Who owns Rover? Sitter hired from app gets dog killed in highway crash

A Chihuahua/Yorkie mix called Gizmo was left with a Rover dog sitter by his pet-parents who weren't even informed of their pet's tragic death


                            Who owns Rover? Sitter hired from app gets dog killed in highway crash
Rover founder Aaron Easterly (LinkedIn)

Through the pandemic, the just-gone-public, pet-sitting company Rover has acquired quite the user count. Connecting dog owners to potential sitters seemed to help a lot of Americans as they eased into life post quarantine, having adopted pets during the lockdown. But as convenient as the app might sound, harrowing stories of dog deaths have emerged as news of the company going public surfaces. From being abused to being found dead in care of these sitters, the alarming incidents once again came to light when another pet parent raised complaints of their pooch dying while in care of a Rover sitter, who claimed the dog had run away.

The news of a dog named Gizmo also dying at the hands of a Rover sitter comes amidst a deep dive from CNN where the publication listed other shocking, tragic accounts of pet owners suffering similar experiences on the app. News of dogs abused and sometimes even cruelly killed by their own owners have also not been that uncommon in the recent past. Just a month ago, a viral video showed a Brooklyn man dragging a dog owner by his dog's leash for abusing his pet. Another Texas man was arrested after a video of him abandoning his husky dog went viral. Another New York woman was accused of stabbing her own pet dog and trying to decapitate the poor animal with a sword before leaving her for hours writhing in pain before she was finally rescued. But as reports of troubling encounters arrive from the app's users, it piques one's curiosity about who exactly owns Rover? 

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Who owns Rover?

Rover Group, Inc. has begun trending on The Nasdaq Global Select Market. The company's common stock will continue to be traded under the ticker 'ROVR', while its warrants with trend under the ticket 'ROVRW'. Sealing its previously-announced merger with Nebula Caravel Acquisition Corp, Rover will continue to have Founder Aaron Easterly as the company's CEO, along with Adam Clammer, Caravel CEO, and Founding Partner of True Wind Capital (who are sponsoring Caravel), both joining Rover’s Board of Directors. 

“I’m incredibly proud of our team for achieving this milestone, and grateful to all the pet care providers who’ve joined us on our mission to make it possible for everyone to experience the unconditional love of a pet,” Rover CEO, Aaron Easterly said, acoording to a Globe News Wire report. “This is the beginning of what we believe could be a great period of value creation for Rover as we continue working to make it easier for pet parents around the world to connect with loving pet care," Easterly added, even though the company's reputation seems to have been tainted with recent developments. 

What happened to Gizmo?

A Chihuahua/Yorkie mix called Gizmo was left with a Rover dog sitter by his parents, who were going to Disneyland for a weekend trip. The sitter told Gizmo's parents - Ashley Dingess and Nick Roa that their dog had run away. However, the couple doubted the sitter's claim because Gizmo was quite old for a dog and had just undergone surgery on his leg, which prevented him from running fast. The sitter eventually confessed she was running errands when Gizmo allegedly escaped somehow. The possibility of him jumping out of the car window seems unlikely to Nick and Ashley, reports TMZ, adding that they found the sitter suspicious from the beginning.

The outlet reports that Gizmo was actually hit by a car and killed at the onramp of a nearby freeway. A witness of the tragedy informed the pet parents, who have since been left crushed, but also livid. When they contacted Rover to complain, the company spokesperson apologized and asked them to submit their grievances in writing. Rover reportedly offered the couple $500 to cover cremations costs. However, money can hardly compensate for what the company put them through.

While it's unclear whether Nick and Ashley are planning to take legal action, Rover does not want their experience to alarm other users. A spokesperson for the company told TMZ, "Our Trust and Safety team is investigating the incident and we are prepared to take appropriate actions, including removing the pet care provider from our community. Pending the outcome of the investigation, we've paused their account on our platform. Our hearts go out to all who loved Gizmo and we will continue to offer our support to his family. This experience is highly unusual on our platform: Over 40 million stays have been booked through Rover, with 97% of reviews receiving 5 stars."

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