A quick Google for "pet sitting dog died" turns up a number of these stories. It seems a number of them are through these dog sitting services like Wag or Rover.
Here's an interesting one I found not through a dog sitting service but just a roommate that had been asked to sit the dog while the owner was away.
It must be awful for everyone involved. I suspect it's nothing unique to dog sitting services but that it occurs with a certain (albeit low) frequency as a phenomenon but that it's showing up through dog sitting services because there is a (1) a paper trail of the transaction and (2) a stable, visible entity on which to lay the blame.
In the pre-sharing economy days this still happened. Only you vetted the sitter first and so you feel less justified blaming them because on some level you know you signed off on them. You also couldn't really go public and say "14 year old Jenny from Ashmore killed my dog" because you can't make a common enemy out of her and while people will feel for both of you, it's not actionable information for anyone.
It's fascinating what phenomenon our society is making visible through new structures made possible by technology.
It's awful for all involved to have this happen.
Stop trusting platforms and acting shocked when the trust model breaks down. They are not designed for safety or trust, but to skim as much volume as possible from transaction flow.
I don't know that it's accurate to say the contractor doesn't care. If they were a psychopath I could agree with that, but most people have had the experience of having either a pet, friend or relative die and know how deeply it affects people emotionally and to know you were responsible for that would likely generate a strong, negative visceral reaction.
Edit: Platforms don't kill dogs; people do. Stop trusting people.
Actually this is the part that fascinates me. On some level people expect things to never go wrong. Yet things going "wrong" is kind of the default. It's extremely hard to engineer a situation in which no one ever experiences a negative outcome. To the extent that you can attribute a cause to an outcome, you do.
Infact, it's not at all clear whether the frequency of dogs dying while being sat by pet sitters is higher on platforms or higher when not through platforms. You'd actually have to do quite a lengthy, expensive analysis to compute the truth value of that.
What can likely agree on is that we want the most safe and convenient system. I'm fascinated by thinking about the various trade-offs made when organizing a system one way vs. another. Are we trading more convenience for less safety? Or are we actually getting both more convenience AND more safety, but also increased observability is skewing our perception of the risk such that we think we have got a less safe system when in fact the opposite might be true?
I don't have the answers. But damnit it's important to attempt to look at things the right way in an attempt to compute that actual reality.
True; nevertheless: good engineering practice dictates that you design a product, service or component in a way that it gracefully fails.
A good example is the regulator for scuba diving (the thing that enables you to breathe and which contains the main valve, through which you breathe and the second stage, referred to as octopus, which is conneted to the bottle and the gauges).
Any of those components could fail. The device, however, is designed in a way that if this happens it fails "safely" meaning that it's almost not possible that air flow is completely blocked, but that it flows unrestricted. Meaning you can still breathe, alas for a short time since the bottle empties rapidly and the flow is unrestricted.
This gives you a fighting chance and a way out by signalling the distress to your buddy so you can safely mount to the surface using techniques such as buddy breathing. Training for such emergencies is arguably the most important part of scuba diving training. There's still the possibilty that the thing blocks completely, but that's extremely rare and the base design of this equipment part is done in a way to minimize this possibility. 
Another example is a dead man's switch . You don't anticipate that a train conductor is rendered incommunicado by, say, a heart attack. But this fail safe mechanism is nevertheless there in the extremely rare case when it happens. If the switch is not engaged, when it signals the conductor the train is stopped automatically.
I think that when you create something like a dog walking service it's almost rekless not to design your process flows with the consideration that an accident may happen and how to handle it. The question is not if, but when.
Wag's panic mode and the waving around of NDAs signals quite loudly that they obviously never thought about it and thus cannot be trusted to care for your animal. And this is actually the most charitable assessment of how they handled this disaster.
Chances that one of your consignees is hurt or killed are probably much greater than that your regulator malfunctions or that a train conductor is suddenly dropping dead
I have a couple of thoughts...
There is a sort of dialectic that unfolds with regards to what fail-safes should be engineered and how to engineer them. It perhaps might be possible in some cases to compute a priori what fail-safe mechanisms a system needs to include, but for the most part it seems that a catastrophe (or a string of them) first unfolds which then gives you the necessary information as to what the requirements are for the fail-safe. I think this is a very important point worth stressing. As it relates to this incident, I'll grant you they probably could have done better from the outset, but I stand by the comment that sometimes it's not possible to compute ahead of time what fail-safes you need and experiencing these kind of PR disasters is just part of the journey towards a system that works better. Call it dialectical engineering if you will. If there is another, better, actual name that concept goes by I'd like to know if anyone can tell me.
The other comment would be that I like to think about things from a control-theoretic and systems thinking point of a view and that this particular statement of "It's extremely hard to engineer a situation in which no one ever experiences a negative outcome" is a real core, axiomatic belief for me that I base a lot of my thinking and critiques of things around. I like what you have to say about engineering. It's very apt. I always couch my thoughts / analyses in the broadest possible context. So in the case of the regulator for scuba diving my mind flashes back to the terrifying stories I have read about people who let their concentration lapse at a critical juncture in a cave and panicked when they realised they couldn't find their way back and in that case it didn't matter that their regulator worked or not because it was their mind that had failed them. You mention training as being a crucial input to the system and I absolutely agree. I go so far as to include the cave itself as a constraint in the whole system design as well as all the pitfalls of the human mind. So it's not just the device but the entire context in which the device operates that's the important thing.
Human engineered machines gracefully fail; humans do not. We have this deep need to play the blame game when things go wrong. We all do it and we all understand it, but it's not always justified and I think that matters. I like to try and get to the bottom of whether the moral outrage suffered by people is justified in situations where they were harmed but it wasn't necessarily the fault of someone. Well, it might be the fault of someone, but that also might just be a necessary part of the process a la my concept of dialectical engineering. It's a complicated topic.
Of course you will be outraged or upset if your dog dies while in the care of somebody else and you aren't likely to sit and get all philosophical about it, but when you play the blame game you search for the most salient (to you) cause or potential cause of your effect and you attribute it to that. I think it's often stunningly likely you're making an error in judgement when you do this, because of the hard problem of delineation you can't necessarily compute what the actual cause is with any degree of accuracy so epistemology comes in to play. How do you know that what you're mad at is the appropriate thing to be mad at?
I disagree with that notion. Trust has always been a big problem. But when a two way market is built on a platform you trust the platform to carry out it's due diligence on your behalf. Situations like:
The walker that was with Winnie when she was killed had a different name in her bio paragraph than was shown on her profile—which makes me wonder if Wag is monitoring whether or not the people walking your dog are who they say they are. Sara asked the walker what her name was, but the walker did not provide an answer.
shouldn't happen at all.
