A Gloucester family is grieving the death of their dog who died hours after they left their pet in the care of a dog sitter. It is claimed the dog sitter took the Bernese Mountain dog into Gloucester out for a walk on a very hot day and the animal collapsed after being in the back of a car.
The Bernese Mountain Dog was also taken out with his brother on Friday June 17 around the city between 4pm and 8pm. The owner is appealing to the public to come forward with any information they may have as the dog sitter was not permitted to take the animals out for a walk, especially as it was such a hot day.
Andrea Brown, 49 from Kingsholm had found the dog sitter on an agency website and had used them on and off for several months. She said: “I have had Banjo and his brother since they were pups, and both are seven years old, but I have kept Bernese Mountain dogs for years.
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“I know you can not take them for walks like you would a spaniel or a terrier. You especially can’t take them out when it was hot like it was on Friday. ”
Andrea and her family were away for the weekend. The dog sitter who had been known to the family for some time was employed to go to the family home to let the dogs out as agreed.
Andrea said: “I had never given permission for the sitter to take my dogs out. We had got ready to leave the house at 4pm and by 8pm Banjo was dead.
“The dog sitter had called me all in a panic to say Banjo has collapsed. I asked where they were and I was told in town.
“I could not believe what I was hearing and asked why they walked the dogs into town and they said to me they had taken the dogs in a car into town. I heard nothing then until the vets called me to tell me my dog was dead. ”
The family gathered up their things quickly and rushed back home. Now they want to find out what happened to their beloved animal in just four hours.
Andrea said: “The dog sitter was meant to let the dogs in and out throughout the day. They had a lovely day having their doggy ice creams in the shade of the garden and then came in to have a lie down on the lovely cool tiles in the kitchen with the oscillating fan going.
“The dog sitter was meant to come in around 8pm to let them out so I do not even know why they were out with my dogs in the first place. The dogs are really big and friendly and people want to come up to them and see them.
“People would have noticed the dogs I am sure if they were out and about in town. Maybe the dog sitter liked the attention they bring, I don’t know, but they should not have been out of my house. ”
“I want to know what happened to my dog and where they had gone. We had only seen him four hours before and then when we saw him next he was dead on the vets table.
“The vets told us when they got to the car to get Banjo out, the car was like a sauna. He was dead when he got there. “
Banjo’s brother Bisto is pining for his brother as he does not know where he is. The family are having to come to terms with the loss of Banjo but are determined to get answer about what happened to their beloved pet.
Gloucestershire police are working alongside the RSPCA with this incident who are leading the investigation.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “We have been made aware of this incident and will be looking into this further. Unfortunately we are unable to discuss complaints about specific individuals. We understand how frustrating that is for animal lovers but releasing information could prejudice an investigation or could lead to us being fined.
“We would urge anyone with first hand information about this incident to contact us on 0300 123 4999.”
The website Rover which advertised the pet sitters services say the owner did not employ the sitters services through the website on this occasion.
A rover spokesman said: “As pet parents ourselves, our hearts go out to Andrea, and we are terribly sorry for her loss.
“While this service was not booked on the Rover platform, our 24/7 Trust and Safety team has begun an inquiry. To protect the safety of our community, we have removed this pet sitter from our platform and they will no longer be able to offer their services through Rover.
“We will also assist the police in their investigation. To learn more about our commitment to trust and safety, and to find more information about the safety features of our platform, please visit this website.
“All services booked through our platform are covered by the Rover Guarantee, which will cover up to £ 25,000 in vet care reimbursement for eligible claims.”