Service dog provider puts Groves family on alert

Service dog provider puts Groves family on alert

A Groves family is taking legal action against the company that sold them a $20,000 service dog after the company, Guardian Angel Service Dogs, itself threatened litigation if the family didn’t turn over all the money it raised from fundraisers almost five months ago.

The McLeod family – Ryan, Tara and their twin sons Racer and Rider – along with a flood of supporters from throughout Southeast Texas, held a number of fundraisers for Racer, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes. The money raised went toward the purchase of a diabetic alert dog. Through scent detection, he can sense – when properly trained – when a person’s blood sugar level rises or falls to dangerous levels. Money was also raised to go toward ongoing medical care for Racer.

The McLeods are plaintiffs in a declaratory judgment filed last week in the 58th Judicial District in Jefferson County asking to sever ties with Guardian Angel Service Dogs after they received a dog that wasn’t completely trained and still isn’t 100 percent capable of warning the family if Racer has blood sugar that’s too high or too low.

While the training is part of the issue, Dan Warren, president of Warren Enterprises LLC, which also owns Guardian Angels Service Dogs Inc., a not-for-profit company out of Montpelier, Va., is demanding that the extra money made by the McLeods’ fundraising efforts go to him. In addition to Guardian Angels, Warren also owns Warren Retrievers, a company that breeds Labrador retrievers, which he also uses as the Guardian Angel service dogs.

Guardian Angels was registered with Guidestar.org, which tracks nonprofit organizations; however, they did not supply the site with any IRS information, including a 990, which is to provide the public with financial information to ensure it is not abusing its tax-exempt status.

In a letter from Warren’s attorney, John W. Anderson, dated June 5 of this year, he states that the McLeods received “well in excess of $60,000 in charitable donations from fundraising activities” and that because the McLeods promoted the event “as being tax deductible to the donors and for the benefit of Guardian Angel,” Warren and his company are entitled to the excess money raised by the McLeods.

Messages left for both Warren and his attorney, Anderson, were not returned.

Matthew Morgan of the Reaud, Morgan & Quinn law firm is assisting attorney John Werner in the matter for the McLeods pro bono and said the McLeods fulfilled their monetary obligation with Warren and his company by paying the $20,000 for the dog and that any additional money raised is being used for Racer’s ongoing medical care.

The McLeods’ petition to the court states that the McLeods held several fundraisers and “through the generosity and caring of the community, including many people who had never even met Racer, enough money was raised not only to pay the Defendant (Warren), but also to set up a separate account devoted exclusively to Racer’s ongoing medical needs.”

The McLeods are seeking a declaration that they not be required to pay more than the $20,000 already paid for the dog and that Warren is not entitled to any money in Racer’s separate account.

McLeod argues that while they did use the Guardian Angel name when promoting the event – which Warren said they could do – there was never any mention made about excess funds going back to Guardian Angel Service Dogs and that Warren offered to help with fundraising along the way. McLeod also said the family never used Guardian Angels’ tax ID number.

“They don’t owe them money,” said Morgan. “The McLeods paid the $20,000 for the dog. (Guardian Angel) owes them some training, but we’ve offered to cut that off and go our separate ways, but they won’t.”

A dog that doesn’t alert

“We were told we’d be able to sleep through the night and if the dog noticed Racer’s blood sugar change, he’d come and alert us,” said Ryan McLeod, a Beaumont firefighter who is perplexed and frustrated with the whole situation. “My wife and I would’ve never gone with this company if we’d known we were going to have to train the dog ourselves.”

Guardian Angel provides one week of training when the dog is delivered and two days of training every 90 days for the next two years as part of the agreement. All other required training is to be done by the owner.The McLeods’ twin sons are 3 1/2 years old. Racer, in addition to diabetes, also suffers from albinism, which according to his father, is very rare considering neither he nor his wife have the gene for albinism. It’s the albinism that causes Racer’s pale skin, cloud-white hair and reddish eyes. There’s no medical proof that it’s a bi-product of his diabetes.

Late in November 2011 after a near fatal incident with Racer, the family began researching service dog companies and diabetic alert dog providers and Warren’s Guardian Angel Service Dog page was one of the first companies to pop up.

“Our main concern was at night,” said McLeod. “One night we checked him, he was perfectly normal to make it through to the morning, and 45 minutes later he was having a seizure.” Fortunately, Racer was sleeping with Tara that night and she felt him having the seizure. Had he not been sleeping with his mother that night and in his own bed instead, he could have died.

McLeod said most of the diabetic alert dog companies require the buyer to travel to the company to pick the dog up, whereas Guardian Angel actually flies out and delivers the dog to the customer.

“I talked to him on the phone, and he had me crying on the phone talking to him,” McLeod said of his initial conversation with Warren.

“He also told us the dog would be trained to alert when we received him,” said McLeod, adding that most service dogs go through one to two years of training before they’re given to a family. Gunner, the chocolate Labrador retriever the McLeod’s received, was 3 months old when he was delivered. “Obedience-wise, we haven’t had any issues,” said McLeod. “As far as being out in public, he listens and he does what he’s supposed to.”

