Pit Bull Initiative To Transform Image and Educate
October 6, 2021
Justice For Lulu
The first sentence of our mission statement reads: “We believe that no dog should suffer the injustice of discrimination, neglect, or abuse.” This is the ONLY reason why we feel it is incredibly important to make everyone aware of this very unfortunate event that affected Nashville PITTIE Foster Dog, Lulu.
Nashville PITTIE foster, Rebekah, hired pet sitter, Aly Clifton AKA Alyssa Jordan, to stay in her home and care for Nashville PITTIE Foster Dog, Lulu, from Saturday August 7th – Saturday August 14th. It was agreed by both, no overnight guests or visitors (especially men) and no other dogs would be allowed in Rebekah’s home. Rebekah had previously hired Aly on several occasions between the years of 2014 and 2018 with no known incidents. At this time, Lulu was a recent intake, surrendered by an owner who was neglectful and abusive. Nashville PITTIE specifically chose Rebekah to foster Lulu because of her previous successes helping dogs overcome physical and emotional distress.
When Rebekah returned to her home on Saturday, August 14th, it was clear that something was very wrong. Rebekah’s home was in complete disarray and smelled of dog urine. Garbage was strewn over the living room. Open containers of alcohol, pills, and vaping paraphernalia were left throughout the house. Her area rug, wood floors, and bed were soaked in urine. Men’s clothes were found in her washing machine and her dryer held more men’s clothing and was oddly full of water. Lulu was frantic. She was very fearful, jumpy, clingy, and stressed. She had visibly suffered a major setback. All progress Lulu had worked so hard to achieve before this experience was completely lost.
Rebekah immediately contacted Aly stating it was clear her home and Lulu were not properly cared for detailing urine was everywhere, Lulu was traumatized, a man had stayed at the house, and minimally, we should mention a phone charger was missing. Aly’s response addressed the missing charger, but denied anyone else stayed in the house, and stated there was a bit of a discrepancy of what happened. Aly did not directly acknowledge any wrong-doing, but nevertheless offered to pay to have the irreplaceable area rug cleaned, pay for any broken items, and pay to replace the hardwood flooring.
The following day, Rebekah spoke with several neighbors along with her tenant who lives upstairs. The tenant said he never saw Aly during this week. However, both the tenant and neighbors provided evidence of a man being at her home on multiple days. This man was seen exiting the home with large garbage bags, as well as walking outside in a red velvet robe early one morning, then returning inside the home. In addition to seeing this man, neighbors also reported a large German Shepherd dog being brought into the home by a woman. The tenant mentioned that on two separate occasions, he smelled a strong odor of dog feces from downstairs that lasted over two days. He also spoke of two uncomfortable encounters with the man inside the house. As a side note, the identity of this man who stayed in Rebekah's home has been confirmed and he was in no way authorized to be there.
When Rebekah confronted Aly with these facts, Aly continued with the denial. Aly did admit there were other instances where she had “subcontracted” out her dog sitting jobs, but assured Rebekah that she would never do that to her and Lulu. At this time, Aly has not followed through with her promises of payment for damages, therefore a civil suit has been filed.
We are purposely withholding additional information and multiple forms of supporting evidence due to the ongoing civil trial. However, we will release all information and documentation at the appropriate time, once the civil suit is settled.
Foster Dog Lulu has needlessly suffered, during and since, being under the care of this local dog sitter. While we continue to work diligently to help get her past this experience, Nashville PITTIE would like to take the opportunity to bring awareness and provide resources to others searching for a trustworthy pet sitter. Choosing the right pet sitter is crucial to your pet’s well-being and safety, as well as the safety of your home. If hiring a pet sitter is in your future, here are the top factors to consider:
Find the Right Sitter
To find a reputable and reliable sitter, begin asking for referrals from friends, neighbors, family, your veterinarian or your dog trainer. You may find pet sitting services in your area by searching online, contacting the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, or Pet Sitters International.
Qualifications and Training
During an interview with a potential pet sitter, ask about his or her past experience, what types of pets they’ve cared for, and whether they’ve completed any special training. Additionally, if your pet has any special needs or behavior issues, make sure the sitter feels comfortable managing them while you’re gone.
Insurance and Bonding
Your pet sitter should be able to provide written proof of commercial liability insurance (in case of accidents) and should be bonded (to protect against theft).
How will the pet sitter communicate with you while you’re away? Reliable communication will put your mind at ease while you’re away from your pet. Many pet sitters will record daily notes about your pet’s activities, eating habits or mood. Others will send you digital photos, video, or daily text messages to keep you updated.
Services and Fees
It’s important that you’re both on the same page about what’s expected, and the fees involved. How many visits will occur each day? At what times and for what duration? Will the sitter be staying overnight in your home? Will anyone else other than the sitter be allowed in your home? Will the sitter provide grooming or walking services? Will she clean up accidents, water plants or do any other vacation care responsibilities? Will she bring your pet to a veterinarian in an emergency? Also, if you’re delayed, can the sitter care for your pet until you’re able to get home?
References and Interactions
Your sitter should provide you with references of past clients and you should contact each of them. In addition, the sitter should interact with your pet in your home environment prior to your trip.
And lastly, Install a Home Security Camera
A home security camera system is an excellent tool for home protection, checking in on your pet, and it can work both as a deterrent and a recovery tool. You can find these inexpensive devices literally anywhere for as little as $20.
We are devastated that this happened under our watch and are taking all steps necessary to right this wrong. We hope our experience and the tips we’ve provided will prevent anything like this from happening to you and your pets.