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)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)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)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 her pal, three-year-old Linden Levinsky. (Submitted)
Frankie the pit bull with owner Dan Levinsky and five-year-old Olivia 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)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

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

Surrey Little Theatre is located on 184th Street at Fraser Highway. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey Little Theatre, Langley Players look to merge as single company at 200th Street theatre

A ‘really exciting’ development for the volunteer-run theatre companies

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Blaine inn owner’s challenge of immigration act fails

Robert Boule’s trial on human-smuggling charges set to begin August 2021

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read