Dog-walk app loses 4th pooch

New York Post - - NEWS - By GINA DAIDONE and MAX JAEGER mjaeger@ny­post.com

Screwed the pooch again. The Wag app — dubbed the Uber of dog-walk­ing — has lost at least four pups in three years of ex­is­tence, most re­cently a Brook­lyn res­cue pooch who has been miss­ing for more than a week.

Teddy, a 4-year-old black jindo mix, es­caped certain doom at a Korean meat farm and a trip half­way around the globe only to be lost in Prospect Park by one of the app’s leash jock­eys, ac­cord­ing to owner Kane Gi­b­lin.

“I was so stunned that I didn’t react, and then half­way through the call, I burst into tears — I was sob­bing,” she told The Post about the Nov. 30 moment she learned the dog had es­caped its leash on a Wag walker’s watch.

Since then, there have been about a dozen pos­si­ble Teddy sight­ings in Prospect Park and ad­ja­cent nabes, but the tail­wag­ger may be too fear­ful of hu­mans to be cor­ralled.

Wag made a “Find Teddy” Face­book page and posted pho­tos of the miss­ing dog— and ini­tially Pho­to­shopped out a Wag logo on the pooch’s ban­danna.

“It was re­ally up­set­ting,” Gi­b­lin said of the coverup.

Wag claims the re­touch­ing was done by an “overzeal­ous so­cial-me­dia in­tern” and that the photo has been re­moved — al­though the im­age per­sists on the Face­book page, along with sev­eral un­doc­tored images.

The com­pany has also hired peo­ple to pass out fliers, is­sued doggy Am­ber Alerts through two lost-pet ser­vices, and called in a spe­cial­ist to find Teddy, a spokes­woman said.

Wag, founded in 2014, lets users hire and mon­i­tor dog walk­ers through an app sim­i­lar to Uber.

But the com­pany has had at least two dogs go miss­ing and an­other two break from their leashes and get killed by cars.

Wag reps con­tend that Teddy es­caped be­cause of a leash mal­func­tion that Gi­b­lin failed to warn the com­pany about.

Gi­b­lin says she got the leash last month and con­cedes she told Wag af­ter the in­ci­dent, “It’s easy to ac­ci­den­tally un­hook a leash” — but only be­cause she felt bad for the walker.

In 2015, Chi­huahua-pug mix Duckie was hit by a car and later died af­ter a Wag walker let him slip out of his leash in Prospect Park.

And Long Is­lan­der Mary Ellen Humphrey hounded Wag for three weeks af­ter the com­pany lost her dog, Buddy, even­tu­ally call­ing in pro­fes­sional pet track­ers from Maine for $2,000, who got Buddy back within a day of their ar­rival.

“Wag spent over $20,000 on get­ting Buddy back,” said spokes­woman Dini Von Mu­ef­fling.

Wag walk­ers must take an on­line quiz, sub­mit to a back­ground check and at­tend an in­per­son ori­en­ta­tion be­fore be­ing hired, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s Web site.

The quiz tests knowl­edge of dif­fer­ent kinds of leashes and har­nesses, and the ori­en­ta­tion re­quires walk­ers demon­strate that knowl­edge on a dog dummy, the com­pany said.

POOR PUPS: Teddy (left) went miss­ing in Prospect Park on Nov. 30, while lit­tle Duckie (be­low) was hit by a car on a Wag walker’s watch in 2015.


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