Dog dies after overheating on hike with dog walker during heat advisory

Author: Camila Pereira Writer: Carolina Guzman
Published: Updated:

A dog owner called home from work to find his French Bulldog dead after he hired someone off an app to walk his dog.

The dog walker took the pup on a hike during a heat advisory for more than an hour.

Johnny Chesser is a firefighter in Jacksonville working 24-hour shifts, so walking his dog, Chopper, can sometimes become difficult.

“Usually I have friends or family walk or look after and walk both my dogs, and this is the first time I had to use an app,” said Chesser, “one of these walking apps, ‘Wag!'”

Chesser said he was hesitant at first but gave the app a shot and scheduled a 30-minute walk for Chopper.

About an hour later, he received a call he never imagined he’d get.

“I see I got a message from her, a voicemail from her saying she accidentally overworked my French Bulldog, and she’s back in my apartment with him, he’s not doing well, so I go to call her back, but I don’t get an answer. Then I get a call from the veterinarian about 10 minutes later saying that my dog was brought into her ER dead,” said Chesser.

After checking the walk history on the app, Chesser said it appeared Chopper was walked for almost 66 minutes in the middle of a heat advisory.

The dog walker told him that Chopper had collapsed on the way back from his walk.

Gulf Coast Humane Society Community Relations Coordinator, Brian Wierim said if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets.

“Short walks. That’s very important because when it’s 100, 115 heat index, it goes quickly. They can get into danger very quickly,” said Wierim.

Chesser said the app only gave him the option of a 30-minute walk, but he had hoped the dog walker would notice any sign of overheating.

“I would never let that happen to him, I’d always watch him like a hawk. If he pants too hard, I make sure to take him inside, give him water and it just seems to be that none of that was done, and I kind of just want answers. Like, who’s going to answer to the death of my happy, just perfect little dog?” said Chesser.

Chesser said he did contact the dog walking app, but they told him they aren’t liable for Chopper’s death.

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