WEST HOLLYWOOD—A couple filed a lawsuit against a West Hollywood dog walking company on Tuesday, October 1 for the death of their 10 1/2 year old French bulldog.
The lawsuit filed by plaintiffs Brandon Engholm and Brittany Rawlings accuse the company Wag! of fraud and negligence. They are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. The two are also seeking an injunction preventing the company from withholding information about injuries or deaths to their pets according to the lawsuit. The complaint does not specify the relationship between the two plaintiffs.
According to the suit, both Engholm and Rawlings were unaware of their dog’s death until they were notified by a veterinarian. After the two learned about their dog’s death, they received no assistance from Wag!, which claimed they had no record of walking their French bulldog “Burger” that day.
Surveillance video shows the dog walker looking at her cell phone with the elderly French bulldog far behind. One clip shows Burger crossing a crosswalk slowly by himself before being struck by an SUV, as the dog walker stood on the sidewalk.
Court documents indicate that witnesses at the scene told the couple that the dog walker did not render aid to the pet. She repeated her concern that she was going to lose her job and that she was going to miss a concert that day. A photo of a witness in tears over the dog being hit is also included in the suit.
A statement issued by Wag! reads:
“Every day, thousands of pets are cared for using the Wag! platform. Accidents and incidents are rare, but we know the impact even one can have on the family involved. We are committed to the safety and security of our platform, and you can learn more about our Trust & Safety measures here: wagwalking.com/trust-safety.”
Earlier this year, a couple in Texas had a similar experience with a Wag! dog walker. Their dog, Winnie was struck by a car and died while being walked by one of the company’s dog walkers.