A woman whose beloved dog when missing under the care of the pet-sitting app Wag has alleged that she spent a week searching for her pet before the company told her she had died — and then billed her for its services.
Liz Giorgi, the CEO and co-founder of the same-day photo and video studio Soona, chronicled her search for her dog Fran and her interactions with Wag on Twitter while rallying her friends, family, and neighbors in Denver, Colorado, to help find her pet.
On Wednesday, Giorgi tweeted that Fran was dead, though it’s unclear if her pet had died in the Wag sitter’s care or ran away and then died. She slammed the company while detailing the callous way the heartbreaking news was allegedly delivered.
‘This is how the @WagWalking call goes if they lose & kill your dog: “I’m calling to report we have news on your pet. Our local contact has informed us she has not made it. She has passed away. These instances 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 under the care of a pet sitter she hired on the Wag app
On Wednesday, January 12, she tweeted that Fran was dead, though it’s unclear if her pet had died in the Wag sitter’s care or ran away and then died
Giorgi had previously shared that she left her two dogs in Wag’s care to go on a trip to Africa in honor of her late father, who had died unexpectedly six weeks before.
She explained her normal 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 stating that Fran was lost, but they had called her mother-in-law to help look for her.
Giorgi realized it would take her five days at best to get home from rural Africa because there are only two flights in and out every 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 she was afraid 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 had died unexpectedly six weeks before
On January 5, she said she got a text from her Wag walker stating that her dog Fran was lost, but they had called her mother-in-law to help look for her
‘She’s has kept me going through losing my dad — please help me bring her home,’ she added.
When she logged onto the Wag app, she panicked when she realized they didn’t have any process for handling a lost dog or a way to contact customer service about time-sensitive matters.
‘You just sit in the queue with everyone else,’ she tweeted, claiming it took the company 25 hours to respond to her.
Giorgi said when she finally heard from Wag, there wasn’t any to-do list, recommendations, or written documentation of what the company was willing to do, adding that no one had even told her they were sorry.
She accused the company employees of dragging their feet when it came to finding her dog, saying it took days for them to hang signs and hire a tracker to search for Fran.
Giorgi offered a $1,500 for Fran’s safe return while rallying her friends, family, and neighbors to search for her
Giorgi claimed it took 25 hours for Wag to respond to her messages on the app, saying it took days for them to hang signs and hire a tracker
She also said that Wag never apologized to her for her losing her dog
Giorgi posted screenshots of her messages to and from Wag while slamming the company for its response to her missing dog
‘A platform that boasts about same-day dog walking can’t find people to post signs after 2 days of having lost my dog. And will be “working on it” tomorrow,’ she tweeted while sharing a message she allegedly received from Wag.
Giorgi claimed she tried reaching out to Wag CEO Garrett Smallwood via Twitter, LinkedIn, through mutual acquaintances, but he remained ‘silent.’
She continued to tweet about her search while gathering her friends, family, and neighbors to search for Fran via Nextdoor, a social networking app for neighbors.
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’m sad to report that my soul dog, Fran, has died,’ she tweeted. ‘All your help and amplification to try [to] bring her home meant the world to me. It has renewed my faith in people. On that note: never use @WagWalking — they will harm 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 get to see her one last time before she was cremated
Giorgi slammed Wag while detailing the callous way the heartbreaking news of her dog’s death was allegedly delivered
Giorgi also claimed Wag billed her for its dog sitting services after Fran was confirmed dead
In a recent tweet, she alleged that Wag erased all of her messages with the pet sitter who lost her dog
‘The dog tracker found her and called animal control,’ she explained, saying she didn’t even get to see Fran one last time before she was cremated. ‘We have her ashes now, though, and will make a large donation to the rescue that we adopted her from in her honor.’
‘Adding insult to injury, they billed me for my dog sitting services yesterday. Such a joke. They said they would ‘look into 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. Its website states that all of its walkers are vetted with a ‘rigorous screening process,’ including a background test
However, the company valued at — $650 million — has been steeped in controversy as multiple dogs have gotten lost or killed under its handlers’ care since it was founded in 2015.
In January 2019, Sara and Nick Moore, from Houston, Texas, accused the app of trying to silence them after their pet died in 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, Whisky, was hit by a car and killed while out with the walker they had hired through the app.
As of December 2019, 15 pets were reported to have been ‘killed or lost’ while in the care of someone who had been hired through the Wag app.
In 2019, Hilary Schneider, Wag’s CEO at the time, wrote an open letter to customers over concerns about their pets’ care.
‘We have some work to do on our end, and we’re committed to doing it,’ she said. ‘We’re revisiting and reviewing our customer service systems.’