When a friend or hired pet sitter agrees to take care of your dog or cat while you’re out of town, you assume that person understands the responsibilities involved. You expect that person to show up, feed and care for your pet, and give them some love and affection until you can return. It’s not rocket science, and so you assume these duties are obvious and will be completed.
Where your beloved pets are concerned, never assume.
A man from Connecticut recently found out how wrong making such assumptions can be. His dog died because of it.
Family Friend Lets Dog in Her Care Starve to Death
Andrew Zander of Enfield, Conn., needed to spend a few months in Massachusetts with his wife, who was hospitalized there. Family friend Carla Bushnell reportedly offered to care for the Zanders’ dog, Bandit, while Andrew was gone. He took her up on that offer, leaving her written instructions on the kitchen cabinet.
What happened next is a dog lover’s worst nightmare.
In late November, a mail carrier noticed letters piling up outside the Zander apartment. When he peered into a window, he saw a dead dog on the floor. A post mortem exam revealed that Bandit had absolutely no food in his system when he died. Bushnell apparently hadn’t fed him for at least a month. She, however, reportedly says she was there every day.
Zander was crushed.
“That dog was not my pet…he was my son,” Zander told NBC Connecticut. He says he broke down when police informed him Bandit had starved to death in his own home. Apparently there was also a malnourished cat in the home that later had to be put down.
A particularly disturbing aspect to this story is that Bushnell reportedly insisted on being the one to care for Bandit while Zander was out of town. In a time of crisis, how do you say “no” to a family friend who insists on helping with a problem you clearly need assistance with?
Bushnell has been arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty.
Pet Sitter Nightmare Stories Are More Common Than They Should Be
Need a few more pet sitter disasters to convince you that you can’t be too careful? How about these:
How can you avoid falling prey to this sort of pet care disaster? We have some tips for you.
Making Sure You Find a Reliable and Responsible Pet Sitter
It takes some effort to find a sitter you can count on. Don’t just find a Craiglist ad and call. Follow these steps to locate someone you’ll be able to count on:
Carefully investigating your potential pet sitter is vital if you hope to avoid trouble and possible heartbreak. Get actively involved and really examine closely the caregiver you select, even if it’s an acquaintance or work colleague you already know. Your best friend deserves no less, right?
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