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

VIDEO: Abbotsford Agrifair shares more about Drive-Thru Safari concept

Agrifair officials lay out plans for annual event, which runs from July 31 to Aug. 2

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Chilliwack RCMP seeing surge in telephone-based tax scam

Victims are phoned by someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding money

19 times on 19th birthday: Aldergrove teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Chilliwack Chiefs alum Jordan Kawaguchi named captain of North Dakota Fighting Hawks

The high scoring forward will lead UND into the 2020-21 NCAA Div-1 hockey season

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read