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.

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Comments

Yes their is proof.... We

Yes their is proof.... We shouldn't have to put families that are can't afford to do this on their own names out without their knowing. He does help families I know because he help us.

Yes there is proof

My family made a little more than what we needed...unfortunately not as much as this family :). Not only do we know it went forward but we know exactly to who and have become friends with him.

I commend you Matt for being

I commend you Matt for being so generous in helping others and paying it forward.

Give me a break!

Twenty thousand dollars for a freakin' dog that may live 12 years at $1666.67 a year if you're lucky to do something a goddamned glucose meter can do for a lot cheaper?

Are you freaking kidding me?

As far as I'm concerned maybe the family should give overage back to the fools who were dumb enough to donate to this scam to begin with.

I have no doubt that people in this country are bat sh!t crazy now.

S.

www.thes-pit.blogspot.com

I donated money to the family!

I myself donate money to the family for the service dog. I do not think that I'm a fool for doing so either! Until you are in their shoes having a sick child on your hands, not knowing what is going to happen next you need to keep your mouth shut! If you rely just on a glucose meter you would have to stick the poor kids finger so many times a day just to see what his blood glucose level is. If you have kids yourself then you should know how a child does not like needles. You cant blame them for trying another method from sticking the poor kid with needles every hour to see if his blood glucose is to high or dangerously to low. I know the dad of this child and they are good people. They are doing what any loving parent would have done! Anything to protect their child from any more pain than they have to be in. Everybody talking negative about them family probably never has had a sick child before. I knew that the family had enough money to cover the cost of the service dog, yet I still sent money and a card telling the to use the money that I had sent on Racer. Some of you all have no heart. If you were in the same position you would have done whatever it took to keep your child alive!!!! Because I know I would!!!! The family has not done anything wrong and they need to be left alone!

Give me a break

You should be ashamed of yourself; are you saying that if it was YOUR CHILD that you would not do everything humanly possible to save it's life??? Yes it is alot of money for a dog; but it isn't just a "dog" it is a companion that may very well save his life on NUMEROUS occasions in the ever how many years it lives!

Before you call someone crazy

Before you call someone crazy are declare a diabetic dog unnecessary, you might want to do some research.

And before my spelling

And before my spelling becomes an issue, I meant to type "or".

Has your meter saved your

Has your meter saved your life and does it know what your BG is an hour before it actual drops. I don't think so.

Do you people have a child

Do you people have a child with Type 1 Diabetes? If you don't know the facts about Alert Dogs, you shouldn't call names. Our children can DIE in their sleep and these dogs help keep that from happening!!!!!!

Don't Drink the Koolaid.

The following is my personal opinion. I am very sorry for everyone who has wasted $20,000 on a Warren Retriever. In my personal research a similar dog can be purchased for $4,000, a fraction of the cost.

When you buy such a dog from this org you are getting a puppy not a fully trained service dog and it is MY PERSONAL OPINION that you are getting scammed. Many legitimate service dog schools don't charge for their service dogs, so why is it $20,000 for this puppy, that isn't even fully trained or public access qualified?

I am very sorry for this family and everything this org has put them through and I wish them the best.

In my personal opinion Warren needs to get off their high and mighty and stop threatening everyone who voices their opinions or deigns to not kiss their feet with lawsuits.

Smile, enjoy life and leave this poor family alone wasn't 20,000 enough?!

But don't drink the koolaid, you might loose $20,000 (good gracious or more!) from your wallet by listening to the fluff.

I promise you that the so

I promise you that the so called $4000 dog is your waste of money. I asure you that you will not get 2 years of training and a Service Dog you can trust your childs life with. I will $20,000 for a dog if I knew that I could trust the company. Guess what I did and I do.....
I will put my GASD up against your $4000 dog any day and I bet you mine will out do yours.

$4000 service dog

I would love to see your research on a service animal for diabetics. My son is 2 and has type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately a glucose tester doesn't get up every two hrs and test his sugar for us at night so we are looking for a service animal to assist us. Our research has led us to warren retrievers due to our child's age no other service animal trainer will sell us one and support it. Please send me the links do I don't have to overspend for some much needed assistance. My son is also on a pump with a sensor and we still have trouble controlling his sugars.

Parents responsibiliy??? what happened to that???

"copy" glucose tester doesn't get up every two hrs and test his sugar for us at night so we are looking for a service animal to assist us "copy"

YOU as the parent... it is YOUR responsibility PERIOD! to check YOUR child's sugar! Do you really think the $20,000 PUP is your magic potion?

I think parents of diabetic

I think parents of diabetic children will go to any length to protect their children. If a $20,000 pup as you say adds another layer of protection for my child then you can bet your life I'm going to do it. If standing on the corner with a tin cup is what I need to do then it will be done. As part of my responsibility to my child and the fact that I cannot check their sugar every 15 minutes 24/7 I purchased a dog that is on duty 24/7. Your post above comes off as very condescending to those that choose to add another layer of protection for their children by purchasing a D.A.D. and it causes me to question if you have ever had to live life as the single mother/father of two T1 diabetic children or even 1 for that matter. I do not know your situation so I cannot assume that. I can say that until you have walked a mile in my shoes that you should not dare criticize my proactive actions in caring for the health of my children. While your comments may have been directed at another family we ALL buy the dogs, no matter where they come from, for the same reason...as another tool to help us protect our children and meet our responsibility to them. If someone could prove to me today that punching 1 person a day in the face would help my children there would be allot of black eyes at work.....wait....could it be? Seriously though I think everyone here on both sides of the fence just want what is best for their children and that is why we are all so passionate about it.