But it's seems that most of the time platforms forgo the need for verification and think trust should solve itself because "people". It takes a harassment case (in case of Uber) etc for companies to open their eyes and realize "people" are not so simple. It takes a good and concentrated effort to run a clean platform.
Isn't one of the central points of gig economy service provision that services are cheaper since the "red tape"/regulations aspect gets significantly less focus than before?
If I wanted to drive a taxi in London, UK, there are some fairly onerous requirements, which come with a cost.
So why did Uber and friends decide not to use the same list of requirements?
Isn't it about saving money (and time) so you can keep prices low and margins high?
> It takes a good and concentrated effort to run a clean platform
Precisely. It's hard. Because people. So I can imagine that without the platform and hence no way to actually have a concentrated effort to do the work required to up the quality you still get the garbage that people bring but without the observability or feedback loop to the entity because they're all just localised cases.
But this is my point. It's people that run the platforms and it's people that partake in them. It's people that choose to trust them and it's people that can't be trusted. It's all ultimately a people problem. The platform is just a mechanism to coordinate the actions of people. It's not like this stuff never happens outside of platforms and now that you have platforms platforms are causing this stuff to happen.
Caveat: it may be the case platforms cause this stuff to happen due to the type of actors they attract because the economics of certain things actually scale poorly along one axis and brilliantly along another. I address this elsewhere and am happy to concede it.
I agree with you. I actually do. I also hope on some level you agree with me too. We want things to be convenient and safe and it takes time and collateral damage for things to mold themselves into the right shape.
Coordination of good behavior is a hard, hard, problem to solve. It's not like the default state is "uncoordinated good behavior". Rather it seems to progress through states of "uncoordinated bad behavior", "coordinated bad behavior", "coordinated good behavior".
From what I can see of the sharing economy experiment, once you coordinate things you get to coordinated bad behavior and then from there it takes a few incidents to honestly compute the real risks and appropriate responses and appropriate changes are made and you wind up with coordinated good behavior.
That's a loose model and I'm sure someone out there can present a much better one than me, but I'm willing to at least say the analysis is in the right direction.
Lack of progress on that front has been a big turn off for me. I generally do not make use of gig services.
I call this "The Hard Problem of Delineation". You can't delineate between who will and won't kill your dog no matter what system you use. That's the problem.
Though I take your point about the cold, uncaring, capitalist dog walker. Hmmm.
Edit: now that I think about your point I can see what you mean. The "sharing economy (Uber for X)" has become a widely known abstraction that people realize they can exploit for monetary gain and thats likely to attract more people walking dogs who wouldn't otherwise care about, be familiar with and/or know how to handle dogs. I agree, at least in principle, that may be a phenomenon that is occurring.
I think essentially every dog owner will have done something to "kill" their dog but were saved by chance. Dogs sneak out the door when you're bringing groceries in, yank the leash out of your hand, escape fenced yards, among a number of other possibilities of them getting loose. The saving grace is that 999 times out of a thousand there's no traffic or the driver is paying attention or fluffy comes back before anything happens. In a situation like that it's hard to say if the walker is worse than any random owner or walker, or if they were just unlucky.
The problem lies in the blame game. If it happens on while the owner is looking after the dog they just accept the sad event as an unfortunate random happening. If it happens on someone else's watch it was their "fault". Which it might been or it might not have been but we have a really hard time shutting off that need to find someone to blame for bad things that happen that are out of our control.
You want to maximize the likelihood the dog survives.
The comment that you want to maximize the likelihood the dog survives was referring to the point of market entry after you have decided you want someone to sit your dog but haven't yet selected a provider. They certainly don't have an incentive for the dog to die in that case, unless we invoke a conspiracy theory that they actually also run the doggy crematorium and thus win twice on the deal. But that's a mildly absurb prospect.
I think that's close as well. One of the interesting things I've noticed is that people who are participating in the gig economy seem to be participating in almost ALL of the gig economy at once.
I've met many people who do all of the following almost every day:
- Drive for Uber/Lyft
- Deliver packages for Amazon
- Walk dogs for Wag/Rover
- Rent a place on AirBnb
- Do some stuff on Task Rabbit
- Deliver food for GrubHub/DoorDash/etc...
I can't imagine these folks are any particular loyalty to any of it, nor are they developing skills in any of these in a meaningful way.
Question - do you mean service companies that care (Wag/Uber/...), or service providers that care (DogWalker93/UberDriver93/...)?
I do not use ride sharing, pet services, Airbnb, or other such P2P platforms.
Kind of feels like someone should be able to give non dog walking references to walk your dog. Like if people regularly trust their children with person foo person foo can probably be trusted with pets?
Isn't that chain of trust completely backwards?
You'd start by looking after pets, then once you have loads of good references, you might just be able to upgrade to looking after kids?
Full disclosure: zero pets + three kids
People have verifiable employment references where they have been in positions of trust where they have justified the trust put in them. It's how every position on earth works.
Back in the old days, you could hire your neighbor's kid to do jobs like this.
These days, no one is having kids, so you don't have any neighborhood kids to hire for odd jobs. Instead, people are all just adopting dogs instead, so we have to have big corporations to take care of them for us, apparently.
Needless to say, it became obvious that whoever was watching our dog was not the person we were communicating with. Thankfully, our dog doesn't have special medication, or a specific diet that we needed to monitor. Who knows what would have happened if there was an emergency, and we needed to get in touch with one another.
These services like Wag and Rover have literally one job, and that is to make sure you trust the individuals watching your pet. The response from Rover was completely thoughtless, and it was clear they were going to do nothing to investigate the situation. The fact that they don't care that people like this woman who clearly has some sort of questionable scheme going on just shows how little they care about protecting their customer's pets.
I think this is where the key incentive misalignment is. These companies are rent-seeking, meaning they have a strong incentive to lower marginal costs. Vetting has to be the largest component of that so it's likely to be cut (or just dropped entirely). But the vetting is the entire point of the exercise, so what you end up with is a company that pretends it vets people but (I suspect) doesn't really. So the profit margin is bolstered by false advertising.
You can find tons of complains about the quality of Amazon products. And now there is a need for external tools like fakespot.com to find fake reviews. It wouldn't have taken Amazon much to build a similar service.
The amazing thing about smaller markets like Wag and Rover is that even if there are negative reviews you are not going to find them. There will be tons of 4-5 rated walkers but you will be hard pressed to find people who are rated 2-3. The reason being that customers don't want 2-3 rated walkers and it is in the interest of the company to show all high rated walkers.
Would people really trust it as much as something completely external?
there should also be a certain barrier to entry so that e.g. people more likely to do something criminal or negligent instead won't get on the platform in the first place.
It's entirely possible that such an id and rep feature could be easily be implemented in a universal fashion outside of their interaction with a particular service.
