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3 dogs dead in pet sitter’s care, several others hospitalized from suspected heat stroke

By Jessica Willey

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    HOUSTON (KTRK) — At least three dogs died over the weekend in the care of a professional pet sitter booked on the popular website and app, and now, Houston police are investigating.

Animal cruelty investigators were at the sitter’s home on Clovis Road in the Timbergrove neighborhood on Monday afternoon. It was at least the second time authorities visited since as many as seven dogs were rushed to the animal emergency room early Saturday morning, according to HPD.

ABC13 met with several of the dog owners on Monday night.

Jessica Hayward and Taylor Friesenhahn dropped off their beloved “Goose” on Thursday and never saw him alive again.

“I certainly hope there’s justice for our baby Goose,” said Hayward. “We took care of him like he was our child. Our families and friends, and anyone who know us, knew that dog meant more than life to us.”

Hayward said they were notified early Saturday morning. They believe he died from heat stroke.

“We just miss our dog. We loved him so much. He’s a big part of our family,” said Jordan and Matthew Johnston. Their dog, Porter, a healthy chocolate lab, also died.

Andrew Seerden’s dog is fighting for his life and remains hospitalized.

“They’re still trying and he’s still trying, and I think that’s all we can ask for,” said Seerden.

The owners said they found the sitter on, a popular pet care website. ABC13 is not naming her because she has not been charged with a crime.

They said she had good reviews and repeat customers. They also thought the dogs were being housed in a room in her home. She told police they were actually in a shed in the backyard when the air conditioning stopped working. The high temperature both Friday and Saturday was 95 degrees.

“If they’re in the house and the A/C goes out, you know it. Everybody knows it. When they’re out there, barking, dying, suffering, she’s asleep inside the A/C with her dogs,” Seerden commented.

The sitter did not answer the door when ABC13 stopped by and she did not respond to requests for comment.

Rover sent a statement saying they are “deeply concerned” and have “deactivated this sitter’s profile from our platform.”

The owners are seeking justice, but also want to raise awareness.

“For people who use these boarders, to ask as many questions as possible. Go into the house. See for yourself,” Seerden said. “It’s easy to trust people, but you have to see for yourself. And I would say to boarders, invite people in your house.”

The reported incidents have been assigned to HPD’s Major Offenders Division, Animal Cruelty Unit. Police encourage others who have been affected to send an email to and put an incident # or the boarder’s address in the subject line.

Full Statement from Rover:

At Rover, most of us are pet parents ourselves, and we were deeply concerned to learn of this incident. Our hearts go out to the families of the pets who have passed, and we are hoping the dogs currently receiving veterinary care heal quickly and completely. We are committed to supporting these pet parents throughout this heartbreaking ordeal, including reimbursing the families for related veterinary expenses.

Our 24/7 Trust and Safety team is conducting a thorough investigation, and we will work with local law enforcement to the fullest extent of our ability should they contact us. The safety of our community is a top priority, and we have deactivated this sitter’s profile from our platform.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

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