A Quincy, Massachusetts, couple says the sitter they hired to watch their elderly dog abused him, robbed them and then left the dog alone for days.
They found their beloved 13-year-old dog had several injuries that prevented him from being able to walk.
Their vet believes he was left laying on his side in his own waste for days, causing sores, a bladder and kidney infection.
The couple booked Katie Barker of Lynn to care for Sullivan at their home while they celebrated their anniversary in Mexico.
They used a website called DogVacay.
Toward the middle of the week, neighbor's began hearing Sullivan howling and called the couple in Mexico.
Joe Hingston says Barker told him everything was fine, she only left a few times to take care of car and family issues.
Hingston told his neighbor to use a spare key to check on Sullivan and found him injured and alone.
When Hingston returned home he also found about $5,000 in coins he had been saving since childhood were gone. He also says money was missing from an envelope with about $200 that was part of a fundraiser to help pay for firefighter funerals he runs.
Drug paraphernalia was also allegedly found in their home.
DogVacay issued a statement saying, "Upon learning of the incident, the host was immediately removed from our platform. This is a deeply heartbreaking event as we think of our dogs as our own family. We're continuing to investigate this matter and are working closely with the authorities and Joe to support them in every way we can."
DogVacay also told necn that Barker passed a background check and completed a rigorous approval process.
Hingston filed a police report but hasn't heard from Barker.
Sullivan is recovering, but may lose part of one of his hind legs because of nerve damage. It's unclear what caused some of his injuries, but Hingston says his vet said it appears he was dropped or kicked.
Quincy police are investigating.