Stephen Ellison

Dog Walker Caught on Video Mistreating Family's Pet in Danville

A Contra Costa couple is outraged after the dog walker they hired on a popular dog walking app to care for their dogs was captured on surveillance video abusing one of the dogs.

The dog walker now faces animal cruelty charges, and the couple is warning other dog owners to beware.

Miranda Fulks is heartbroken after seeing what her dog Ollie was forced to endure.

"He’s a little love, a super cuddly pup that just wants to cuddle with you," Fulks said about Ollie.

Fulks and her fiancé used the online app Wag to hire a dog walker. At first, everything appeared to be going great until the the dog walker said Ollie tried to bite him, prompting the couple check their surveillance video.

"It goes from grabbing his snout and yanking him to hitting him with a leash to kneeing him in the chest," Fulks said. "He has him on the front porch, and he’s kneeing him backwards, and Ollie is freaking out. David and I burst out in tears. Those are our babies."

David Brown added: "I was mortified. My first reaction was just shock; there’s no way he’s doing this."

The couple called Danville police, who reviewed the video and arrested 37-year-old Adam Vavrus on misdemeanor animal cruelty charges last week.

"I did observe the video and saw what appeared to be a crime," said Danville Officer Douglas Muse. "The DA agreed with us."

Wag insists it does thorough background checks. In a statement, the company said:

"The behavior by this walker is unacceptable. Once we became aware of his actions, we deactivated him from our platform. The trust and safety of the Wag community is critical to our company."

The couple says Wag dropped the ball and needs to do more to ensure people’s pets are indeed in good hands.

"No dog deserves this, and you can clearly see in the video he’s got too many dogs," Brown said.

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