A woman whose beloved dog went missing under the care of pet-sitting app Wag claimed she searched for her pet for a week before the company told her she had died — then charged her for the services.
Liz Giorgi, the CEO and co-founder of the photo and video studio Soona that was founded on the same day, shared her search for her dog Fran and her interactions with Wag on Twitter as she gathered her friends, family and neighbors in Denver., Colorado, to help find her pet.
On Wednesday, Giorgi tweeted that Fran was dead, although it’s unclear whether her pet died in the care of the Wag sitter or ran away and subsequently died. She criticized the company while describing the heartless manner in which the heartbreaking news was allegedly delivered.
Here’s how the @WagWalking call goes when they lose and kill your dog: “I’m calling to let you know we have news about your pet. Our local contact informed us she didn’t make it. She passed away. These cases are incredibly rare, but do happen. Do you have any questions?” she wrote.
Liz Giorgi, the CEO and co-founder of Soona Studios, lost her beloved dog Fran after she went missing in Denver, Colorado, while in the care of a sitter she hired through the Wag app.
On Wednesday, January 12, she tweeted that Fran was dead, although it’s unclear whether her pet had died in the care of the Wag sitter or ran away and subsequently died
Giorgi had previously shared that she left her two dogs in Wag’s care to travel to Africa in honor of her late father, who had passed away unexpectedly six weeks earlier.
She explained that her regular kennel couldn’t accommodate her last minute travel plans, so she hired a sitter on the Wag app who had a 5 star review.
On January 5, the day after she left, she said she got a text from her Wag-walker saying Fran was lost, but they’d called her mother-in-law to help find her.
Giorgi realized it would take her five days at best to get home from rural Africa, as there are only two flights a week due to COVID-19 and reduced tourism.
On January 6, she tweeted about her missing dog, explaining that her Wag sitter had lost Fran the day before and that she was worried her pet was trying to cross town to get home.
Giorgi left her two dogs in Wag’s care to go on a trip to Africa in honor of her late father, who passed away unexpectedly six weeks earlier
On January 5, she said she got a text from her Wag-walker saying her dog Fran was lost, but they called her mother-in-law to help find her.
“She has kept me going through the loss of my father – please help me get her home,” she added.
When she logged into the Wag app, she panicked when she realized they had no procedure for dealing with a lost dog or a way to contact customer service about time-sensitive matters.
“You’re just sitting in line with everyone else,” she tweeted, claiming it took the company 25 hours to respond to her.
Giorgi said that when she finally heard from Wag, there was no to-do list, recommendations, or written documentation of what the company was willing to do, adding that no one had even told her she was sorry.
She accused company employees of dragging her along to find her dog, saying it took them days to put up signs and hire a tracker to look for Fran.
Giorgi offered $1,500 for Fran’s safe return as she gathered her friends, family and neighbors to look for her
Giorgi claimed it took Wag 25 hours to respond to her messages in the app, saying it took days for them to put up signs and hire a tracker
She also said that Wag never apologized to her for the loss of her dog
Giorgi posted screenshots of her messages to and from Wag as she criticized the company for its response to her missing dog
A platform that brags about same-day dog walking can’t find people to post signs after losing my dog for 2 days. And will “work on it tomorrow,” she tweeted, sharing a message she reportedly received from Wag.
Giorgi claimed she tried to reach Wag CEO Garrett Smallwood through mutual acquaintances via Twitter, LinkedIn, but he remained “silent.”
She continued to tweet about her quest as she gathered her friends, family, and neighbors to find Fran through Nextdoor, a neighborly social networking app.
Giorgi also offered a $1,500 reward as freezing temperatures in the area made the search for Fran even more urgent, but the search came to a devastating end on Wednesday.
“I am sorry to report that my soul dog, Fran, has passed away,” she tweeted. ‘All your help and reinforcements to try [to] bringing her home meant the world to me. It has renewed my faith in people. On that note, never use @WagWalking – they will hurt your faith. @GarrPS still waiting for a simple “I’m sorry.”‘
Giorgi explained that the dog tracker found Fran dead and called animal control, saying she didn’t even see her one last time before she was cremated.
Giorgi slammed Wag as he describes the insensitive way the heartbreaking news of her dog’s death was allegedly delivered
Giorgi also claimed that Wag billed her for his dog sitting services after Fran was confirmed dead
In a recent tweet, she claimed that Wag deleted all her messages with the sitter who lost her dog
“The dog tracker found her and called the animal shelter,” she explained, saying she hadn’t even seen Fran one last time before she was cremated. “However, we now have her ashes and will make a large donation to the rescue that we adopted her in her honor.”
“To make matters worse, they billed me yesterday for my dog-sitting service. Such a joke. They said they would ‘investigate it,'” she added.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Giorgi and Wag for comment.
The Wag app connects dog owners with independent walkers and sitters in their area, similar to the ride-sharing app Uber. The website states that all of its walkers are vetted with a ‘rigorous screening process’, including a background test
However, the $650 million company is steeped in controversy as multiple dogs have been lost or killed in the care of the handlers since its founding in 2015.
In January 2019, Sara and Nick Moore, of Houston, Texas, accused the app of silencing them after their pet died at the hands of a novice walker.
Less than six months later, Sophie and Max Troper had their dog, Benny, stolen by a Wag walker in June 2019. The couple enlisted Wag investor Olivia Munn to use her star power to locate their dog, who was eventually found by police.
That same month, a Manhattan couple filed a lawsuit against Wag after their… Yorkshire Terrier, Whiskey, was hit by a car and killed while on the road with the walker they rented through the app.
In December 2019, 15 pets were reported to have been ‘killed or lost’ while in the care of someone hired through the Wag app.
In 2019, Hilary Schneider, then CEO of Wag, wrote a open letter to customers because of concerns about the care of their pets.
“We have some work to do on our side, and we are determined to do it,” she said. “We are reviewing and revising our customer service systems.”