By JOEL MORENO, KOMO
SEATTLE (KOMO) - A new lawsuit blames a local pet-sitting company - and a former "Baywatch" TV star - for negligence that led to a dog's death.
The lawsuit accuses Rover of not doing enough to make sure the people it contracts with for dog sitting and walking can safely handle animals.
“They are representing that there is this vetting process but they are not doing really anything to ensure the safety of pets," said Robert Tauler, an attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff in the Los Angeles area.
In April 2017, a one-and-a-half-year-old Papillon named Snoopy was killed when the owner left it with one of Rover’s contract workers, according to the lawsuit. The court filing said that despite Rover’s claims, the company doesn't properly vet its sitters.
In this case, the sitter was former "Baywatch" actress Angelica Bridges. The lawsuit said Bridges did not have proper fencing around her yard, which allowed Snoopy to wander off and be hit by a car.
Snoopy's owner also claimed that Rover guaranteed complimentary insurance in case anything happened to her pet, but in the end offered no compensation - including for cremation costs.
“You can't just say you're insured and then back out of it,” Tauler said. “There are serious penalties for that."
A spokesperson for Rover said the company had not yet been served with a copy of the court filing and couldn't address specifics.
Rover did clarify that the company does run background checks, that applicants must fill out a safety assessment and they must provide images of the home where dogs will be watched. However, no examples were available on what would disqualify an applicant.
Rover also said it provides insurance coverage when services are booked.
Lastly, the spokesperson said “the Rover team is heartbroken by Snoopy's passing and made extensive efforts to assist with aftercare and to check on the owner's well being."
Rest of Rover statement: "Regarding the lawsuit, we just learned about it today as result of the law firm's media outreach. We've read what they posted online but we have not been served so we’re not in a position to comment further at this point." - Rover Spokesperson #komonews pic.twitter.com/9jmc7zq88G— Joel Moreno (@JoelMorenoKOMO) February 27, 2018