Trusting a dog walker or dog sitter requires a leap of faith. If you hand off your fur baby to a stranger, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong…
And for a couple in New York, that’s exactly what happened.
One day in June, Max and Sophie Troper hired a dog walker to take care of their dog Benny. In the past, they’ve used an app called Wag to find available dog walkers. So, they booked a walk with someone that was available.
Unfortunately, the first dog walker they hired canceled, so the couple hired another. However, when the new walker arrived at the apartment, Benny was gone.
“Initially, we thought Benny might be hiding somewhere or that somehow this new walker was mistaken,” the couple told CBS News. Afraid he had been taken from their apartment, they rushed home.
Max and Sophie checked the apartment building’s surveillance tapes and found that their worst fears were confirmed: a man had stolen Benny and the footage showed him leaving the apartment with their fur baby.
It seems that the burglar was targeting Benny specifically, as well. The dog-napper had no interest in other valuables in the apartment, only the dog.
Thankfully, the couple had a prime suspect for the authorities…the suspicious first dog walker that “canceled” on them.
With help from NYPD detectives and Wag, an investigation began. Even actress Olivia Munn, a Wag spokesperson, met with the couple and was insistent on finding the dog-napper that took their best friend.
Thankfully, this burglary has a happy ending! A Precinct 1 NYPD detective working the case found 22-year-old Christian Madriaga in possession of Benny. The NYPD also confirmed that this individual was the first dog walker that the couple connected to on Wag.
Wag claims that a crime like this is incredibly rare, but the couple won’t be using such an anonymous dog walking service any time soon. Their security was lax enough for a thief to access their apartment building code, steal their dog, and escape.
“We thought that we could trust them, clearly you can’t,” Sophie told CBS New York.
If you ever need to hire a dog sitter or walker, make sure to contact someone you trust. If you use an app like Wag or Rover, you put yourself (and your four-legged friends) at risk.
Trusting your safety to strangers on the Internet is terribly dangerous!