Yesterday we told you about Lucky, a deaf American bulldog mix who was found emaciated in his crate in Smyrna, GA, recently, having been starved for weeks, left by the foster who had been expected to care for him.
Following the news story about Lucky, many more people have come forward, accusing the woman — who has not yet been named as she has not been charged with anything — of leaving their pets to starve and soil their homes, as well.
According to Atlanta NBC affiliate 11 Alive, there was so much urine in Bradley Patterson’s couch, that when he returned home to his two dogs and cat after a trip in August, rancid liquid gushed from the cushions.
Patterson told the reporter his family hired the same pet sitter, now under investigation for allegedly neglecting Lucky, and another rescue dog named Simpson.
He’d hired the woman to stay in his home with his three pets for the duration of fall break. Once back, he said, the food he’d left was untouched and his house was a complete disaster. Patterson doesn’t think she showed up once. His dogs, severely malnourished, recovered, but his cat died from the stress.
And he is just one of dozens who contacted 11Alive after they reported on Lucky’s sad story.
Karen Kawczak had to buy new carpet after the woman failed to visit her dogs as promised.
“There were so many stains and just dried feces everywhere,” she said.
“The fact that people trust her in their homes and they trust her with their valuable pets, their family members, was really upsetting,” said Karen Levy, the owner of Laughing Pets Atlanta.
Levy uses a tracking system for all her company’s sitters, ensuring they make their visits promptly and stay the length of time promised. She says there are some important things pet owners should consider when hiring a pet sitter: liability insurance, a service agreement and someone who is willing to meet you in your home first are three biggies. References, too, are important.
11Alive first learned about this story when Justine Stinnett, who works with dog rescue organizations, began to worry about a rescue dog placed in the pet sitters care to foster. Stinnett says she gave the 50 lb. mixed breed to the Smyrna woman on Nov. 11.
Just over a month later, she had to save her rescue dog, after she found out that he had missed a vet appointment. She found Lucky, emaciated inside a crate that the pet sitter allegedly left outside in the rain. Vets say the dog would have to have been denied food for weeks to be in the condition in which he was found.
After Lucky’s story spread, the director of the Meriwether County Animal Shelter said she contacted Stinnett, concerned about Simpson, a dog they had recently adopted to the same woman.
Simpson is a blind American bulldog and Stinnett immediately returned to the house to search for him.
“We went back to the house and the door was open and there he was. He was stumbling, he can’t see. He’s blind. So mine was deaf. So she left a blind dog and a deaf dog to die in a home with no food, no water. Nothing,” Stinnett said.
Efforts to reach the pet sitter have gone unanswered.