When all is said and done I

When all is said and done I have been involved back and forth with Mr. Warren on emails and Mr Warren does not answer any questions with the truth and when you question GASD he gets defensive. I hope the examiner newspaper keeps this story in the light and the law firm puts Mr. Warren in his place. The entire organization is a fraud. I have copies of plenty of emails that can show you exactly what Mr. Warren is and all of it will come out and the courts should put out him of business. He has so many running stupid he cares about the back pocket of Mr. Warren and only Mr. Warren

Not true..... Mr. Warren

Not true..... Mr. Warren cares deeply about his families I know this from personal experience.
The money is not something he worries about, but if you raise money for GASD then that money is theirs not yours.

FRAUD!!!, What an interesting

FRAUD!!!, What an interesting choice of words coming from you,what are you a fraud invesigator? Do you have the facts/proof to back up your accusations about Mr Warren? DOUBTFUL!!!!

Good for you Kenneth. Trust

Good for you Kenneth. Trust me, he messed with the wrong family, the wrong Law Firm and the wrong community.

Umm who started this again?

He didnt mess with anyone.This family started this by trying to be deceitful. This isn't about the community so I won't sit here and bash them, but I will say again that this family has just opened themselves up for something that is not gonna be good for them and something they can't get out of.

Bring it Colon

Bring it Colon

You are such a child. Really?

You are such a child. Really? "Bring it" I am sorry did I threaten them. NO! I was simply stating that this has opened a can of worms. Publicity, insults, court hearings, stress, all things that they are probably now dealing with that they can't just turn off. Carrie, you have shown exactly the type of childish mentality I have seen all along.

Dan Warren

A very good friend of mine just received her DAD from GASD. We worked very hard to raise the funds and did so in a little under 6 months. We made the choice to continue fundraising for other children in our area, because we felt like it was important to pay forward the blessings we had received. I am completely saddened that a family would keep any excess amount instead of helping another child obtain this life-saving tool. There are so many families out there in desperate need of a DAD, but with no means to raise the funds. But, ethical considerations aside, why would they believe they could raise funds for a dog that was already paid for and then keep the money with no tax consequences? Blaming Dan is wrong. He is protecting his non-profit status so that he can continue bringing these great tools into the homes of Type 1 Diabetics. I have had numerous interactions with him, and he truly is an amazing guy!

Unfortunate

It is unfortunate that it has come down to this. My heart does go out to both parties. We are working with GASD to raise much needed funds to get a D.A.D for our daughter as well. That being said, I am a little disheartened hearing the negative one-sided comments about GASD and Dan Warren. No, the dog is not COMPLETELY trained; as a large part the training takes part in home with trainers flying out to our homes…this isn’t a surprise to anyone, this is one of the reasons we chose to go through who we did. This is their program and how it is set up to work. Each family is also assigned to an amazing qualified trainer to work with them the entire working life of the dog. Having access to their knowledge and them flying out to us (which is included in the cost) is an amazing benefit and works well when you allow it to work how it was set up. (However, this is Warren Retrievers, not GASD and as such should be treated separately. You do not have to raise funds through GASD for the cost of your dog; it is a wonderful organization you can pair up with for that sole purpose and helping those around you as well). My daughter will get to be ‘hands-on” and bond with her life saving canine and this was appealing to us when we made our decision to get our diabetic alert dog through Warren Retrievers and fund-raising through GASD (which has been a tremendous benefit to us being able to raise our funds in 2 months). Second, when you promote fund-raising through a non-profit organization, legally you are fund-raising for them and not for yourself, using tax ID or not, you advertise the fund-raising in the name of GASD not for medical needs. When we fund-raise for GASD, that money goes towards GASD, when we fund-raise for sports, it goes towards sports, when we fund-raise for type 1 research, it goes to that specific foundation; yes, we have goals, however, if we do surpass our goal that money doesn’t go towards another cost if we specifically used a certain foundation/cause…to me that is common sense. I am not outraged that someone wants money to help cover medical costs, that is understandable; but that should have been the ‘advertisement’ with the events so money could be directed towards any and all medical costs (like the diabetic alert dog) without using the names of the non-profit we all work so hard raising money for our families and those around us (as GASD also provides materials when fundraising and offer much needed support, encouragement and direction). We have met our goal for the cost of our dog, and have even made a little beyond that and all monies have been sent to GASD for any additional items we may need later in our relationship, training, other families who need it etc. We are also helping other families fund-raise for their dogs through GASD because we know what it is like being on the other end with a large amount of money needing to be raised, as we were blessed to have raised beyond what we needed in a short amount of time I feel it only necessary to continue on. All funds turned into GASD go directly towards what they were raised for, which is helping many families purchase such amazing animals. As part of the GASD family, that is what we do; we go beyond our own needs. It has been very clear in all forms of communication that fund-raising on behalf of GASD all monies go to them towards your dog and then to other families in your area/state if you exceed. That is the beauty in it all, families in the same situations helping others and forming a bond. I can say personally that Dan does what he says, he is very upfront and never once have I had any issues of him not returning our emails or calls; he has even been known to return them well beyond ‘working hours’. Any and every single issue or question I have had, Dan graciously has worked with me in solving/answering them personally. If you do not agree with him, he does not hold it against you and welcomes your opinion, trust me, I know. I admire Dan and the wonderful job he does, the long hours he works, the passion he has for what he does and the love he gives to all the families working with him. I truly do believe that the atmosphere of GASD is one of loving compassion. As for removing remarks from GASD websites, I would do the same thing. I know myself, as a family and participant in fund-raising efforts,I want our atmosphere to remain as such.I love working with the wonderufl families we have connected to and love the positiviey that runs through us, bonding us for life-long journeys. You can never please 100% of all people that is impossible, but is something I can see first hand that GASD strives to do. However you can choose to be honest 100% of the time, what is right, is right and what is wrong is wrong. Perhaps people wanted to give for medical needs, perhaps people understood that, but when you advertise and use materials from the non-profit you are fund-raising for that specific organization and sometimes paying it forward far surpasses looking only to help yourself. I don't feel pressured to reply or state my feelings, in fact, I wasn't going to but as I read through I felt that some statements were clearly one-sided and most definately not the 'norm' of what we see and experience.

