Teacup poodle mauled to death by another dog while in dog-sitter's care

MEDFIELD, Mass. - A local family says their teacup poodle was mauled to death by a larger dog while under the care of a dog sitter on Friday.

The Etzkorn family was returning home from a vacation in Florida when they learned Mercedes, their four-pound poodle was dead.

"She literally was, you know, my best friend, she needed me and I needed her," said Karen Etzkorn. "And you're trying to think, how can the dog be dead? I know the environment to which she's cared for my dog."

According to the family, they said they had trusted this dog sitter before, but this time, they didn't know she was also boarding a second dog.

"She never mentioned she was having any other dogs there," said Karen.

The second dog, also a poodle, weighed 65 pounds, more than fifteen times what Mercedes does.

Both dogs were apparently placed together in an outside enclosure on Thursday when the smaller dog was killed.

The dog bit Mercedes once, according to an animal control officer, a bite so damaging it killed her instantly.

One of the owners says the incident raises an important question.

"Why aren't these people who want to make additional money almost under the same criterion as a day care center, because my dog is my daughter and I don't get punitive damages and I don't want them, I want my dog," said Karen Etzkorn.

The Etzkorns said they've had Mercedes for seven years.

Now, they want to see if they can somehow pass legislation requiring dog sitters to be trained and/or license so incidents like these don't happen again.

"You want to be a babysitter, you take the babysitting course, you take a first-aid course," said Karen. "Well, you want to be a pet sitter, you should know some basic things."

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