McLeod said Warren assured him the dog would be trained to “alert,” meaning the dog would be able to notify Ryan and Tara if the dog, through scent detection training, noticed Racer’s blood sugar was too high or low. Ultimately, the dog is supposed to “paw” a person when Racer’s blood sugar is too high and “touch” with his nose if the blood sugar is too low.

At 5 months old, Gunner, while a good dog, is still learning how to detect, and can’t yet indicate high or low blood sugar. When Gunner was dropped off in May, the trainers that accompanied the dog indicated that the McLeods would be responsible for training the dog on how to “alert.”

“We said, ‘Wait a minute, the whole reason we got this dog was because it knows how to alert,’” said McLeod. “We told (Warren) my wife and I both have jobs, and between the two boys, we have very busy and hectic lives, and we don’t have time to train a dog.”

Maria Ikenberry, executive director for Eyes, Ears, Nose and Paws, a service dog company out of Carrboro, N.C., said she’s never dealt with anyone from Guardian Angel and has only heard of the company. A relatively new company, Ikenberry said Eyes, Ears, Nose and Paws has trained three diabetic alert dogs, and they took up to two years to train. She said her company has eight dogs it’s training right now and prefers training their dogs on-site as opposed to having the dogs trained with the owners.

“If you talk to Assistance Dogs International, you’ll find that that is not the standard for assistance dogs,” said Ikenberry. “What you’ll also find is there’s no standard for diabetic assistance dogs, either.”Bonnie Bergin, a pioneer in the service dog industry who actually came up with the idea of service dogs for people in wheelchairs 37 years ago, said it is preferred by most service dog agencies who are members of Assistance Dogs International that dogs be trained for up to two years by certified professional trainers as opposed to having a dog trained by a family with occasional training visits.

“I don’t see how parents as described, with the small amount of instruction, can do an adequate job training the dog,” said Bergin, who runs the Bergin University of Canine Studies, just outside of Santa Rosa, Calif.

Spreading the word electronically

Late Wednesday afternoon, a Facebook post was put on the Guardian Angel Service Dogs page by Warren letting all the members of the group know that “publicity was forthcoming” regarding the McLeods’ legal action against the company, which “may or may not be true,” according to the post. Warren indicated that a reporter from The Examiner might be in touch with Guardian Angel’s clientele, and if so, it was their discretion to speak with the media, but he was confident anyone who spoke would be “honest and forthcoming in your remarks about Guardian Angel Service Dogs. You, our friends that we have served, are our best line of defense against falsehoods. Thank you for your support.”

One of those customers who came to the defense of Warren and Guardian Angel was Jamie Shasteen, whose daughter Alissa suffers from Type 1 diabetes and is expected to get her dog in the fall. While the family, which lives in Illinois, is still raising funds for the dog, she said it’s a “moral” issue and “common sense” that any excess funds raised by a family working with Guardian Angel be given to the company since it’s being raised for Guardian Angel and using the Guardian Angel name.

“The McLeod family fundraised using Guardian Angel Service Dog’s name,” said Shasteen. “They exceeded what they needed to pay for the dog, and it’s common sense when you go over, that money goes back. They’re just mad that they fundraised using that name and that tax ID number and they were told they couldn’t keep the money after they kept the money.”

Shasteen said that Warren made it very clear “from the beginning” that excess funds raised by families would be put back in a fund that would go to other families in the same state looking for diabetic alert dogs. She also harped on the McLeods for their lack of “research” since the company clearly indicates training is done primarily by the family and not done prior to the dog’s arrival.

“They should’ve known that before they got the dog,” said Shasteen.

While her arguments certainly support Guardian Angel’s contentions, Shasteen was a little shaky when it came to details regarding the information that “clearly” states the fundraising and training protocol.

“That’s stuff that you find out when you start with this company,” said Shasteen. “You can ask Dan yourself.” She said she’s known about the company for more than a year, but has been working with them for “about five months.” When pressed further about where the protocol is listed, Shasteen continued, “I don’t know if (Dan) specifically told me that, but it’s common sense. It’s common sense to anybody with common sense.”McLeod said neither he nor his wife was ever briefed or informed on the fundraising and training protocol from Warren. A glimpse at Warren’s Web site warrenretrievers.com mentions how he offers help fundraising for clients buying a dog through Guardian Angels, yet provides no insight as to what is done with excess funds.

“He’s great working with you throughout the fundraising process leading up to buying the dog,” said McLeod, “but once he gets paid, it’s impossible to get in touch with him and he passes off everything on to his trainers. If I’d known we were going to go through all this, we’d have never chosen this company.”

Fred Davis can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 227, or by e-mail at fred [at] theexaminer [dot] com.

shadow

Comments

Can't read the comments, website's system is weird.

People's comments are getting thinner and thinner and are at a point where they are seriously hard to read. I posted my e-mail address for Rick, you can e-mail me too if you like. Because I can't read your comments because of the commenting system is setup so I have no way of replying to them.

Inbox is till empty...

