Seattle pet-sitting service Rover sued in death of emotional support dog

When Snoopy, an 18-month-old papillion, needed a dog-sitter in April 2017, his owner turned to Rover, a popular service that claimed to screen all its sitters and guaranteed insurance in case anything went wrong.

Yet when Snoopy was killed by a car while under the Rover sitter’s care, the company offered no compensation – not even the costs for cremation. His owner turned to Robert Tauler for help.

“They are representing that there is this vetting process but they are not doing really anything to ensure the safety of pets,” Tauler told Seattle’s KOMO News. “You can’t just say you’re insured and then back out of it…”

Dog App Rover Accused of Lying to Customers About Vetting Sitters and Providing Insurance

Suit also targets dogsitter Angelica Bridges of Baywatch fame

The complaint, filed today, can be viewed here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 26, 2018 – A new lawsuit claims that Rover, a dog-sitting app valued at over $300 million, falsely claims it has a rigorous vetting system for its sitters and falsely guarantees complimentary insurance to its customers. The lawsuit claims that in reality, Rover does nothing to vet its sitters and does not offer any meaningful insurance to its aggrieved customers. The complainant faced this harsh reality after her dog was negligently killed under a Rover sitter’s care.

The Rover sitter, named as a co-defendant, is actress, model and pop singer Angelica Bridges, 47, a star of the original Baywatch who graced the cover of the November 2001 Playboy.

“The contrast between what Rover says and what Rover does could not be more stark. Rover claims that all sitters are approved by specialists and that it accepts less than 20% of potential sitters, but this is not true,” said attorney Rob Tauler of Tauler Smith of Los Angeles, who filed the complaint on behalf of a dog owner whom the lawsuit claims was a victim of Rover’s false advertising regime. “In reality there is no system in place to vet sitters, and some sitters are “repeat offenders” who have already irresponsibly caused the death of pets in their care.”

According to the lawsuit, Rover did nothing to vet the sitter, Bridges, who misrepresented having a fenced yard. When the dog, who was not being supervised outside, was killed, Rover refused to provide compensation even though it claims in its marketing that Rover provides insurance “valid for injuries to the pet owner’s pet(s) in the sitter’s care, custody, or control,” according to court papers. The lawsuit also alleges that glitches in the Rover software delayed the ability of the owner to take protective action once the missing, now deceased dog, a 6-pound Papillion named Snoopy, was discovered.

A couple of weeks after the incident, Bridges was reapproved as a “trusted” five-star Rover sitter, while the victim was left without the ability to leave a negative review or rating.

The complaint, filed today, can be viewed here

 

Tauler Smith LLP specializes in high-stakes commercial litigation representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of areas, including: false advertising, business disputes, and unfair competition. Founders Robert Tauler and Matthew J. Smith, both Harvard Law School grads, have broad expertise in complex litigation, including false advertising, unfair competition and Lanham Act litigation.