checked dog walkers,’ the camera I installed last week shows otherwise. It shows your @WagWalking employee stealing my handbag and attempting to steal my winter coat. (Jewelry and other items were noted in the police report).”

Bryan also explained that as the alarm went off she was able to speak to the Wag! employee and demanded that she put down her handbag.

However, the woman left the apartment with Bryan’s purse in her bag.

Bryan later shared that the walker even put her two dogs in danger.

“To add fuel to the fire, a second video shows the walker failing to buckle their harnesses, leaving them vulnerable to running off, getting hurt or worse. She completely compromised their safety. I can’t stop thinking about all of the worst case scenarios that may have manifested,” Bryan wrote.

“I have never felt so utterly violated,” Bryan continued. “However, I maintained the confidence that @WagWalking, a company I have used faithfully for over 3 years, would respond with a sense of urgency and the keen desire to rectify the situation. Instead, I have received little to no support.”

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Bryan explained she has reported the incident to the police and included the video as proof.

Still, Wag! has not rectified the situation, according to Bryan. She is now warning other app users to be careful.

“What concerns me is the thought that other families and dogs will experience what I have due to negligence on @WagWalking part. In fact, my fears have been corroborated by several articles written as recently as last month regarding incidents of dog abuse and/or death as a result of poorly executed background checks,” Bryan concluded.

Wag!’s VP of Trust and Safety and Corporate Affairs Heather Rothenberg has since issued a statement to PEOPLE saying, “Every service on the Wag! platform is insured and backed by the full support of our Trust and Safety team, which means in the rare case of an incident, we work directly with the pet parent and the appropriate authorities to address the situation.”

“In this case, our Trust and Safety team reached out to the pet parent to offer support as soon as Wag! was informed of the incident. We continue to work directly with the local authorities on the investigation. Additionally, the walk has been refunded and the walker, an independent contractor, has been removed from the Wag! platform.”

“Every walker must pass a vetting process and a background check before being allowed to join the Wag platform. Our screenings include an application and verification process, as well as a background check that includes a Social Security number trace, a facial recognition check against all official documents provided, a document check, a national criminal check, a county criminal check, a sex offender check, and a global watch list check. Every applicant must pass an online test covering dog safety, equipment, and handling knowledge before we allow them on the Wag! platform to care for your dog.”

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