The owners of a dog named Winnie say the Uber of dog walking apps, Wag, tried to buy their silence after their dog was run over by a car when being walked by a Wag walker, reports CBS News. On December 10, Sara Moore received a phone call from her Wag! walker that her dog Winnie was safe after the walk. However, shortly after that call, Moore received another phone call, this time from a Wag! representative, who told her that Winnie had in fact been killed when hit by a car on her walk with the Wag walker.
Wag representatives told the Moore’s they would reimburse all expenses related to the death and cremation of Winnie. However, after Winnie’s owners sent them the receipts totaling $188, Wag sent a nondisclosure agreement to sign before any monies would be paid. As the CBS News reports:
One thing was clear–Wag did not want anyone to know about what had happened with Winnie. They sent the Moore’s a settlement and a non-disclosure agreement. “We sent them our receipts and they sent us their ‘Wag Trust and Safety Guarantee’ that said if we wanted to get the $188 dollars we paid for Winnie’s cremation and paw print we would have to sign the agreement saying we wouldn’t say anything–orally or in writing–regarding the incident,” [owner] Nick said. “We felt disrespected, and respectfully declined to sign.”
It wasn’t until the Moore’s Facebook post about the incident went viral that Wag contacted them again to offer immediate payment for expenses incurred over the death of their dog. However, the Moores declined the payment, saying “We responded that it was never about the money, that our grievance was due to their lack of compassion.” As for Wag’s part, it told CBS News:
“We extend our sympathy to the Moores during this difficult time. We’re a company of dog lovers and pet parents, and we’re deeply saddened about what happened to Winnie. The hit-and-run accident involving Winnie was an unusual accident, and we provided the Moores with updates as we investigated what happened. We’re addressing concerns about our response procedures, and we’re changing our policy for paying claims to reflect a higher level of sensitivity to each situation. We care very deeply about the health and safety of the dogs walked on our platform. We use a robust vetting process that includes an application and verification process, a third-party background check, and online tests covering dog safety and handling knowledge that each applicant must pass to be approved to work on our platform.”
This isn’t the first time Wag has come under fire for the ways its walkers treat and take care of animals. Earlier this month a video surfaced of a Wag dog walker abusing the dog in his care.