Don't want your dog walking service or potential clients to discover that while driving with uber you were a complete asshole no problem don't be an asshole.
Getting VC money and scaling/capturing market share for these businesses artificially seems to be the recipe, the bigger the network effects the better (for them).
Why anyone wants a pet that costs so much and can't be left alone for a couple of days, and on top of that needs regular bathing and grooming so they don't stink up your home, I have no idea. These animals made a lot of sense for working on farms and living mostly outside (and still do for people who still live that way in rural areas), but for urban environments they really don't.
Without that sort of network, yeah, I don't understand owning a dog either.
I'm sure there is a cost at which people would accept that but you probably can't afford it.
Nope, sorry. A pet is a pet. A human child is a human child. The gulf of difference between these two is vast.
I’m fine with you treating your pet like a human child, do what you want with your life etc... but as someone with a pet AND a human child... there’s a fundamental base instinctive difference. Equating the two is completely intellectually dishonest and frankly kinda scary.
Wag! dog walker charged with animal cruelty; customers concerned about industry background checks
EDIT: and the settlement letter sent from Wag: https://www.scribd.com/document/397139013/SNews-Copie1901081...
Who in the world wants Wag credits after an experience like that. If Wag wants to buy these folks’ silence, shouldn’t they at least make a non-insulting offer?
And credits are cheap and can be provided almost instantaneously. Sometimes they also expire (you have to use them in 14 days or whatever, or you lose them), so it can be a free settlement for companies in the "best" case.
It gives the impression that Wag is just telling the rubes what they want to hear and hoping they can sweep any problems under the rug.
That's often not the case. For instance, male chicks are often killed and discarded solely for not being able to lay eggs, and various other animals are unnecessarily raised in inhumane (meaning "less than human" here) conditions until they are killed, not always for food.
Im just explaining this.
Yes, killing animals just because they cant lay eggs is fucked up. Animals raised in inhuman conditions is animal abuse and should be followed up as such.
But I do not understand how people can think this is one and the same.
but it's also not hard to eat animals that we don't get attached to. it's not entirely contradictory in that light. just as we can love and defend the people around us and yet be callous to the famine and war needlessly affecting those elsewhere.
Some people mentioned that Wag should have offered more and demanded less -- absolutely!
But think about if Wag even said "sorry this happened, that's all we can say for your terrible loss" even without a compensation offer and without an insulting NDA. It probably wouldn't have pushed the owner to post this and for it to end up on HN -- and now the world knows.
I honestly believe Wag and Rover and other large companies that offer pet walking services should put up a very high liability bond for pet injury -- on the order of $10K or more. That way they have skin in the game to vet their walkers better. Most owners value their dogs above that, and that incentive is the only way to get these corporations to listen.
Even if it's 1k that's a pretty serious amount of money to lose, but low enough a barrier of entry that you still have people making a go at it.
Obviously it gets returned to you when you close your Wag Walker account.
In order: A bond isn't paying them. It would ideally go to a reputable third party. Anyone that works for uber paid a whole lot more for that car, sometimes specifically for the job.
Edit: Would the downvoter care to explain? I'm not even saying it's definitely a good idea, I'm just disagreeing with the particular arguments given.
It doesn't really matter whether the bond is going to the company or a third party. The point is you're out of pocket for a large amount of money before starting to work, ostensibly to earn money.
Most people simply aren't in a position to put down that kind of deposit in order to start earning, especially not for a low-paying contract-based "gig" job like this kind of pet-walking.
I'm not sure how any of this helps with the empathy part. Remember malpractice insurance with doctors?
The real deal is these people will just offload their insurance costs to customers, and then extract whatever damages you are likely to pay from that insurance.
>>Most owners value their dogs above that
Personally I think, that kind of insurance charges are not unfair either. If you value your pets life above $10K, say max $50K, so lets you get to chose whatever you value it. Then a few hundred dollars in insurance is not a lot ask for.
People even take insurance for cars they rent. Because there are always, Just in case scenarios.
I called several times where they said "we tried to contact the walker but couldn't so we can't help you". So I had to leave work early and still came home to a torn up couch and plenty of chewed up plastic that had to be surgically removed by a vet. Wag compensated for this by trying to offer me a "5 dollar credit for your next walk!"
How bad to you have to be at PR to screw this up? It's not hard. Liability in the case of harmed pets is extremely limited, so you just pay it all and apologize profusely. There's no way the bad press will be worth saving a couple thousand maximum.
Agreed. You do three things in a crisis:
1) Acknowledge the problem.
You killed someone's dog. This hits like losing family. "We're opening an investigation" is a chickenshit message.
2) CEO needs to speak.
Personal call from the top. If a dog is seriously injured or killed while on your watch, the CEO must make the call. This shows seriousness to the customer. It also ensures top brass feels the pain. That pain prevents future mistakes and is a real emotional tool for correcting cultures.
You'll pay for cremation. You'll pay for counseling. You'll refund every Wag bill they ever incurred. If the family decides to get another dog, you'll offer to pay for their shots and food for a year and pet insurance for life.
The message must be we are sorry, this is unacceptable, and we intend on making this about as difficult for us as it is for you.
(Checklist from a video (with unfortunately and unrelated political content) by Scott Gallaway .)
> Spoken like someone who's never lost family.
in reply to the parent's comment that said:
> You killed someone's dog. This hits like losing family."
My comment will probably be flagged as well, but fine, I'll sacrifice some karma to show my support. I lost my mother due to cancer when I was eleven and I personally find it offensive when someone tells me they know "what it is like" because they lost a pet.
Sure, there are people who have horrible family members that mistreated or abused them, so the loss of a dog means more than the loss of that relative, but if you're going to claim that it is comparable to lose a human being that meant everything to you because an animal died, then we just have a totally different set of moral axioms and are fundamentally incapable of seeing the world in the same way.
I know that losing a pet hurts a lot more than losing a grandparent or aunt or uncle when they're not ever-present in your life. I have not lost parents yet, but at this remove in my life they are in many ways just people I used to know - my personality and values are quite different to them and I find it hard to empathize with their life choices. I think losing them would be similar to losing the little kitten I reared from a few weeks old. The actual relationship with my parents is mostly dead already, because it's been decades since we were close.
It's not about losing a human Vs losing an animal. It's about losing a relationship that is part of your daily life.
The question "do we want to maintain a hierarchy of grief" is absurd, there is not one human alive who doesn't already do that on some level.
Grief is grief. What's at the top of your list might not be the top of someone elses. You don't invalidate someone else's grief because yours ranks higher on your own list.
It's just a silly attempt to sidestep the argument.
Our cat died two years ago and although we've had a few cats over the years, this cat was special. I was totally unprepared for the grief and pain that I, and the rest of my family members, experienced. I didn't feel like I could really even talk about it with people outside the family because it sounded ridiculous to so many people with the view of "it's just a cat!" But not this cat, and not to us.