Inbox is till empty... surprise surprise. I'll check again later.

Well, rtempleton....

The people that have compared their service to his just get bashed because his cult members jump all over them. And if you suggest another program as a comment on an article about GASD, Dan's lawyer sends you a cease and desist letter. So no one can learn about other DAD programs unless they do the research for themselves because Dan makes everyone shut up!!

I don't have a program, I trained my dogs for myself. And it didn't cost me $20,000! In the 4 years that I've had my current service dog, I've spent maybe $4000. A good breeder donated the dog, I spent money on high quality grain-free food, health tests, x-rays, toys, service dog gear, obedience and agility classes, a great R+ trainer I can call on at any time and I'm in a great community of service dog handlers. I have everything you have, my dog does everything I need her to do and I didn't pay $20,000! This is my voice but if I gave my e-mail address, Dan would track my disabled butt down and try to make me shut up.

And legal action isn't a curtain, it's what Dan Warren does to make people shut up. Someone made a previous comment on this article about someone named Marijane, I saw someone going off on Warren Retriever's facebook page about her; I bet she's a person who got a cease and desist letter.

And I doubt anyone will actually e-mail you because you will probably give our info directly to Dan and he'll have his lawyer on us. We're not stupid you know.

You can make your donation to Laughing Eyes Kennels, they are a great service dog program.

As expected...lol So your not

As expected...lol

So your not a trainer...ok. Absolutely NO history of professional training either? Funny you bring up Marijane....you sound allot like her. Almost exactly. No professional knowledge but would like to criticize those that do. I am not one of Dan's puppets so you or any trainer have nothing to fear. With that said you do know that making false claims about someone or an organization is illegal right? It's called "slander" look it up. So instead of constantly following Dan around and bashing his program why aren't you trying to help people. What I mean is you could go to all the same places you go to now and post about how you trained your dog and how well it works for you and show people that they have another option. Instead you continually post about how bad Dan is and how much of a ripoff it is. You are right...it is expensive...no argument there. I would have liked to have spent less but self-training is not something I want to entrust the life of my child with so I decided to go with the professionals who have done a wonderful job to this point...way more than I expected to be honest. I could have never done this on my own....glad you could though. So how about adding something constructive to the conversation next time instead of trying to bring someone down because you don't like them/it. I don't like Chevy trucks but I don't waste my time going to everyplace they talk about them and bashing them and making false claims. I just don't buy one and I speak very highly of my Ford truck. I knew you wouldn't email me because all of your claims against Dan are false and so are the claims of all of the other trainers that continually bash him. You all should put all of that energy into your own program and try to come up with something better than what Dan has. Good luck with that.

Sound exactly like

Sound exactly like Marijane??? No...maybe just many people think the same way. Marijane has not commented on this article, although she has read it.That is NOT a violation of the agreement she was forced to sign with Dan Warren's henchman attorney. I find it highly amusing how afraid of Marijane you all are. Dan Warren has had his henchman attorney send her a "Cease and Desist" letter with threat of a lawsuit. Everyone of you, his "cult" members bash and blame her every chance you get even though an agreement was reached with Dan Warren's attorney that all this bashing would stop on both sides. Every time any of you mention her it is forwarded to her attorney. Apparently she was onto some thing or Dan Warren would not be so afraid of her. Unfortunately she is not in a position to fight a lengthy lawsuit. Her biggest concern is her family and her T1 five yr old.

Wrong again!

I was going to school to become a professional dog trainer till some jerk hit me with his truck and now I'm in a wheelchair. I utilized the help of a trainer because I can't do it all, my disability does not allow it.

I am not Marijane, I don't even know her. I saw her mentioned twice. My name Lorelei!!!

I know the definition of slander, I have a Masters Degree. But obviously you don't because you need to use your spell check function but don't. Would you like me to post some links where people have complaints about Warren Retrievers? Posting news articles won't help because, for some reason, the comments section gets disabled for many articles. Or the comments are all the GASD "family" raving about Dan. Sycophantic worship is what is.

Yes by all means post some

Yes by all means post some links of legitimate complaints. I would love to see them. My inbox is still empty btw. A Masters...great...me too. Why do you seem so hostile? You also appear to have some type of abnormal infatuation with Warren Retrievers. It appears to be nearly clinical. Masters in Psychology by the way. Thanks for pointing out grammatical errors...I'm not an english major. But that is what people do to distract from the true issue when their argument is no longer valid. It's textbook...really...I can show you. You try to belittle me...another textbook distraction. All of this aside from the point. The point is his program works...like it or not. I'm sure your dog works for you too. Saying Dan's program is a scam, or that his dogs don't work is a fraudulent claim. Saying it is a rip-off is your opinion. I feel the price I paid is justified as do many others. Do you follow people around and tell them they paid to much for their Bentley too? I wouldn't pay that much for one but hey some people do. If that's what they want to spend their money on. My email address is still available and my inbox still empty. Still waiting for valid proof on all of these claims. Oh and sorry about your injury...that sucks!

Let's get you going!

