Therapy Dog Scams

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Therapy Dog Scams

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Old 11-05-2013, 08:51 PM
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Therapy Dog Scams

I was just curious if anyone has heard of similar stories: For $10K, Families Feel Cheated By ‘Trained’ Service Dogs CBS Minnesota.

I know someone involved and they were scamed into spending over $10,000 for a dog that was suppose to be trained to help them care for their autistic son. It didn't work out and now they have a dog they resent (no fault to the dog). I feel so sorry for these families.

Are these types of scams normal?
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:41 AM
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:'(

I read that article. That is so awful. It makes my heart hurt. I donate dogs for service training (I don't do the training here) and I have met so many special needs families while I work with their trainers to select the right pup... these families are always so wonderful. Really strong, amazing, loving families that have real hardship. And the communities come together to raise the funds for training. How anyone could take advantage of people like that is baffling.
I don't have any words for it other than pure evil. I genuinely hope those families sue and shut that business down to prevent the same horrid thing from happening to other families.

**edit** I'm truly saddened. That is really the most awful thing I've read in a long time. You should put a little warning about your article. It really is so upsetting. I'm so sad now!! Those poor families. I just want to find them all and get them real service dogs (Lord I wish I was a rich woman)!!

**double edit** you can email me through my website (linked to my profile) if you know someone this happened to maybe I can help. I know several amazing service dog breeders. Perhaps we can get them a dog with the genuine temperament and aptitude they need at no cost to them. Maybe we can get some funds together and get some good trainers and behaviorists to donate their time or get paid minimally to replace this animal they got and get their child the service dog they really need. Honestly I'm here to help. Let me know if there is any way I can help because that is genuinely sickening that a family with a disabled child was taken advantage of that way

Last edited by edenorchards; 11-06-2013 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Added something
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:21 PM
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That's horrible.

They're local to me too.

Those poor families.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:35 PM
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Sad,I didn't realize untrained backyard bred dogs could be sold as assistant dogs.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Foresthound View Post
Sad,I didn't realize untrained backyard bred dogs could be sold as assistant dogs.
What happened here is clearly fraud. A dog cannot be a service dog and not be trained. I hope the ADA has gotten wind of this.

While the USA does not require service dogs to carry any kind of certification (or even wear designation, etc) a service dog MUST be trained to perform certain tasks for the disabled and can be required to leave public places if they are not behaving appropriately.

You can certainly NOT pass off a dog that chews, is aggressive, not housebroken, etc. as a "service" animal.

Therapy dogs do require certification in order to be eligible to be a part of any organization and recieve insurance (which is necessary to do any therapy work). So a therapy dog should definitely not be sold without having passed the CGC test and if being touted as a service dog or a therapy dog they should (at a very minimum) have CGC paperwork as well as have been handled by multiple trainers with well deserved and wonderful reputations.

The biggest red flag was the fact that the business selling these dogs is a private business and not a not-for-profit.
It is actually a pain-in-the-you-know-what to set up a not-for-profit. In general they are the real-deal when it comes to dog stuff. (For example legitimate breed clubs are not-for-profits and the garbage fakey ones set up for mills and uninformed byb are all corporations)

The sad thing here is the fact that these poor families were taken advantage of because of lack of education. I don't think it is very easy to get good info on finding a good service animal that is already trained and there is a serious shortage of dogs, trainers and funds.

All around it is just terrible. Service animals (and therapy animals) do such amazing things. There are few doggie-related things that upset me more than 1) hearing a story like this and 2) meeting someone who openly admits they call their animal a service animal just to gain admittance to public locations with their pet.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:51 AM
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This is so terrible
I hope these families are able to receive properly trained service dogs swiftly in the future...and I hope this doesn't put the public off from financially helping genuine training agencies out there...
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:40 PM
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My friend has been going through this now for a number of years. It is very upsetting indeed. He has a family of 6 and a autistic son. They were sold a story that the dog would help their son, but in the end it just became a very expensive mixed breed pet. I'll pass this thread along to him.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:19 PM
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I feel sorry that this happened to this family. The people who did this should be severely punished. My question would be "Why is the family so against the poor dog?" It was not his fault and now he is in a home where he is not wanted. I feel awful for the people but I feel worse for the dog who is unwanted because he can't perform what was expected of him. Kind of makes you think doesn't it?

Sometimes the love of a dog, trained or not, can make a big difference in someone's life. You wouldn't cast aside your child because he can't do everything that is expected of him, right? Sorry, I just feel for the poor dog.

I hope this family finds the "perfect dog" for their son and I hope this poor dog finds a forever home where he will be loved just for being him.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:40 PM
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Sorry correction, they found a new home for the dog. It was just a little too much to have a pet dog with 4 kids, one being special needs. The dog is very happy now.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:48 PM
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They are here in North Carolina as well. They just did a undercover news report about people cooking their dogs therapy dogs. They go online and buy the vest, just to bring their pets into places with them. I am very angry about this because I have spent 4 years of my dogs life, his whole life, and paid lots of money to get him to this point. in 7 more weeks he will be a real therapy dog. It's a real insulting slap in the face by those people to the people and dogs that have spent the time and money to help other people. This is a selfless thing wee do and they have trivialized it. It's soooooooooo sad!
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