My aunt died the same year. She was my mom's best friend and growing up I was at her house, hanging with my cousins, all the time. She was a total sweetheart: a kind, goodhearted, sweet woman with a heart of gold. When she passed I grieved, but although I feel genuinely ashamed to write this, the level of emotional intensity - the raw pain - did not reach the same level as when our cat died.
Grief over the loss of a beloved being does not come from a rational calculus of that being's worth.
I lost my dad at age 20 and in the months after was mostly surrounded by friends that had no idea what losing a parent felt like. In their attempts, I never felt I had the right to discredit their grief as being lesser, be it for an ex-girlfriend or a dog they grew up with.
Now, the specifics - it seems to me the particular moral axiom in question here is that "human life is always worth more than non-human life". Others in this thread have pointed out that you can't use that to make statements about what sort of grief people ought to feel, and I would hope that whatever your moral framework, compassion for grieving humans (whatever their moral framework) should factor into it.
However, I also think it's worth tackling this particular moral axiom head-on. The value of a human life is not constant or consistent between people - your own family is worth more to you than a stanger's, and you even admit that a dog might warrant more grief than a terrible person, even if that terrible person is family. Well, the value of a canine life isn't constant either. If it's possible and justifiable to love a dog more than family because the family is bad, why shouldn't it be possible and justifiable to love a dog as much as family, because the dog is good? There's a continuum, not a hard cutoff of "humans > dogs". Even if you think the average human is worth more than the average dog, you shouldn't be surprised - or offended - by other people's bereavement.
(I'd like to add an argument-from-Hollywood: They even made a whole film about a man cutting a swathe through evil, violent mobsters in a righteous fury, because they killed his dog. They made a very similar film about a man doing this because evil, violent mobsters kidnapped his daughter. Clearly, the emotions are comparable, and according to hollywood dogs and family are both worth more than evil, violent, human mobsters).
I see this dichotomy quite a bit in the public discourse, regarding dogs especially, where 1/2 the world treats dogs as family and the other half thinks they are some play toy/object.
We have been living with wolves/dogs for a long time now, we're responsible for how they have evolved, and part of that is how they have evolved to bond with humans. It's not surprising to me that losing a dog feels like losing a child for some people.
> 1/2 the world treats dogs as family
Do you think that half the world, if given the choice between saving either their dog or a stranger's child in a disaster situation (e.g. a house fire), would choose their dog?
They have had border collies all their lives, who were all astonishingly clever (not just "tricks", but just with intuition etc). These dogs are basically their children.
The "child" part of your hypothetical makes it difficult to know. I think they would save their own dog over an adult, however they are both very compassionate and love kids so I imagine it would be difficult to fight that human impulse to protect a child.
Do you think a dog owner would risk their own life (to varied degrees) to rescue a family dog if their house started burning?
My dog is part of my family. She comes before any stranger.
I'm just at a total loss for words. I had no idea so many people value animal life above human life.
At what level on the spectrum does the offense creep in when someone tries to relate to the loss of a parent? Is sibling loss relatable? Half-sibling? Cousin? Brother-in-law? Where do we start the grief-gatekeeping?
If I lost 5 children and someone told me they lost a parent so they pat me on the shoulder and say they understand, can I be offended?
I have lost grandparents before, but felt nothing since I didn't know them. If someone told me they'd lost a grandparent close to them, I think it'd be offensive for me to say I could relate.
> I had no idea so many people value animal life above human life.
I think this is the problem. When people say they relate they are not claiming "my dog == your mom", merely that they have felt grief through loss of a relationship/bond. As emotional loss is relative, we don't currently have a way to measure if that loss meets threshold levels that make it acceptable for them to converse with us.
Granted that wouldn't be the priority that I would consider ideal, but I don't think it's illogical.
You may value a dogs life as much as a human, some do. But those same people don't go around with extreme care to avoid stepping on an ant, and would kill insects if they where an annoyance or risk to health. So they do stablish a difference between some animals, where ants are in a different tier than dogs, but humans and dogs are together in the same tier.
Personally I don't think it makes any sense. I do value animal lives greatly, and between a dog and a man I might save the dog in a split-second gut decision (and regret it later).
I reckon many people use feelings to guide (or greatly inform) their morality. Which might or might not be that bad to be honest, I don't really have a solid basis for my morality either.
I use a combination of innocence, vulnerability, consciousness and intelligence.
E.g a baby life is worth more than a 40 year old's.
There's no playbook for these values, you have to decide for yourself.
Why innocence? How does innocence make a life more valuable? It's true that the kid has done nothing wrong, whereas the 40yo has sinned thoroughly, but on the other hand the kid has done nothing good for the world, and the 40yo probably has.
And vulnerability? If a high-speed train/cancer/thug is going to kill a 40yo and a toddler, how does the increased inherent vulnerability of the toddler make any difference?
Many people manifestly value inanimate property, as long as it is theirs, over human life outside of close friends and family, so is it really a surprise that that is also true of family pets?
For me it is moral and ethical that I put the safety and well being of my dog above people. That doesn't mean that I don't care about others, and it doesn't mean that I would ignore trying to save them once my dog was safe, but it is what is right for me.
But I would blow my brains out if I let a little girl burn to death so that I could save my dog.
You are responsible for your dog, unlike a stranger. The dog trusts you entirely and would do anything for you.
If they did, they'd want to let us know. Now cats, on the other hand...
In another comment of yours you mentioned choosing a pet or a random child? What about another, supposedly easier question, which would you prefer to save? A human life or $23? $23 might seem arbitrary but I picked it from my personal experience with a charity I volunteer with called ICM. It helps those with ultra poverty in the Philippines and I've had the great blessing (and curse) to undertake a tragic trip to the slums to meet these people. So I know the best I can offer is mine and ICM's word but that really can save a life.
I want you to know I don't bring this up to try and start a fight or be argumentative but this question plagued me when I returned home and to some extent still does. How can I buy a video game (random example), knowing that money I've just spent could have saved a life?
How do I, how do we, live like this? I'm an Australian and statistically, we're only giving less with each passing year, and what we do give? As on 2016 a measly $764. For comparison our minimum weekly wage is about ~$670. The least able of us (that are able at all) would only have to give a little over one of their weeks to match that.
Personally I'm the sort of crazy where I think of this almost every time I make a purchase and for the longest time it was killing me. The TL;DR of how I was able to answer this for myself involves a lot of reading, looking and thinking is basically summed up as follows. For most normal humans (myself included) we need to spend on ourselves to make us functional enough to care for others. We are sadly not infinite source of giving.
However I think society today has forgotten or changed enough that we no longer see this self healing as a means to enable us to help others but as the point of living, hence the ever decreasing percentages of people giving but I still have hope.