Here are two to start with, these are the ones I have bookmarked I know there are more but I do have things to do with my day. Chores take time when you are in a wheelchair.

This one doesn't give a lot of info but it does show a complaint about Warren Retrievers.

https://payments.vi.virginia.gov/OAG/ComplaintDB/Detail/50564

http://simplysuperbdog.blogspot.com/2012/06/diabetic-alert-dogs-organiza...

Lorelei really?? That link is

Lorelei really?? That link is BS. I have met Shiloh after she was taken away from the author. Convenient how the author doesn't say how bad they were treating shiloh and what things they were doing to her that made her become aggressive. Once Shiloh was taken away, and began to get the treatment she deserved, she blossomed again. Next link

Maybe you are Dan?

Since you met Shiloh, it seems that you are likely Dan Warren or one of his trainers. I don't think he has enough trainers to be keeping up with those 300-500 dogs he sells every year. And if that part of the article is incorrect, why doesn't GASD e-mail the editor of that paper have them put in a retraction with the real numbers?

Have you not read any previous comments?

Since Lorelei doesn't seem to be keeping up to date on the comments, I'll say something. People won't say anything bad about GASD or WR because they don't want to get sued. Even if what they say is true, they likely don't have the money to pay for a lawyer to defend their right to free speech. Dan Warren has his lawyer send people cease and desist letters. I know of 3 people that have been sent them. They are all disabled or have a disabled child. They don't have the money to hire a lawyer and fight Dan's BS. Plain and simple facts.

someone named Crystal brought

someone named Crystal brought up background checks-Racer's aunt perhaps. What do background checks really have to do with where the donations shouuld ,by law, go?

Wait, people are paying

Wait, people are paying $20,000 for a young puppy and they are expected to do most of the training? In that case what exactly is it that the $20,000 is paying for? That cost makes no sense when already fully public access trained and task trained adult service dogs are not $20,000 in most cases. You may as well get a puppy from a good breeder and hire a trainer yourself.

Plus there is no guarantee a 3-month-old puppy will even make it as a full service dog, many many dogs "wash out" of service dog training before they reach adulthood.

the deal to get that dog was

the deal to get that dog was already made. These questions should have been asked before usingdeciding to use GAMDS's name to make a profit for themselves. The poor little puppy and the donation money are 2 different issues. What will happen to the unwanted puppy that the family has stated that they have no time for since they have such hectic lives. That is a concern to animal activist.

I would love to see where

I would love to see where they used GAD name I just dont see it I gave my money to Racers Fundraiser

Fundraising purpose

All fundraisers have a purpose, whether it be a dog, medical bills, living expenses etc. What did you think Racer was fundraising for. You can not just hold fundraisers with no cause or reason. If that were true I am holding a fundraiser for a trip to Tahiti. Racers fundraiser for ????????

It's all over the place, on

It's all over the place, on the fliers, in the promotional videos, news articles...how can you not see it? Every promotional item says GASD but absolutely NONE of the promotional items mention medical expenses except the one that thanks everyone for their money and tells them they already used it on medical bills.

yet one poster declares the

yet one poster declares the Mcleods havent spent a penny of the funds when the issue of the recent rennovations came up. And another poster states that she was told to make her check to GAMDS.

You got it!

Although they say that you have 3 years to pay off the dog, what happens if the dog bites your child during a fear period? Do you get to send the dog back and they'll send you a new puppy, where you have to start over again?

You get a new dog.

You get a new dog.

$20,000 Client is still on the Hook for Training..

Twenty thousand dollars seems like a huge amount of money for a dog that is so young and not trained.

(1) Any puppy is a risk. Nobody knows if the pup will be cut out for SD work. The reason why reputable SD organizations don't release dogs until 18-24 months is because of a critical developmental stage toward the end of year one when behavioral issues such as reactivity/fear/aggression, are most likely to appear. Health issues can also appear as the mature. I don't see integrity in charging anybody $20,000 for a puppy that is a virtual unknown. Every puppy is a risk...

(2) An excellent understanding of canine ethology is critical for this type of very specialized training. One should be very well versed in dog behavior, reading body language and understanding how dogs learn. The average family being handed a dog to train as a DAD (with support) does not have a good understanding of these concepts. One mistake can destroy a working dog's career. Pushing a dog too far too fast is a common mistake made by people who are not trainers. This is setting a dog/handler team up for failure. I am curious how much pre-education the clients are receiving prior to getting the puppy? They should be thinking like the pro trainers before the dog is turned over to them.

(3) Having phone and email support plus periodic visits is not a dog training service. The individual working with the dog on a daily basis is the person training the dog. Clients of GASD are paying $20,000 and are still on the hook to train their own dog (with distance support). I am guessing some of these families also find it necessary to seek support from local trainers who are more accessible, and can be "hands on" which is an added cost on top of the $20,000.

