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Dog poop, vomit, broken wine bottles: Apex woman says pet-sitter trashed home

Posted May 30, 2017 6:08 p.m. EDT

— An Apex woman is calling for a popular online pet-sitting service to re-evaluate its procedures after she came home from a recent vacation to find her home trashed.

Kathy Lipschutz said Catelyn Carter, whom she hired to stay at her house and watch her two dogs over Mother's Day weekend, caused $12,000 in damage to her home.

"There’s blood stains, vomit stains, feces stains, shattered wine (bottles)," Lipschutz said Tuesday.

Ten empty boxes of wine were in the bedroom that Carter used, along with marijuana and other drugs, Lipschutz said, adding that Carter also brought as many as seven other dogs she was pet-sitting into the house. One of those dogs got loose and ran off, although it was eventually found, Lipschutz said.

A concerned neighbor called Lipschutz as she was boarding her flight back home, so she called police.

Responding officers said they suspected Carter had been drinking inside the house and that she appeared disoriented.

"I have a shelter dog, and I know she’s been definitely acting very skittish" in the past couple of weeks, Lipschutz said.

Carter, who couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday, doesn't face criminal charges in the case.

She already has a conviction for possession of stolen property, however, as well as numerous arrests on impaired driving and drug charges.

"The clincher of this story is she has a five-page criminal background," Lipschutz said, noting she learned of Carter's record from police.

Leah Almeling, a spokeswoman for Rover.com, the online service where Lipschutz found Carter, said all sitters listed on the site are required to pass a background check, which includes the national criminal database, sex offender registries and global watchlists.

The company has taken down Carter's profile while it investigates the incident.

"Although this service was not booked on Rover, we’re committed to working with the pet parent and officials to provide support in this situation," Almeling said in an email to WRAL News. "We expect the highest level of professionalism and commitment to dog safety from sitters who list their services on our site."

Lipschutz said she had used Carter before without problem, so she hired her directly for Mother's Day weekend without going through the website.

She has filed a claim with her insurance company, which is now trying to recover damages from Rover.com.