I'm sorry at this point I don't know exactly where I'm going with this at this but it's not that people value animal life above human life, it's that they value their own life and quality of life above others and as sucky as that answer is, I hope you find it help answer your questions in a manner that makes more sense.
1/4 the human race wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire, 1/4 would actually set the fire, 1/4 would only pour a bucket over your head if it didn't involve walking too far and especially if others were watching.
Note that I'm not necessarily trying to argue whether that would be correct in a moral sense.
In order to attempt to falsify a hypothesis you don't need to necessarily run a direct experiment on it. In fact, few things are testable like that.
Anyway, I think I have what I need to know as to how he tests his ideas.
Now, ask yourself how many would save their own dog if they weren't being asked or observed (and implicitly judged)?
I consider the link fairly strong evidence for my claim.
Now, if it was between a stranger dog and a stranger child I'd choose the child.
This is a fairly divisive issue (what my original comment was about), and further ostracizing either side of the debate is not productive.
We bread dogs to a form where there pure existens is our contact with them.
We bread them in forms and colors as we see fit.
We bread them in forms which makes it hard for them to breath, which gives them cancer with a high rate.
We should stop buying dogs because we like dogs. We should stop putting them in small appartments and get a service for handling our dogs because its inconvinient.
No doubt to many it feels the same. Others may feel that their pet is more valuable than the entire world. But let's be realistic, if a driver kills your dog you will not be awarded $x-$xx million. Now if they run over grandma or worse, a child...
That's the "It happened. We're sorry, how do we go from here..." thing. At some point it has to be valued by others. I also said that emotion is relative.
My point is that grief is subjective - people spiral into depression over losing pets, while their parents can die without them batting an eye. Teenagers, with all the out of wack hormones can feel the same way over losing a girl/boyfriend.
When people say "I know what it is like because I lose my dog of 10 years when I was 13", they're telling you that they too have felt great despair, grief and sorrow. They know the feeling deep in their heart and they're expression sympathy. Instead being offended and being angry, let the sympathy help you.
yes, definitely. I think what you're doing - dismissing the pain of others - is cruel and completely lacks empathy. I'm sorry that life treated you in such a cruel way, yet it doesn't excuse your emotional cruelty toward others. Note: i did lost members of immediate and extended family, including my father and our cat, to cancer, so i know the pain.
Just step back and think what you're doing here - people from the original post are heartbroken by the tragic loss of their dog, and the commenters express their condolences and empathy toward the grieving family ... and here you rush in with your pain and start shouting that their pain is incomparable to yours. I only hope that your actions here make at least your pain easier even if just a bit, otherwise it is just senseless.
Our attachments are defined within us, and not by what we are attached to.
Losing a cousin is different to losing a father, which is different to losing a grandfather. And all that is completely different to losing a child, right? And everyone responds differently.
So you took offense because you decided he was comparing dogs with mothers. Certainly he was not; and that was not the point, after all.
Of course, saying "I know how you feel about your mother cos I lost my dog" is incredibly insensitive and stupid.
> you're going to claim that it is comparable to lose a human being that meant everything to you because an animal died
If that person was that important to you, of course it's not comparable. I don't think that's what the other comments were saying though.
I lost grandparents I was close with; one was after many years of several diseases fighting for the kill, death itself came as a mercy. I love my dog dearly, he's very old and his last breath is near and I get teary-eyed just from writing about it. And still, he's nothing compared to the loss of my grandmother. But that's me.
Suffering linked to attachment to something can be great, not matter the something. It's the attachment that matters, and it's not produced by the nature of the thing, but by the experience the person had of the thing.
It's created suffering anyway, so the amount you generate is up to you, and is not related to the loss.
sure, you can shut it down, process it, ride it out, walk it off and whatever, but if there was attachment, memories, associations with places, events, other persons, or even with music, activities, etc. it can and usually will get emotional.
Some people are quick to get over it, some will die - literally - grieving.
What a weird thing to get worked up over.
Of course it's comparable. The result of comparison is what matters - and among those people who downvoted these two comments, there's not a single one who thinks that these two are equal. However, it's reasonable to assume that while they differ significantly, they're on the same order of magnitude - say, a tenfold difference.
The strength of the feeling might be different and vary depending on all sorts of things, but it's a similar feeling, it is claimed.
Morals only come into it when we have to choose which one dies: not relevant here.
Brené Brown on Empathy -
That cat was there for me through some very hard times, in a way no human was. To me, that cat had more value than a lot of humans do. Humans are largely (but luckily not entirely) self absorbed in their own lives and their own problems, the cat was always ready and happy to be with me, no matter what. Obviously there are caring people in the world who go above and beyond for others, but there were few of them when I needed people, so to me, that cat was more important than most people, as she helped me when no person could and gave me the emotional support I needed. So of course losing her was just as painful as losing a person.
People seem mostly fine a week after losing their dog and once they get a new one it's like the old one never existed.
Meanwhile in my family so many things have changed in ways that are hard to describe ever since my father passed away years ago, and one can still feel the repercussions.
> we just have a totally different set of moral axioms and are fundamentally incapable of seeing the world in the same way.
That set of moral axioms you hold was what allowed people - you spiritual ancestors, no doubt - to murder millions and millions of people of different skin color or believing in another god. It's what allowed people to abduct and enslave and murder whole populations for hundreds, thousands of years. The belief that "they are not people, they are beasts, so we can treat them like livestock" is what underlies nearly every atrocity ever committed by the "human beings" you hold so dear as a race.
Today, the set of humans seen as people expanded, which is a good thing. People seem to have learned that people everywhere are fundamentally the same: they feel joy, sadness, rage, love; they all bleed the same when hurt; they all live their lives enduring hardships and enjoying good things.
The thing is, all of that is also true for animals. They are capable of feeling joy and sadness, of getting depressed, of jealousy, of loyalty, of empathy, of fear and anger, of suffering. They cannot voice their opinions, but you know - there are disabled people who also cannot do this, due to disability or brain damage. Such humans are no worse as people than the others: their families love them, care for them, and grieve for them once they depart. Your "moral axioms" are then inconsistent: you should either promote all animals to human status or demote disabled people straight into gas chambers. Just so you know, we've already tried the latter, it wasn't great.
None of the above should be particularly controversial, these are the basics, so let me finish by citing a poem of Andrzej Bursa I quite like, which (roughly translated), goes like this:
Children are nicer than adults
animals are nicer than kids
you say that thinking this way
I'll find that the dearest to me
is paramecium caudatum
I prefer paramecium than you
you son of a bitch
How about losing a child? Have you done that? Well, I find it offensive that you can say you experienced grief over the loss of your mother. Until you’ve lost a child you can’t say you know grief...