(4) There are several reputable organizations releasing dogs who have been spending all their time (living full time) with professional trainers who have credentials for less than $20,000. These are the dogs that you know what you are getting because they have gone through their second "fear stage" and are know to be physically in good health. These dogs have been trained on a DAILY basis by people who have invested time and money in educating themselves in training and behavior. The issue is that DADs are in such high demand, people hear how long the wait list is and think they would be better off starting a pup. It's great to bond with a pup but a dog that has been well trained, and well treated will be able to bond with and work for it's handler, even as an adult dog.

(5) When considering a DAD think long and hard about the route that is going to bring you the highest likelihood of success. If you choose to self-train, than self train but you don't need to pay $20,000 in order to get a puppy to train yourself. Imprinting is helpful, but not necessary. Well bred labs are about $1,500. If you are willing to shell out $20,000 for a DAD why not take some of the risk out of it and get a fully trained dog, or hire a professional to work with your pup on a daily basis?

An actual intelligent post

An actual intelligent post and professional even. Thank you and I am not being sarcastic. I do have a question though. As the owner of a D.A.D. from G.A.S.D. I know first hand the success we have had with this dog for both of or diabetic children and have seen many of the others work as well and seen their successes. How would you explain the success rate of the dogs coming from GASD then? You seem to be intelligent about service animals and my question is not trying to discredit you...I am actually looking for an intelligent response to this because it is hard to get one when everyone is in bashing mode.

Glad to hear you have had

Glad to hear you have had success, that is great and I am sure has been very helpful for you.
However-- even in the service dog schools that have been breeding and training their own dogs for many many years, a good percentage of these dogs do not make it through the rigorous process of puppy raising, preliminary training, task training, public access training and health screening to the point where they are full service dogs.

If Warren's service dogs are having a much higher success rate in this process of going from puppyhood to full service dog status than that of these schools that have been purposefully breeding dogs to be service dogs for many many years, I would have to think that either the standards are not as high in testing these dogs for fitness as a service dog, or else he has had some amazing breakthrough in genetics and breeding/training that other schools are not aware of.

If it is the latter one would hope he would share the keys to this success with the other service dog schools who have been breeding and training these dogs to be the eyes, ears, and independence for so many individuals with different types of disabilities in order for them to have higher success rates in their breeding and training programs so they can provide more dogs and help more individuals.

Legitimate concerns no doubt.

Legitimate concerns no doubt. I don't mean to be rude by not fully responding to you but please see my other postings. All I can do is speak about my own personal experience and observations and I have done that here already. Honestly my fingers are about to bleed from typing. lol

...On the Hook for Training

Hi Matt-

Thank you for your kind words. While I do not doubt that their have been successful DADs coming out of Warren, I am also quite skeptical that all dogs are successful. I also wonder if the 100% success rate is based on SCENT work only or the combination of scent and public access work. All all dogs who are alerting trained well enough for public access? Scent work is actually the one of the easier aspects of the training. Are the dogs ALERTING to the low or are the RESPONDING to the low? An alert is a trained behavior that is given in a consistent manner each time the low is detected. Are these dogs demonstrating a trained behavior or responding by acting excited? Teaching a dog self control in many different public situations is another challenging aspect of training. These are questions I have..can you shed some light? What is considered "success" according to GASD? What are the standards based on? To me a successful working dog has both a clear TRAINED alert and can work in the public.

My perspective is that it takes a huge amount of time and commitment to train these dogs. Some people self-train and do it quite well and I think it may not end up costing them $20,000, even after attending educational workshops and seeking help from a trainer. For others it turns out to be too much of a commitment. My personal opinion is that if I'm going to spend that amount of money on a DAD ($20,000) I want it to be spending the majority of it's time with a professional trainer because I would be putting up a huge amount of money and risking a great deal. My professional opinion is that I would never hand a puppy over to a client to train as a medical alert dog, charge them $20,000, tell them I would give them distance support, and actually feel good about doing so.

