Animal care officials in the San Francisco Bay area are seeking help in finding a small dog that may be injured after being abused by a veteran dog-sitter.
Officials with the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA have received and released a video that shows a woman they say operates a dog sitting and boarding business out of her Burlingame, Calif. home jerk a small, cowering dog by the neck, slam the dog to the ground and then slap the helpless animal several times while it was pinned to the ground. Humane society officials say the video of the assault, captured on a cellphone, was turned over to them on July 30 after it was taken by a neighbor of the dog-sitter.
“We are looking for the dog pictured in this video as we fear the dog may have been injured,” PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi said in a statement. “The owner is claiming the dog in the video clip is her dog, a Lhasa Apso, but we can clearly see several distinguishing physical characteristics which tell us these are not the same dog.”
Five days after receiving the video clip PHS/SPCA investigators, fearing for the safety of the dogs at the home, went to the home and seized 11 dogs. Delucchi says dogs that were being boarded at the home have been returned to their owners, but the three dogs that belong to the dog-sitter are in the protective custody of the society and have not been returned.
Society officials say they previously received two other video clips in late May showing abuse by the same woman. In one video it appears she is stomping on a dog, while in the second video, officials say, the woman is stomping down on something that is obscured, then a dog runs away from the area where she was stomping.
Officials have not released the dog-sitter’s name, saying she has not been charged with a crime and that her name is not public record. But to customers who bring their dogs to the home, they’re leaving no doubt who the woman is and the location of her business, saying her single-story residence is located behind Burlingame High School, between the high school and Hwy 101. They say also say she has operated a dog sitting and boarding business at the home for at least ten years, with the society getting multiple complaints from neighbors about her care and handling of the boarded animals.
Delucchi says the society has turned the video over to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office in the hopes that charges are filed against the dog-sitter.
“We believe that the evidence presented in the video clip is enough for the District Attorney’s Office to bring animal abuse charges against this woman,” Delucchi said. “At this point, our primary concern is for the dog. If we hear from other dog owners who have hired this woman to care for their dogs and had bad experiences, they may become part of the report we deliver to the DA’s Office.”
Dog owners who believe this dog may be theirs, residents who have knowledge of other dogs possibly harmed by this dog-sitter or who have had bad or troubling experiences using this person’s dog sitting or boarding services are being urged to contact the PHS/SPCA at (650) 340-7022.