Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Ten-month-old Frankie (left) was dropped off using dog-sitting service Rover.com on Nov. 11, 2019 and immediately was lost by the sitter. (Submitted)
Kim Levinsky with 10-month-old Frankie who went missing from a Chilliwack dog sitter hired through Rover.com on Nov. 11, 2019, and four days later was still missing. (Submitted)
Ten-month-old Frankie (left) was dropped off using dog-sitting service Rover.com on Nov. 11, 2019 and immediately was lost by the sitter. (Submitted)
Frankie the pit bull with her pal, three-year-old Linden Levinsky. (Submitted)
Frankie the pit bull with owner Dan Levinsky and five-year-old Olivia Levinsky. (Submitted)
Ten-month-old Frankie went missing from a Chilliwack dog sitter hired through Rover.com on Nov. 11, 2019, and four days later was still missing. (Submitted)

When the Levinsky family dropped their dog Frankie off at a Chilliwack dog sitter booked through an online dog-sitting service, they hoped their 10-month-old pit bull was in good hands.

Off to the airport and a flight to Mexico for the Kim and Dan Levinsky with their kids aged three and five.

But then the unthinkable happened.

Kim Levinsky with 10-month-old Frankie who went missing from a Chilliwack dog sitter hired through Rover.com on Nov. 11, 2019, and four days later was still missing. (Submitted)

It was Nov. 11, and soon after being dropped off at the house near Fletcher and Cleveland in the downtown area, Frankie hopped a fence and ran into the road. She was hit by a car and took off.

While the Levinskys are off in Mexico worrying, friends of the family have been frantically searching the city, but some don’t think the dog-sitting service is doing enough.

Rover.com is a Seattle-based firm that is an online marketplace for people to buy and sell pet care services including pet sitting, dog boarding, and dog walking. It’s described by some as the Uber for dogs or Airbnb for pets, hooking up pet owners with those willing to board or walk pets.

Kelsey Vincent is a friend of the Levinskys who said 40 people, including the dog sitter, were searching for four hours on Nov. 11 but couldn’t find her. The next day they hired Al MacLellan from Surrey-based Petsearchers to look with his bloodhound, but still nothing.

(See below for more photos.)

“She was lost within 30 minutes of being dropped off for care and has been missing since Nov. 11,” Vincent said on Nov. 15. “The friends and family have been out searching for days. There are posters everywhere. Even search dog services (bloodhound scent tracking) has been initiated.”

But Vincent said Rover declined to help pay for the bloodhound services, and has otherwise not been particularly responsive to the situation.

“[The Levinskys] are in Mexico while all of this is going on at home and Rover is providing very little support to help bring Frank home,” Vincent said via email, adding in a phone interview, “Literally the only thing you had to do was keep the dog safe,” Vincent said of Rover and the dog-sitter used.

And while Rover says this type of situation is rare, it does happen. In September a Vancouver family complained to other media outlets about Rover and how their two-year-old shepherd mix went missing the same day it was dropped off at a sitter.

• RELATED: 20-day search for missing dog in Princeton, B.C., ends with tears of joy

• RELATED: ‘It’s more than a lost pet, it’s a family member’: Rossland residents help find Molly the dog

In that case, the family found out the sitter had lost other dogs and often cared for five or six at a time. The company told Global and CTV News that the particular sitter is no longer allowed to offer services through the platform.

Asked about Frankie, Rover provided The Progress with a statement: “As dog parents ourselves, we take these rare situations very seriously and our primary focus is seeing Frankie reunited with her family,” said Dave Rosenbaum from Rover’s public relations team in an email. “To aid in the search efforts, we have posted in online forums, engaged local members of our community to help locate Frankie, and are offering a reward for information leading to her being found. The sitter’s account has been paused, and our 24/7 Trust and Safety team will conduct a complete investigation.”

According to its website, Rover’s guarantee covers “costs arising from certain injuries or damages that occur during a service booked and paid through Rover. The injuries or damages must result from care provided during a Rover stay or walk, and the guarantee reimburses in the event the sitter or walker is unwilling or unable to pay those costs.”

Anyone who spots Frankie is asked to call Kelsey Vincent at 604-765-7475. She says if Frankie is spotted, do not chase her or she will run. Just call the number if you are able to keep an eye on her. If you are really close, Frankie is “super food motivated.”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Delta yoga studio’s Fridays at the Farm to benefit local animal sanctuary

The outdoor four-class series will benefit Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary in Ladner

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

North Delta crime beat, week of June 27

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

South Delta crime beat, week of June 27

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Surrey officer-impersonation scam continues ‘almost daily’

Police reiterate warning that demands for Bitcoin in exchange for waived charges are fraudulent

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion to eastern Lower Mainland

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read