First let me thank you for

First let me thank you for writing a post with legitimate concerns rather than the the unfounded bashing that others have done. I will try to respond to each of your concerns and give you my personal experience. My dog is just over 1 year old. He is by no means fully trained. This does not mean that he isn't trained at all. Early on the alerts were excitement. At this point he has two clear trained alerts. One for highs and one for lows. He is pretty consistent with these. If ignored he will revert back to excitement but that is something we are working on. He does very well in public. The biggest problem in public isn't him...it's trying to keep people from wanting to pet him. I see the 100% success rate thrown around allot and I am not sure where that is coming from. I know when we signed on we were guaranteed that if he didn't alert he would be replaced. The way some would have you believe is that a puppy is dropped off to you and you are on your own with distance support only. This is not the case. Trainers visit your home for a three day period every 90 days for the first two years and annually after that. During each visit the training progresses. Between visits the owner works on perfecting the training from the previous visit. Any issues that arise in between you can always call your trainer. Do we do the majority of the training...yes...but that is what we wanted to do and why we chose the path we chose. We have had great success as have many others. While we are still working on progressing certain aspects of my dogs training he is ahead of where it should be at this point. I have noticed allot of "self-trainers" consistently trying to discredit this program when in fact the process is very similar. We investigated the self-training option but with no previous training experience we wanted a support system and found a great one at GASD. We also investigated fully trained dogs but in many case we were deemed ineligible for those programs because we have two T1 diabetic children and other pets in the house. Most we would have had to travel to them which is very difficult for us. There are allot of programs out there and if someone doesn't do the research to find the one best for their family then that wouldn't be very smart. I am not going to say that GASD is the best program out there. What I will say is it is a great program that is successful and was the right choice for my family. I am sure the other programs are great as well and are the right choice for many families as well. It does bother me that so many try to discredit this organization when there is a lot of evidence to prove their successes, especially when my dog is one of them. As for the cost...well we each have the choice to spend our money as we please. If I choose to spend more on my car than the next guy should I be criticized for it? I don't believe so. I didn't spend $20k on a dog. I bought $20k service for the next 10 years and got the dog with it. Many organizations I researched weren't involved after you received the dog. I didn't like that option. I feel like I am babbling now. Honestly I have typed this response many, many times and people fail to see that we all have a choice. This was mine and I am happy with it and so are many other families. Having to constantly defend it is somewhat tiring. With two T1 diabetics one autistic child and 1 child with no disabilities and a wife who is serving in Afghanistan I have enough to worry about other than defending the choices I make to try and take care of my children. Forgive me if I come off a little frustrated...it is in no way directed at you personally. As an owner of a D.A.D. from GASD and entrusting the life of my children with it I would think that my statements would be taken into account by others as not just fact but testimonial to other parents that D.A.D.s do work even if they come from somewhere else. Unfortunately someone will post right behind this about how there is no way my dog is as good as some other dog or no way he is dependable, or I paid too much, etc. My kids, My choice, My money. My apologies to anyone offended by my frustrated tone. I would just like a little respect for my decision as I have shown to those who have made their own personal decision. I welcome constructive conversation and am eager to help educate anyone willing to listen. I already have to educate everyone I meet about Juvenile Diabetes, Autism, and D.A.D.s so I am used to it as long as your willing to actually listen. Ok..I need a nap now. God Bless!

they did not buy the dog for

they did not buy the dog for 20,ooo. They recieved a dog with donation money and pocketing donation money. They could have chosen to buy the dog for that amount but they chose not to buy it out right. They chose to get the dog quicker by raising donations for them and recieved the dog with the donated money and kept what money that was left instead of handing it over for the organization to help more families. Nothing I have seen shows that GASMD helps families raise money for medical expenses. That is the McLeods profitable idea.

But they still gave $20,000

But they still gave $20,000 to GASD. Help more families??? Show us one family that did not pay GASD or fund raise $20,000 for a dog.

Come on Jaenine, Really?

Come on Jaenine, Really? People who have been helped have already posted here. Get a valid argument and come back later.

the Hudson family in

the Hudson family in Pawcatuck CT. They did not pay for the dog. This is how they went about their fundraising activities in order to get the dog they recieved:

"All of the funds raised will be donated to Guardian Angel Service Dogs and be used towards getting the Hudson's young son Christian the Diabetic Alert Dog he so desperately needs!"

it seems the Mcleods didnt "give $20,000 to pay for the dog, but Raised $60,000 and chose to hand over $20,000 in donations, recieved the dog and kept the rest of the donations unlike the Hudson family.

Matt, I have been reading

Matt, I have been reading all the posts in this article and your posts have been one of the true voices of reason. You are articulate and intelligent and I can see you have a good heart. No one is disclaiming that there are some good dogs that come out of WR. But we can guarantee you that he does not have a 100% success rate with his dogs as he claims. He is placing puppies that can in no way be guaranteed to do what he states they can do. Two out of every five pups will do the job exceptionally well....maybe even three out of five...but NOTHING has a 100% success rate. You are one of the very lucky 40%. The Seeing Eye is the most well known and respected service dog organization in the world..100 yrs...and they only state a success rate of 40% of their dogs going into service.

I agree that nothing is 100%.

I agree that nothing is 100%. I mean we are dealing with animals here and not even the best trained dog is going to alert 100% of the time. If you want 100% you need a robot and even it may fail. I know I was guaranteed a dog that would alert...not a dog that would alert 100% of the time. Had he never have alerted he would have been replaced. Seeing Eye Dogs are a completely different type of service dog and require an extreme amount of training so I don't get the comparison there. I am in the service and have friends in the K9 unit. They have dogs trained for many different things. Some take longer to train than others depending on what they are training them for. Some never make it through the programs. The programs with the highest % of success are scent based training. I'm not a trainer so I don't speak from first hand knowledge but the military trainers I have spoken to claim to be able to train nearly any dog to be a drug dog because dogs in general can smell so well. They do admit that some breeds are better than others. Anyway I'm not trying to bash anyone but there are allot of people trying to say Warren Retrievers doesn't have a high success rate....most of which have no first hand experience with their program. I just don't think you should criticize somebody without having all the facts is all....just like I don't think people should criticize this family based off what was presented in this poorly written article. I will say this. Mr. Mcleod claimed in his statements to this reporter that the dog doesn't alert when there have been posts elsewhere on the internet from this family that the dog is in fact alerting. Honestly with how poor the article is written I'm sure the reporter misinterpreted what what Mr. Mcleod was saying.

http://www.12newsnow.com/stor

http://www.12newsnow.com/story/16915115/racers-diabetic-alert-dog-fundra...

