‘$34 a Day’ Pet Sitter Lets Beloved Family Bulldog Die

A family has been left devastated following the death of their beloved bulldog. It was allegedly left in a glass conservativory by their pet sitter on a day when temperatures soared to 80.6°F under heat wave conditions. 

Nikki and Glenn Morton left their bulldog Teddie in the custody of the sitter, who charged £28 ($34) a day, for her services. The incident happened on Sunday, July 17. The couple, from Caerphilly in South Wales, said they had presumed the 21-month-old pooch would be safe with the boarder, who was highly recommended on the website Rover. But less than 24 hours after dropping him off, Nikki received a call saying, “Your dog is dead.”

Authorities are investigating the tragedy after Nikki, 49, alleged her dog was left in a hot glass conservatory at the boarder’s place. “I am angry and absolutely heartbroken because it was so avoidable,” she told Wales News. “The conservatory was boiling when we went there that day. It was 27°C (80.6°F) outside and hotter in there.”

According to the report, the Mortons had booked Teddie to stay with the sitter for a couple of nights so he could get acclimatized to the environment before they left for a two-week vacation to Jamaica later this year. Nikki reportedly found the sitter listed on Rover, a website that connects pet owners to various services such as pet sitting, dog boarding and dog walking. “I searched on Google and Rover came up. It seemed really legit and we found a sitter who sounded like a really nice lady with five-star reviews and everyone raving about her,” she said.

The heartbroken owner said she was surprised to learn five other dogs were staying with the sitter at the same time. She said Teddie was left with the sitter at around 6 pm, but she received a call at 7.48 am the next day informing her that her “dog is dead.” “I asked where he’d been sleeping and she said: ‘Well, the conservatory,'” Nikki said. “Why would you leave a dog in a glass box in extreme weather conditions? I was sobbing and had to just put the phone down.”

When the Mortons went to collect the canine’s body, they saw the conservatory door was open. “My dog was dead on the floor and she had thrown a quilted blanket over him,” Nikki recalled. “He was in almost full rigor mortis. The smell was horrendous. It’s a fully glass conservatory with no blinds. I’m hanging on to the thought that he didn’t suffer in the conservatory,” she continued. “My house feels empty and my heart feels empty. Everyone in our street knew him. He couldn’t walk down the street without someone fussing him. He loved running around the garden chasing tennis balls. He loved life and he loved people.” She added, “The cat is wandering round the house looking for him because they were best mates. He was a huge, huge part of our life. And he was a baby – he had at least another 10 years in him.”

Nikki was told by the local council’s licensing team that the sitter does not have a dog boarding license. “The licensing department recommends that only licensed dog boarders are used,” a Vale of Glamorgan official said in an email. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Rover released a statement. “At Rover most of us are pet parents ourselves and our hearts go out to Teddie’s family and all who loved him. We are committed to supporting Teddie’s owner during this challenging time,” it read. “Our 24/7 trust and safety team is currently investigating the situation. We are removing the sitter from our platform, preventing them from offering further pet care services through Rover. Pet safety and the wellbeing of our community is our top priority at Rover. During this unprecedented heatwave in the UK we are proactively providing safety information to members of our community to help protect pets.”

A South Wales Police spokeswoman said on Thursday, July 21, that the department “received a report concerning the death of a dog which happened on Monday, July 18,” adding, “Inquiries are ongoing.”

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