What a daft stance. Grief is grief. What someone feels is entirely subjective.
I think you might want to consider counselling, as you seem to be harbouring some real anger over what was presumably a long time ago. I know it’s not easy to deal with the untimely death of a parent - been there - but lashing out at others and holding your grief above theirs isn’t a healthy mechanism.
Of course a dog walking company shouldn't have that many incidents, but if a number of them hit you together you may have a financial problem.
Also, I think that companies are very wary of claiming responsibility because of legal battles. Once they behave like it's their fault, customers can sue them for a large sum.
I'm just challenging a bit whether this is the best way to go about this, although in my own opinion, all three points are correct: You messed up. It happens. But now it's up to you to try to make it better.
This is some company which fixes a 'problem' with technology. They have a platform for people to buy the service of dog walking by other people.
There is no certification you need to 'walk a dog'. Kids do this, every day people do this.
And yes whatever person was in charge in formulating that email, is not very good in there job. But come on this is probably some person or perhaps 3 or 4 involved in this particular 'support case'.
And i'm assuming that whatever insurance would take a dog walker, is something you would need to pay. And most of the people wouldn't.
Wow! I’m saving this for my customer support toolbox.
This is how it should be done.
A pet may have been an active part of the family for a decade, participating in many of the same activities as the family from dinner time to family outings. Some pets are taken on specifically in times of emotional need, such as after losing a family member or in place of a child that can't be conceived. Such pets may not be actual humans but they do fill a role and fill a hole similar to one.
Again, not the same, but I can see circumstances where the analogy makes sense. And it's special when it does, this doesn't apply to every pet ever.
Different people have different experiences. Gatekeeping grief is so massively weird to me. Guidance for the future: instead of one-upping the griever with an IG post about how you are sadder, just show empathy and move on.
Reminds me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwGnCIdHQH0
Some family members are worth less to some people than their pets.
But I agree with you anyway, it was a pointless comparison. Lets just agree on that it sucks to lose someone, human or other animal.
It should have been the easiest decision in the world for them - a persons' dog is more important than most other humans to most dog owners, yet the law treats dogs as nothing more than property. Pay up and grovel to these people. In-action doesn't make these things go away.
EDIT: just read the non-disclosure section. I understand the impulse to do that, but it's a MUCH better gamble to just kill the story with boundless kindness.
Something I've always found particularly infuriating is how police dogs are considered officers and often carries a worse punishment than attacking an actual police officer. Not because I am upset that the dogs are being protected, but that the police basically can shoot other people's dogs but nobody can touch their dogs.
Jesus I am just going off on tangents tonight. I need to take a break for a bit.
I'm not aware of any laws protecting the dogs specifically other than general animal cruelty laws. But because they are very expensive to train (I know of a bomb dog that cost $30k+) you are facing felony property damage charges if you injure or disable them.
You should take a break.
It varies by state, but killing a police dog can put you in jail for 10 years (and this has happened) and that is a federal law. There are some states pursuing stricter measures themselves where killing a canine officer is equivalent to killing a human officer.
As to what I said about killing a police dog having a harsher punishment, that was based on a single anecdote and I meant that the judges serve harsher punishments, not that the laws themselves are stricter.
and that is a federal law.
18 U.S. Code § 1368 - Harming animals used in law enforcement
(a) Whoever willfully and maliciously harms any police animal, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not more than 1 year. If the offense permanently disables or disfigures the animal, or causes serious bodily injury to or the death of the animal, the maximum term of imprisonment shall be 10 years.
Killing another person can get you life in prison or capital punishment (depending on state) that's way worse than 10 years.
See where your argument loses some teeth?
Do you have any source on this? I'd be very surprised to hear that it was true.
TL;DR police looking for somebody went to the wrong address, shot the family dog because it "attacked" a police dog (which was "unharmed by the incident"), and casually told the owners on their way out the door that their dog had died.
It takes 12-14 month to become a cosmetologist...
Reminded me of a highway sign I saw shortly after crossing California state line. The sign listed fines for 2 offenses: littering and animal abandonment (however it was worded). Littering was a significantly higher amount to the point that the fine for abandoning an animal would be cheaper than doing anything the right way with the animal. Maybe the tack on the littering fine too, but it was still a very striking distinction to me.
> a couple thousand maximum
Maximum? Many pups cost more than this and you'd be paying to replace at least. You might also be paying for any amount of vet bills if the animal isn't killed on the spot. If you hit a service or working dog, be ready to shell out tens of thousands for replacement due to the unique tasks performed (not all dogs can do them) and specialized training they receive.
In any case, Wag and its walker are probably not at fault. I'd be after the driver.
Of course, I don't like the idea of a stranger walking my dog anyway. Even a kennel isn't ideal, but at least then I can build trust with a particular business. Wag just puts my dog in the hands of random people I'll probably never see again, opening me up to liability and my dog up to risk.
Not sure how you can jump to that conclusion. A driver can probably assume that a dog being walked by a person, even near the road, will be controlled appropriately by the walker.
The only time a driver could not reasonably assume this is where the dog is too large to be controllable by the person (kid or small adult) who is walking it.
Without any facts, we can't presume the driver is at fault. Also, we have no way of finding out who that person is, except through Wag. So it's sort of pointless to pin our hopes on them.
Lastly, if the driver really were clearly at fault, it would be more likely that the Wag walker would have provided information to this effect. The fact that he/she has not is more consistent with it being the walker's fault.
But here the problem here isn't that the dog died, it's how Wag has handled the problem afterwards, and how their (poor) communication suggests that they didn't really do their due diligence in vetting the walkers.
EDIT: a similar thing happened in my country (the Netherlands) where an Uber driver hit (and killed) a young woman after driving around in circles (a technique used to get more clients apparently, instead of parking somewhere), and Uber immediately pulled the "he is not an Uber employee and he wasn't with an Uber customer when it happened, so it's not our fault card". which resulted in public outrage. They could have just send some flowers to the family, now they got a PR crisis instead.
Someone explained it to me as when an American says "sorry" they mean "I'm sorry I did a bad thing to you" and when a Brit says sorry they mean "I'm sorry a bad thing happened to you". Which also explains the not uncommon American response to "sorry" of "Why? It wasn't your fault".
If something that's out of my control happens to someone I might say sorry and mean "I'm sorry a bad thing happened to you".
I'm British and find that sometimes I think similarly to another person who is British, and at other times I think differently to another person who is British. It's wild.
Pets are treated as simple property by US law and the liability is strictly limited to the cost of replacement. There has never been a civil judgement in the US beyond that. There are CRIMINAL issues involving treatment of animals, but none of those are applicable here.
This is pure incompetence by WAG's legal and customer-service departments.
Likewise when you take money for a service you are accountable for not letting their dog run into the road which is usually pretty easy for an animal on a leash.
