Imagine leaving your house briefly so it could be cleaned by a maid service, and then returning to find your dog dead.
That's what happened to a woman who on Thursday filed suit against a Denver-based cleaning company, claiming that their maids allowed her dog to be hit by a car and then left her dog to die alone underneath a dining room table.
Robin Lohre said she hired Posh Maids for a three-hour cleaning of her home on Aug. 17. When a worker arrived, Lohre asked if it would be OK if the family dog, Ruthie, remained in the home while the worker cleaned.
The maid said the dog could stay, even after Lohre offered to take Ruthie with her, according to Lohre's attorney.
Before she left, Lohre said she instructed the employee that the dog should not be let out of the house and if the worker needed to leave the house before Lohre returned, she would have to exit the back door, which opens to an enclosed mudroom with an external door.
Lohre explained that if Ruthie were to follow the maid through the back door, the maid could put Ruthie back into the house, close the door and leave through the mudroom.
Lohre left to run errands with her 6-year-old daughter and approximately 2.5 hours later, she received a call from the owner of Posh Maids, telling her that the cleaning was complete ahead of schedule because additional Posh Maid employees had arrived at the home to help.
When Lohre and her daughter returned to the home, they found Ruthie dead underneath their dining room table. When she called Posh Maids, Lohre was told that Ruthie had been struck by a car and that their maids allowed her dog to be hit by a car and then left her dog
The maids claimed that at the time they left, the dog was alive and "whimpering a little."
The employees never attempted to report the accident to Lohre or take the dog to an emergency vet, according to the Animal Law Center, the firm representing Lohre.
Lohre is suing Posh Maids for negligence and emotional distress.
"The most egregious aspect of this case is that the employees left Ruthie to suffer and die alone underneath a table and did nothing to inform Lohre or take the dog to a vet," said Jennifer Edwards, attorney and founder of The Animal Law Center.
Edwards said Lohre gave specific instructions that would have prevented what this maid service says happened.
The owner of the maid service told 7NEWS she was trying to get a hold of Lohre when she returned to the home and that is why a vet wasn't notified. She said after the dog was hit by the car, it ran into the house, went under the dining room table and growled at the maids when they tried to approach it.
"That's when I made the decision to have the maids leave the house because, if we ever have an aggressive dog situation, then we ask them to leave the house,"said Posh Maids owner MIranda Pallone.
Pallone saidLohre wrote a letter to her asking for $25,000. Pallone said that much money could put her out of business.
"So I offered her $2,000. My lawyer advised against me offering that to her, but I did offer it to her and it wasn't enough, so here we are," Pallone said.
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