No mention of medical bills here? And I found this part particularly disturbing

"Racer's dad says he had no time to pause and count how much they were raising or even to take Racer's blood sugar."

Racer's Diabetic alert dog fundraiser

Thank you for posting this even though you are trying to hurt this family you are proving there case for thme. If you will notice even the link says "Racers" fundraiser.

Roxanne= I have read

Roxanne= I have read Racer's Gaurdian Angel Fundraiser. GAURDIAN ANGEL FUNDRAISER. given by Racer. Many people sponsor fundraising events for Susan G Koman Breast Cancer and the person giving the fundraiser sends the donations along and does not put it in their own back account. Racer sponsored a fundraising event for Gaurdian Angel.You or your mom should know that or at least know a lawyer that knows that. Good luck to everyone in this case.

Roxanne, in your post you

Roxanne, in your post you just have shown also that the fundraiser was for an alert dog. There was nothing to show anything about donating towards Racer medical expenses, just the dog from Guardian Angel which they recieved yet GAMSD did not recieve the monies from the benefit that Racer held for them.
They didnt have a problem with the price for the dog until they realized that they may not be entitled to the large profit. Now if they have to handover the money they have a problem with the dog, the price and the whole foundation.

if you raise money for sarah

if you raise money for sarah smith than the money goes to her the extra money does not go to the hospital

and if you raise funds for

and if you raise funds for sarah smiths dog and tell people to make checks to GAMSD and to call GSMSD to make donations then where do the extra donations go?

If I had to take in public donations of cash, I would hope that I would ask all of the obvious questions such as taxes,documentation, and for instance "what happens if I raise over $20,000? I cannot believe that a family of business owners with tax consultants would not have thought about that before hand.

HI ME

ME, to point that out also makes me laugh. When we heard the report on the news my wife and I looked at each other and laughed. Just to reassure your concern we had a friend that day that is trained to take care of Racer {if we ever leave town which is really rare} watching him. Also we checked on him every 30 min. I knew going into this that I was going to be under a microscope. Lets wait and see the outcome. I dont know you , but I wish you the best and please stay tuned.

Well that's good to know. The

Well that's good to know. The reporter in that article could have done a better job writing that. Looks like you haven't had much luck with reporters.

FUNNY ME! Go to the video on

FUNNY ME! Go to the video on you tube..You helped pay off meedical bills with the stack of bills written PAID in the video...And besides, look at other postings that they BOAST ABOUT Gunner doing his job.....

checked youtube.I didnt see a

checked youtube.I didnt see a video showing any "bills paid" but there are 3 moving videos with great photography and editing and music that tugs at the heartstrings.But the words and the only thing that was asked for is a service dog and that was all they were needing in this fundraiser that was definitely being held for this organization that helps supply family's with that dog that they worked with the GAMSD to obtain by the fundraiser to gain donations for GAMSD. That what is just laid out in the videos. Everything looks so sweet in the videos, i quess the fight is def. over the $40,000 profit. Make a video out of all of this..wont look so sweet

I investigated those articles

I investigated those articles also, and I did also see that they are so busy they have no time to check the babys sugar. Not looking to good there.the fact that the dog may not be trained well, seems to be a seperate subject than the issue of wrongfully keeping the donations in this case.
If the Medical Service makes a big profit on dogs then that is wrong, but for the couple to withold the donations is a crime also. A tale of greed... a bank account full of free money..do they really think they are the only ones with hardships and medical bills? Some people will steal for thier children....they are very concerned and loving parents. so much so, they still donations to charities?

Just my words.

I can't believe that as humans we have resulted in this kind of behavior. My heart is broke for both GASD and their family memebers and the McLeod family. This is a personal matter between them so who are we to Judge. I happen to own a GASD who was delivered to us at the age of 12 weeks old and he has been a God Sent Angel to my family. I think all of you have lost touch of what is really important here and that is our family memebers with T1. Our Malachi is the very best Diabetic Alert Dog in the world. My son never has to worry about his BG dropping or going to high again. I will be honored for you to see Malachi working in action. Yes he has alert at 6 miles away before and I have proof and witness to the fact. I can't count how many time that he has saved my son's life with his amazing alerts. No we are not a cult. My leader is the one and only God and I serve him proudly. Dan is not my God, but he is an amazing person that God has lead to help others. I have had the chance to meet many of the Warren Retriever family memebers across the US and have been in there homes and watched these young pups do there job. I can sleep at night know that Malachi is on the job. I sat back last summer and watched my 6 year old little boy start to die as he had no hope left in this world. I had to do something. After being scamed by other companies and saw the mistakes that we were making I decided to call Warren Retrievers. I talk with Dan personally and have loved him everyday since. I have no problems contacting him when I need to do so and if I have a training question the trainers are more than ready to help. I have not had a single issue with Malachi that is not typical of a Service Dog. I often get alot of comments about how wonderful Malachi is. He is in perfect health and has been check out by some of the best Vets that the University of Tennessee has to offer. I wish that everyone would stop harrasing each other. It is your choice to go with GASD or not. But with my personal experiece I will continue to promote GASD. The truth will come out and wrongs will be righted this matter is not up for us to decide, but to the Lawyers and Court System. Your opinion is just that. Please consider how you would feel if someone you didn't know called you the things you are saying about people and their families. This is our choice not your so let it go. Once Malachi is paid for I know that I will keep fundraising for children across our fallen country to have the amazing freedom that my now 7 year old son has. He has HOPE again and is living life to the fullest thanks to Malachi. Without GASD I don't think my son would have made it through this past year. Thank you Dan Warren and all the trainers of GASD for everything you do above and beyond what is expected.