What did wag do wrong that we know?
The walker wasn't the person on the profile. They are withholding information regarding the incident. They tried to force the victim to agree to be legally silenced in order to pay for direct costs incurred.
This is 1000 times worse than paying nothing.
Obviously we don’t know in this instance but in most cases fault goes to the driver if the dog is on leash, and given that this dog did not belong to the owner I’d be surprised if it was off leash. It might have been a flexilead in which case the outcome might be different depending on jurisdiction and circumstance but in any case the owners are going to have a better time going after drivers.
Neither party in this case involved the authorities or contacted any of the affected parties. The walker was already doing something they might not want Wag knowing about (having a third party walk the dog). I don’t think you can make any conclusions there so I’ll stick with my “probably”.
When I imagine a pet getting killed by a car I image it becomes free and running out in front of a car, not a car breaking a law and encroaching on the pets leash space. Perhaps there are some counter-intuitive stats on this I'm not aware of :)
Further, there are a LOT of places where a person on a sidewalk would be within a leash length of a car legally driving 30+ mph.
As it stands, it sounds like they have not provided enough details to identify the walker, let alone investigate the driver (if there even was one). So I’d say Wag is just as culpable as a maybe-existing-driver.
It's certainly possible that the driver was at fault if they were speeding or driving recklessly, but like another commenter mentioned I don't think we know enough to say.
Still a limited and insignificant amount as far as compensations go (which could reach tens of millions in other cases), which is the parent's point.
My understand of civil liability would be whom ever caused the harm is responsible for the actual damages done, not simply some raw actuarial table, so if I have vet bills, actual hard costs, then whom ever caused those costs would be responsible for them.
I have a hard time believing any jurisdiction would simply toss those costs as unreasonable because the dog is only worth X by some subjective analysis of dog bluebook
Dogs work the same way under the law. If someone injures your dog, they are liable to either pay 1) to fix the dog or 2) replace the dog, whichever is less.
However in the case of an auto, if I had a rare car for example, and someone caused damage to it, I could, in fact, sue the person that cause the damage and prove the actual damage even if it was above the replacement cause. Their insurance may not cover the difference but that would not absolve that person of the liability
No you couldn't, and I challenge you to find a single case where liability for damage to simple property has ever exceeded replacement value.
You won't find it.
The closest you'll find is where the property was fundamental to some business and there was lost income that contributed to the damages. This does not apply to pets (though it could apply to say, race horses or some show dogs).
Where the Pet Owner was awarded damages even though the 13 year old dog "negligible market value" given its age.
Summary of the Case:
This Kansas case presents an issue of first impression as to the proper measure of damages recoverable for injury to a pet dog. The plaintiff's dog, a 13-year old dog of negligible market value, suffered a dislocated hip after being groomed at defendant's establishment. The appellate court found the lower court's award of damages based on the veterinary bills was proper where the bills were not disputed and represented an easily ascertainable measure. Specifically, the court held that when an injured pet dog with no discernable market value is restored to its previous health, the measure of damages may include, but is not limited to, the reasonable and customary cost of necessary veterinary care and treatment. The court was unconvinced by defendant's "hyperbolic" claim that such an award would lead to a floodgate of high-dollar litigation on behalf of animals with low market values.
However, what you just described sounds like a typical taxi ride as well, i.e. with a professional driver.
It is never the dog’s fault. We brought the dog into an unnatural environment. It is in our power and thus our responsibility to keep them safe. This is why pet accidents are so devastating.
The fault in an accident, be it car and car, car and pedestrian, car and cyclist, cyclist and pedestrian, cyclist and cyclist, or even pedestrian and pedestrian, doesn't necessarily mean moral culpability. Dogs are never culpable because they lack agency, but considering them to be at fault in an accident for the purposes of determining recourse isn't too far-fetched.
Yes, it is, because "at fault" means "could have chosen to do something else that would have prevented the accident". Since, as you admit, dogs lack agency, they are incapable of choosing to do something else. The human that is guiding them needs to, well, guide them.
I think it's debatable whether calling the dog or the owner the tortfeasor makes more sense when the dog is loose, because while the owner is responsible, there's some simplicity in saying that the dog broke the rule of the road that lead to the accident.
No, it's not. A tortfeasor has to be a person. Dogs are not legally persons, so they can't be tortfeasors.
> while the owner is responsible
Yes, exactly--just as any other tortfeasor is responsible.
> there's some simplicity in saying that the dog broke the rule of the road that lead to the accident.
You could say the dog "broke" the rule in the sense that it moved its body in a way that the rule prohibits; and in a mundane description of the facts of the accident, yes, that's what you would do. But the dog is incapable of understanding the rule in the first place, so the owner is responsible for training it appropriately (or, as I would imagine is much more common these days, keeping it on a leash and exercising reasonable prudence in controlling the dog).
To drive this point home, a pigeon dive bombing your windshield in the middle of an intersection could be correctly caused the cause of an accident. The pigeon is a free bird. It has no custodian.
Pets, on the other hand, are always in someone's custody. Custody relationships are complex, but ultimately come down to "you're responsible for this." Anything a dog could do to harm itself or others could have been anticipated, should have been anticipated and is ultimately the custodian's fault.
The pigeon is a nonentity in the accident. It's as much at fault, or not, as a tree. And it doesn't need medical or cremation bills paid. Cleanup is handled about the same way as debris from a car.
In a situation where the dog or owner isn't negligent but the driver is, it's useful to talk about whether the dog was on the leash, in the crosswalk, has right of way, is walking with the walk signal on, and is visible. You might prefer to leave the dog out of it and talk about the owner, but I could see myself wanting to get straight to the point and talk about the dog. I imagine lawyers also might be inclined to cut to the chase and talk about whether the dog was following the rules of the road.
All those things, as you say, can bear on the driver's responsibility (or the owner's responsibility, if, for example, the owner allowed the dog to go out into the street when the walk signal wasn't on). But that's part of the factual description of the case. It does not assign fault to the dog; if the dog did something like go out into the street when the walk signal wasn't on, that makes it the owner's fault, not the dog's.
The only argument I have remaining is that while it's an incorrect statement, I don't think saying the dog is at fault in an accident is insulting, because being at fault in an accident is often only an honest mistake (albeit sometimes with tragic consequences).
Personally I’d blame the “paid professional” before I’d blame the being with minimal rational thought.
Mate... It's a dog, we are the care-takers. Even if a dog is messed up in the head and bites people, it's probably been influenced by its' environment - people.
If we want to have cool pets, we have got to take responsibility.
From what I understand...what walkers are doing is signing up for their friends/family and letting the friend do the walking. Why would someone do this? Well if your friend has a long criminal record and can't find a job (because of their criminal history) then the family member feels compelled to help the family member by singing up for a wag account, get approved with a clear record and then let the family member with a bad record do the actual work. This is why in the story the person doing the walking was basically different from the person in the profile and failed to disclose their real name.
