NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — The owner of a 3-year-old poodle is fighting for justice after her beloved pet died during what was supposed to be a “worry-free stay.”

Burbank resident Estelle Sinardi is dealing with the loss of her beloved miniature poodle.

“This has been so agonizing. I just don’t want anybody to go through this,” Sinardi said.

Last month, she dropped off Max to stay at a North Hollywood home, which she found using Rover.com. Two days later, her husband got a call from the sitter that Max was mauled to death by another dog that was in the house.

“He goes, ‘how big was the dog?’ He was 21 pounds. Max was 7,” Sinardi said, who said she was sent a picture of the Akita mix that attacked Max by the sitter.

Sinardi says the woman assured her she wouldn’t have big dogs in the house when they met.

“She assured me she’d take very good care of Max – very good care. He could even sleep in her bed,” Sinardi said.

Rover.com markets itself as an affordable alternative to kennels by connecting dog owners with sitters.

In an email, the company said it has opened an investigation into the case, and that the sitter in question passed a background check, home inspection, and in-person interview before being allowed to place a profile on the site.

Rover.com also emailed Sinardi, saying “I wanted to reassure you that (the sitter) will no longer be able to list her services on our website.”

However, the sitter’s home still displayed signs of being a Rover.com sitter, and a young man who answered the door and said he was her son said she’d contact CBS2 about the matter.

“I don’t know if she’s been taken off. It’s more like a suspension,” the man, who did not identify himself, said.

Following Max’s death, Sinardi filed a report with LA City’s Animal Services, but the department said it could not comment on a pending investigation. However, an animal services officer did say that investigators are planning to visit the property soon.

So far, the sitter isn’t saying anything.

“In my opinion, she’s just sweeping this under the rug and hopes it goes away,” Sinardi said. “She has never reached out to me personally.”

Comments (3)
  1. Lee Ann says:

    How dreadful. I feel for the dog mom and for the sitter. It must have been horribly traumatic. Sometimes dogs just don’t like other dogs, and sometimes give no indication of impending drama.

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