Fraud

Guardian Angel Service Dogs and Warren Retrievers are a scam artist at its best. I have seen them make claims of placing 300-500 DADs each year. That to me sounds like nothing more than a puppy mill. They seem to make false claims that they are fully trained service dogs when they are not; they are puppy that require a ton of extra work. I hope this family wins in their lawsuit against them. AND I hope and pray that potential DAD buyers would realize that Warren Retrievers and Guardian Angel Service Dogs will take advantage of them. No DAD should be costing $20,000 not even a fully trained one and they only offer imprinted puppies and are taking advantage of parents who are desperate for answers. Shame on you Warren Retrievers, Guardian Angel Service Dogs, and all your cult members.

the Mcleods should have took

the Mcleods should have took these opinions into consideration before they took on the Org.'s name to earn $60,000. Oh , come on. All this, now? after the org. goes to court for misappropriated funds? Praying for all diabetics at what ever age. This is sad for the ones who are honestly in need. Poor Gunner. Is he up for adoption? The IRS and SPCA needs to be alerted. There appears to be wrongdoing somewhere or else just a "little" misunderstanding on greatly important things.

Interesting. Are you

Interesting. Are you suggesting that the Mcleods did no research prior to signing a contract with GASD's. I'm sure that as a caring mother and father with their sons well being in mind that they did. They obviously felt at the time that it was worth the money and apparently still do unless they have returned the dog and asked for a refund which as with many other things may have been left out of this article. You fail to mention numerous things in your post that may justify the cost of this service. And I say service rather than dog because they don't just hand you a scent imprinted puppy and walk away. Too many others have posted about the service and how the training works so I will not waste another post on that. My sons have been saved from seizures on numerous occasions by our dog....how do you put a price on that? If we are talking medical expenses incurred alone for the hospital stay, doctor, etc. then I have more than made back my investment in the sevice. If one of those seizures would have killed my son then I think the 20k is a small price to pay. I don't blindly support Dan Warren even though I am one of his customers. If he has done some wrong then shame on him. Knowing what I know about the service and other services that my wife and I researched for over a year this was the best choice for us and one of the only ones that would even consider us since we have two T1 diabetics. I did the math on the dog during my research and figured for travel expenses for trainers, lodging, wages, etc. for a total of 8 trips in the first two years and once a year after that and that number alone was significant. I could argue this point all day long but the fact of the matter is that isn't the point here. The point is that both parties feel entitled to the money and my opinion on that has been discussed elsewhere and I refuse to take a side without all of the information. Was my dog and the service provided worth 20K? Absolutely! Were my financial dealing with GASD satisfactory? Yes. Will I be upset if I find out that an organization I feel does good is actually doing something they shouldn't be doing? Without a doubt YES! Just as I am sure those close to the McLeod family would be devastated to find out they fraudulently trying to keep or use the money. I have been shown no evidence of wrong doing by either party to this point though. My heart goes out to the McLeod family because I feel they have been improperly judged in many posts here by people who have none of the facts...just as I feel you have improperly judged the abilities of the trainers with no facts as well.

Ok I am done here and will post no more. I will continue to follow this story however and may chime in if some actual facts get presented. Open your hearts people and get rid of all this hate. We do what we do because we love and care for our children who suffer from a horrible disease. Should we really let this tear us apart and pit us against each other? This family and Dan need to work through this...are we helping either one by acting this way? I think not...I think we are damaging our cause no matter which side you choose here. My love and support goes out to all that suffer from this. God Bless!

confusion on wether the

confusion on wether the benefit was for the dog and the org. opposed to it being held for medical bills?
KBMT12, KEEN-Waco, among other news channels and a site jzoch.com, all report that the fundraiser for the "dog" was a success and never mention anything about medicals bills. It was a benefit for Gaurdian Angel.. givien by Racer whose parents are keeping the money instead of giving it to the org. in which Racer gave the benefit for in order to recieve the dog which they did recieve. How convienient.

Warren does not own the words

Warren does not own the words Gaurdian Angel and as you are stating here the fundraiser was for Racer. Thanks

And your name is "anonymous".

And your name is "anonymous". How convenient.