Also heard of uber drivers hiring illegal immigrants to drive under their uber account, not sure of the credibility of these reports.
Part of the reward is a reputable account as a saleable asset. It's just like selling a company or passing it on to your children. If Joe's Handmans or Joes' Dogwalkers no longer includes "Joe" that's not supposed to be a scary situation, its part and parcel of why people work for themselves.
Now if indies aren't really expected to have owners rights, then they ought to get employee protections.
Your assessment is wrong. Joe's plumbing is a legally distinct entity that people understand is represented by a variety of different individuals.
An account on a gig site that represents that you are Joe Smith is different on the face of the matter because you are contractually liable for providing accurate info to potential clients and the company. They signed up for Joe not someone Joe vetted.
You breached the agreement under which you agreed to work with the company that is connecting you to work.
You misled the party hiring the company and if anything goes wrong and you let Bob Johnson masquerade as you have fun getting sued by the agreived party and reaping the bad press.
The company will ultimately delete the account when or if your FRAUD is detected meaning you will also be guilty of defrauding the buyer.
The person using the account is guilty of exceeding authorized access on cfaa you are potentially guilty of assisting them.
If you want the benefits of being a corporation you need to incorporate you cannot fraudulently sell your Joe Smith personal account on wag or Uber or what have you.
If you want to hold someone to a 'name must match' standard, then I think you hire them personally so they are your employee. For someone using Uber, they theoretically do not care who the driver is so long as it is a 'valid driver' as per marketplace standards. To them, they are doing business only with Uber, not specifically with any individual driver, so any disputes are between Uber and driver or Uber and customer.
If something goes wrong, as you said it's between Uber and whomever they signed a contract with regardless of whom is driving the car at the time but that isn't a higher standard than any other B2B contract.
Personally, I would not mind laws put in place saying that if you want to higher 1 person for 1 job, and the name must match, then you have to classify them as at least a part-time employee.
The finger-pointing likely to result from an incident would make this driver as good as uninsured.
I guess uber has an insurance policy that covers their drivers during rides now, so hopefully that kicked in to take care of your friend.
Everyone should read their insurance policies to know their exclusions.
In the US. It's not clear if they have this anywhere else.
The only way for commercial drivers to be covered by the same policy is to price the risk of an unknown number of commercial drivers into everyones policy.
I think that was one of the greatest lies of Uber at the start "just drive your car for money in your free time!" - that's all great, but no private car insurance would cover you while doing that.
Total your vehicle? Personal insurance won't touch it, and the Uber coverage you thought you had is useless.
All you have to do is be upfront about it, and willing to pay.
Yes, it does cost more to cover employees as opposed to owner/operators of a business venture, but it it is not impossible (if it were taxis would not be able to exist).
What is probably true is the default insurance given out by Uber will not cover people not listed on the policy, and only the person contracted with Uber is listed on the Uber-backed policy.
People driving under other people's Uber accounts don't have a license or are otherwise ineligible to drive for Uber (criminal, underage, etc) otherwise they'd get their own Uber account. Uber literally pays people to sign up as drivers - there's no legitimate reason to drive under someone else's Uber account.
Commercial Insurance would probably exclude coverage for any incidents that happen when an unlicensed driver is using someone else's Uber account.
Business done without a solid basis is often high risk. That risk unlikely to be worth it.
Finally, as a basic matter of principle, I do not do business with people who are dishonest.
Doing that is on par with debating liars.
It's also IRS fraud, there is no background check, the list of issues with this is just huge.
There are plenty of reasons to care - undocumented people are a legal liability for both the passenger and Uber.
“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair”
It’s also the right thing to do.
I can see a dog being excited, put with other dogs he doesn't know very well, and one dog breaking loose... running into the street while the walker holds on to the other 3 they are walking... total shit show. You want a consistent dog walker, you want someone who will put time in to get to know your dog, and you never want unfamiliar dogs around your dog unless it's properly supervised.
The whole situation, in my opinion, is prone to disastrous outcomes. Can you imagine if AirBnB booked multiple families to a site at a time? We'd all flip out. But it's OK for our dogs... likely because when we're at work we don't know what goes on, out of site, out of mind.
Then in SF another dog walker got busted for driving around picking up all her dogs, but leaving them inside her dog walking van while she went shopping at the mall instead of walking the dogs.
It's so hard to trust anyone to actually take care of your dog, why automatically dilute to a gig economy with no oversight where just get any rando with a record who can buy a fake Wag account on reddit for their burner phone.
This is why we bring our dog to a doggy daycare where we can watch him play on webcams all day. But even that's not 100% safe, the workers could be not watching, or whatever.
It's just like eldercare. If you want to be sure it's done properly you basically have to do it yourself.
> Do you walk my dog with other people's dogs?
>> No! Here at Wag!, your pup is our sole focus on each walk. We believe that each pup has different needs, and the best way to serve those needs is through a one-on-one experience. In the case that you have multiple dogs in your household, we will walk those pups together per your request.
So either that's a straight-up lie or you're confusing them with some other dog walking service.
If you were owning/operating your own dog-walking service, sure, because you'd care about your reputation.
Wag appears to be yet another gig economy outfit, though, so the person delivering the actual service cares little (or not at all?) about the reputation of the intermediate service company.
If things go badly wrong, as the service provider you'd just walk away. The service company certainly doesn't care about you, why should you care about them?
Wag has raised $300 Million (wikipedia,) so if they did it save a few thousand, they are dumb.
I realize this is an emotional subject, but everything we know about startups, the gig economy, and success in general says that it's actually a green flag.
Dog died. Wag wanted them to sign an NDA or Wag wouldn't pay for anything.
The only correct response from Wag was to pay everything (again, we're talking about a couple of thousand maximum) no questions asked and apologize profusely.
Even from a purely soulless financial standpoint, that's the only correct response.
Wag don't need to add anything more than that for us to know they care more about a very small amount of money than the dogs customers entrust to the care of the walkers they employ.
To be honest the money is actually a small and distracting aspect of this story. If it was my dog I'd want to know what happened. The fact Wag won't give any proper answers shows they probably don't know what's happening to dogs people trust their walkers with. That is a HUGE problem for me.
No, you don't. You only have someone's claims about Wag's side of the story.
It sounds authentic, but Internet is full with authentic-sounding false stories.
The principle of Occam's Razor applies here.
And no, Occam's razor does not apply.
Everything in the world is a matter of understanding the marginal impact. There is no universe in which hearing both sides of the story (or trying to save n number of dollars) results in a better net outcome for Wag as a business than apologizing profusely and visibly showing as much empathy as possible.