A Vancouver family's dog has been found, after it went missing while in the care of an online sitter.
Sami, a two-year-old shepherd mix, went missing last Friday after her family dropped her off with a pet sitter they hired online.
But on Wednesday one of Sami's owners posted on social media that the dog had been found.
"I think we're all still just, like, coming down from this huge emotional situation that we've all found ourselves in,” said Michael Brennan.
On Tuesday, the family staked out a spot in East Vancouver where Sami had recently been spotted, leaving her dog bed out, hoping she would be attracted to the scent.
After 11 hours, they went home, but left the bed because a neighbour promised to keep an eye on it and call them if Sami showed up.
That’s exactly what happened at first light Wednesday morning and Brennan rushed over.
He was eventually able to lure the skittish canine in with some treats – getting her close enough to recognize his scent.
"She just kind of rolled on her back and I gave her a big belly rub,” said Brennan. “I started to cry because I was just so overwhelmed that we had finally found her."
They'd booked the sitter on Rover, a Seattle-based company that connects dog owners with local pet-sitters who advertise through its website.
Then the family headed to Vancouver Island for the weekend to attend a wedding.
"I thought I have to have some trust in the service this person provides, this is what they do," Brennan told CTV News earlier this week.
On Friday night, the family received a message from the dog-sitter telling them that their pet was missing.
"He then said, 'I'm sorry, your dog is gone. I will no longer be responding to any more communication with you,' and that was it," Brennan added.
Rover says the man has since been removed from its list of approved pet-sitters.
The company also says over the past two years, it has connected Metro Vancouver families with pet-sitters 25,000 times and that most of those interactions happen exactly as planned.
“In the event a dog is separated from its caretaker, our Trust and Safety team focuses on helping return the dog home safe and sound by assisting with posting physical and online flyers, contacting local shelters and veterinarians, mobilizing local members of our community, and offering a reward,” the company said in a statement.
“Following an incident, our team will conduct an in-depth investigation and take appropriate actions, such as removing users from our community.”
The Brennans vow to never use Rover’s services again, saying the next time they go away for a few days, they will find family or friends willing to look after Sami.
"For something like this to happen is just unconscionable, if you ask me,” said Brennan.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Emad Agahi