Breaking News
More () »

More pet sitter victims speak out against woman accused of neglecting rescue dog Lucky

There was so much urine in Bradley Patterson’s couch that when he returned home to his two dogs and cat after fall break, rancid liquid gushed from the cushions.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. – There was so much urine in Bradley Patterson’s couch, that when he returned home to his two dogs and cat after a trip in August, rancid liquid gushed from the cushions.

Patterson said that he and his family recently learned they hired the same pet sitter, now under investigation for allegedly neglecting two rescue dogs, Lucky and Simpson.

RELATED | ‘Lucky’ dog rescued after severe neglect, pet sitter investigated

Patterson said he hired the pet sitter to stay in his house, with his three, four-legged friends for the entire fall break. But when he got home, he said, the food wasn’t touched and his house was in ruins. He doesn’t believe that she ever showed up. The dogs are now doing fine, but he says their cat died.

Patterson is just one of dozens of people who contacted 11Alive after Lucky’s story went viral. Karen Kawczak says she had no choice but to buy new carpet after the woman failed to visit her dogs as promised.

"There were so many stains and just dried feces everywhere," explained Kawczak.

Two other pet owners told Lindstrom they reviewed security video when they got home and found the pet sitter never showed up. Another family said she changed the house locks and installed a digital entry system so they could monitor who enters when and how often.

"The fact that people trust her in their homes and they trust her with their valuable pets, their family members, was really upsetting," said Karen Levy, the owner of Laughing Pets Atlanta.

Levy says she has a tracking system for all of the pet sitters that work for her, so she can ensure they make their visits on time and stay the length of time promised. She says there are some important things pet owners should consider when hiring a pet sitter.

  • Choose someone with liability insurance. Be sure to get the policy information and call to verify if you are concerned.
  • Make sure he provider has a service agreement that explains what they are going to do in your absence. That will serve as the contract.
  • Hire someone who is willing to meet you in your home first. Pay attention to whether they show up on time.
  • Ask for references and actually called to check them. Make sure the references reflect the kind of job you are asking the pet sitter to do.
  • Consider hiring someone that has been trained in pet CPR and First Aid.

11Alive first learned about this story when Justine Stinnett, who works with dog rescue organizations, said she began to worry about a rescue dog placed in the pet sitters care to foster. Stinnett says she gave the 50-pound adult boxer-mix to the Smyrna woman on Nov. 11.

But just over a month later, she had to save her rescue dog, after she found out that he had missed a vet appointment. She found Lucky, emaciated inside a crate that the pet sitter allegedly left outside in the rain.

Stinnett said she believes that the pet sitter may have left her house and moved two weeks ago, intentionally leaving behind Lucky.

Lucky was taken to Woodland Animal Hospital in Locust Grove, Ga., Sunday and was treated by Dr. Lexie Mahn, who said he should make a full recovery and restore his weight and strength in about a month. Lucky, the vet continued, had to have been denied food for weeks to be this thin.

"Angry. Sad. I don’t know if I have all the words for it because it makes me boil just thinking about how a dog could become like this," Mahn said, when asked how she felt when she first saw Lucky.

After Lucky's story spread, the director of the Meriwether County Animal Shelter said she contacted Stinnett, concerned about Simpson, a dog they had recently adopted to the same woman.

Simpson is a blind American bulldog and Stinnett immediately returned to the house to search for him.

"We went back to the house and the door was open and there he was. He was stumbling, he can’t see. He’s blind. So mine was deaf. So she left a blind dog and a deaf dog to die in a home with no food, no water. Nothing," Stinnett said.

Photos | ‘Lucky’ dog rescued after severe neglect

The Cobb County District Attorney’s animal abuse unit has now joined the Cobb County Animal Control, a division of the Cobb County Police, in the investigation of a pet sitter accused of animal abuse in at least two dogs’ neglect and cruelty, including starvation.

Police plan on searching other sites Thursday.

Lucky and Simpson are doing well in their recovery and remain under close veterinary care, Cobb County Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said.

Efforts to reach the pet sitter have gone unanswered. 11Alive is not releasing her name because she has not been charged with any crime at this time.

Stay updated on this and other stories by downloading the FREE 11Alive News app now in the iTunes store or on Google Play.

Before You Leave, Check This Out