PORTLAND, CT (WFSB) – A dog sitter was caught on camera in a possible case of animal abuse.
A woman from Portland hired the woman to take care of her three dogs while she went on vacation, but instead, it turned into a nightmare.
For most dog owners, the pets are part of the family.
A local woman put her trust into someone to care for her dogs but caught the dog sitter dragging and pulling them.
It was all caught on video.
WARNING: The details and video may be disturbing to some.
Security camera footage caught a dog sitter in what appears to be her grabbing the dogs, then dragging and yelling at them.
Cindy Gruss is the owner of the dogs.
“I saw the video of Maggie first and I just shook in my skin. I started crying,” Gruss said.
Cindy has owned Maggie for three years and has been fostering two other dogs for the past seven months.
The two other dogs are named Chief and Eagle. Gruss has been retraining the dogs because they’ve been abused in the past.
Gruss hired the dog sitter, who came recommended, while she went on vacation. She cut her vacation shot after seeing the surveillance video.
“Watching them live from far away and not being able to do anything,” Gruss said.
In another video, the dog sitter is seen dragging Chief from the yard to the deck. She also sprays all three dogs with water from the backyard hose.
Gruss said the dog’s behaviors have now changed after this happened.
“Not listening, not coming to be like she always does, the happy-go-lucky girl she is. More cautious, more maternal and protective of two of them,” Gruss said.
These videos come on the heels of other cases that have happened in the state. The most recent happened last week when a dog was burned to death in West Haven.
Earlier in July, a public works employee found a dead dog in a crate in a wooded area of Bethany. That dog was healthy when she was dumped.
Then in Windham, a dog was found dead in a dumpster near a diner at the end of May.
While the three dogs are slowly doing better, Gruss said she’s been in contact with police and the animal control officer.
Channel 3 also reached out to police and they said they are investigating.
Portland's animal control officer said they're also investigating and said they've called the state's animal control officer with how to proceed.
Gruss doesn’t want this happening to another dog.
“Make sure you know who is really sitting your dogs, someone you can trust,” Gruss said.
Channel 3 spoke to Kate Molloy, a professional dog walker and sitter for 20 years. She says people have to do their research.
"Someone is coming into your house and they're not only going into your house, but taking care of your most valuable possession, your animals," Molloy said.
She still feels the best recommendations come from word of mouth, or she says you can ask your veterinarian or pet groomer.
"There's many different things, but the main thing is meeting them and having them interact with your and your dog and how they reflect," Molloy said.
Channel 3 reached out to the dog sitter, but her mailbox was full. Channel 3 is not identifying the sitter because no charges have been filed against her.