Sophie and Max Troper: A couple whose dog was stolen by a dog walker employed by the app Wag are calling on other pet parents to boycott the company until “serious changes” are made.
View this post on Instagram
‼️UPDATE‼️ BENNY WAS RECOVERED BY NYPD AT A WAG WALKERS HOME. THE SUSPECT WAS CHARGED WITH BURGLARY AND RELEASED PENDING NEXT COURT DATE. INVESTIGATION CONTINUES. WE CANNOT COMMENT PUBLICLY ON THE CASE. WHAT WE CAN SAY IS THAT SOME VERY INTERESTING THINGS ARE BEING LEARNED AND WE WILL SHARE AS SOON AS WE CAN. Please email [email protected] with any information!!!!! . Benny was stolen from inside our apartment by someone who knew how to access our lockbox with the spare key. This lockbox code was only provided to Wag walkers and is accessed only by the app. The walker for today arrived and Benny was nowhere to be found. We believe that the person who KIDNAPPED Benny was likely a @wag walker not scheduled for today. we only have grainy security footage and the doorman’s statement to help identify the thief. We are working on obtaining additional footage.
The couple (Sophie and Max Troper) live in New York City and adopted their dog Benny in 2015. According to BuzzFeedNews that Benny “quickly became an integral part of our family.”
“Initially, we were planning to only foster him until he found a forever home, but after one night with us we knew he was ours and adopted him,” they said. “We didn’t know his official breed or even his actual age, but none of that mattered.”
Even, last year couple got married, Benny walked down with them.
View this post on Instagram
#flashbackfriday to the start of #voorevertroper wedding weekend – my parents got married! 🐶 🤵🏻👰🏼. . . . #petsofinstagram #ilovemydog #weeklyfluff #rescuedog #dogdailyfeaturesss #barkbox #doggo #dogslife #dog #dogscorner #shorkie #shorkiesofinstagram #shihtzu #yorkie #dogsofinstgram #familyman #dogoftheday #dogstagram #puppies #pupsofinstagram #dailydog #shorkie #dogslife #dogoftheday #barkshop #dogsofinstaworld #dogsofinstagram #wedding #relaxation #foreverhome #tuxedo @joelinny
For Benny couple started using Wag several months ago, normally multiplied times per week. Both desired to secure Benny “was getting a walk and some love during the work day” while they both away from home.
The couple said, app schedule a walk with Wag, after that they got information who was appointed to their walk. After, that Walker got a code to a lockbox waving on their door. However, app assigned the person only who received the code.
On Thursday morning, at 9:30 a.m they received a walker information”Christian” was supposed to their walk according to the app. But on that day, they received another message that another Walker had been picked.
After some time, they received a call from their selected walker. The walker couldn’t see Benny in the flat.
“Initially, we thought he might be hiding somewhere, as dogs tend to do. Max rushed home from work and quickly saw that Benny was gone,” the couple said.
Immediately couple called the police, start collection information of CCTV from surrounding houses, and however, around 11 a.m they found CCTV footage of a suspect moving with Benny in his hand.
“We do not know how or why he picked out Benny, besides being the most adorable guy in the world. He is not a show dog, he is a rescue, he is middle-aged and neutered,” the couple said.
After that, they were in action, started a social media campaign, yet gaining the recognition of actor Olivia Munn, a spokesperson for Wag who is known for her animal rights activism.
The couple said during the whole search and investigation for Benny they felt completely “stonewalled” by Wag, who they said “made empty promises” concerning how much they could help also were not responsive throughout the inquiry.
In response to the incident, a spokesperson for Wag said they worked directly with the Tropers and law enforcement on the investigation, saying they were “distraught” about what happened.
“We want to apologize to our loyal Wag! community, but most of all, we want to apologize to Benny and his parents for what happened and what they had to go through. We are in direct communication with Benny’s parents to discuss this situation and to ensure their needs and concerns are addressed,” the spokesperson said.
Good News! Benny found safe and suspect got arrested on Friday by New York Police.
According to BuzzFeed News, Detective Annette Shelton of the NYPD confirmed: “that the suspect, 21-year-old Christian Madriaga of the Bronx, has been charged with burglary in the case.”
According to the police statement, suspect kidnap Benny just to give him as a present to somebody, that’s all they said now about the case.
Good News! Benny is now in the home safe and secure, Now the couple wants some answer from Wag.
The couple told until Benny will not back home they weren’t supposed to talk with a security official at Wag, and they are left with “serious unanswered questions” what was actually happened.
According to BuzzFeed News, this type of ” extremely rare” and always investigated. In the whole case, a spokesperson said, it seems the prisoner was able to reach records about Benny’s care through a notes part of the Wag app.
“We discovered that a prior walker had shared Benny’s lockbox code, which the offending individual was able to obtain and then use to take Benny,” they said.
Now the company going to change its rule after this incident happened, “changed our algorithm so walkers will not be able to share lockbox numbers via the Walker notes system.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, we also emailed all pet parents to encourage them to change their lockbox codes, and called pet parents who had direct experiences with the offending individual to make sure they are aware of the situation and that they change their lockbox code right away,” the spokesperson said.
But the Tropers have one message for those who saw their story and tried to help them find Benny: #BoycottWag.
The couple said, waiting for an apology or answer from Wag, and still not got any answer from their security last week.
The couple wants Wag to apologize in public, and provide a “full debrief” and what actually happened, even they want some changes security measures to ensure it won’t happen to other pet parents.
“We know we are incredibly lucky and fortunate and that not every kidnapping or burglary ends like this,” they said. “We want to speak to Wag! to better understand how this happened and what they are doing to prevent this from ever happening again. We will never use Wag! again and encourage others to do the same until serious changes are made that make the platform safer.”
They added: “It really is every dog parent’s worst nightmare.”