Love for racer

I gave money to the mcleods because I love a little boy named racer. The money I gave was for HIS medical needs! If the mcleods raised enough for gunner and racer's medical needs then all the better! I was never under the impression that I was giving to a company or organization. This is about a little boy with diabetes and a community who loves him.

over priced, under trained dog

I see so many people forking out thousands of dollars from a scammer like Dan Warren. Why pay $20,000 for a young scent imprinted puppy that you have to mostly train yourself when you could get fully-trained mature puppy fo4 $12,000? Dan is a smooth talker and he has fooled so many of you. A trainer comes to you every 90 days and you do the rest? You are fools for paying so much money to practically train your own dog. You can get a scent-imprinted puppy for $2000 and still do all the same training.

It seems like most of the people helping the McLeod family did it for the family, not to pay Dan Warren's salary. If they gave it directly to the McLeod's, then the McLeods should keep it. If they sent it Dan Warren's wallet, then I guess Dan keeps it.

Ignorant much?

Im sorry but do you have 12k to fork over up front. Well I don't. GASD is a TRUE non profit because they don't make us come up with 20k in order to get a dog. I will get to enjoy the dog, have peace of mind, while raising the money needed. And sure I can get a scent imprinted puppy for 2k, but who is gonna guarantee me that it stays alerting? Who can I call with my questions? When I hit a financial snag, who is gonna help me buy food and medical care for my dog? Umm no one for $2000. And your right, if they raise the money FOR MEDICAL bills then they should keep it. But they didn't, instead they fundraised under the auspices of a 501 (c)(3) company and therefore the money goes to that company. Unless of course the McLeods are going to be held liable to the IRS and to all the people who claim this at the end of the year. OH AND THIS IS FOR MEDICAL BILLS???? Then how convenient for them that they suddenly had an extension built to their house and had the place redone. Lets see them explain all the money they have been spending to the IRS!

Melinda....where do you get

Melinda....where do you get your info HONEY? I live here and have seen no such thing. Do you also know that Ryan does interior design and reconstruction as a sideline for extra money? Do you know that when he is trying out a new technique he does it on his home first? He is very skilled. There are many in this area that want his services. The account in question....have you seen it? I have. Not one dime missing. Not one.

Interesting that.

But carry on...oh fount of legal knowledge.

not one dime missing from the

not one dime missing from the account? well, that is good to know that they did not spend that to do their rennovations. There is a video showing a stack of medical bills marked paid and the words stating that they were paid and they thanked everyone. hum, confusing dont you think?. Was that video false? They havent spent any donations for Racer and GAMDS yet they did have the money already to pay the medical bills? can you just clarify that inconsistency?

We chose to go through them,

We chose to go through them, because of doing much of the 'hand-on' ourselves. This is what we wanted. We love animals, we love learning new things and what they had to offer is what fit our needs. Yes, our puupy comes scent imprinted and basic obedience training and you reinforce it (as you should any animal any age...even a fully trained servie dog). Most (if not every) other diabetic alert dog trainers/companies make you fly out to them, you have to be a certain age, no other household pets. So, no...I wasn't fooled. I am getting exactly what I wanted and so much more. We love the trainer flying out and guiding us through the entire process. If the dog is going to be a part of our family we wanted to bond with out dog from the beginning and be a huge part of the process. My daughter wanted a puppy she gets to work with and I wanted that relationship with an organization that backs us up and a trainer to help guide us in the process. Perhaps this family didn't fully understand what a diabetic alert dog was or that they had the option to choose any D.A.D trainer/organization or they thought they could just do their own thing how they want trying to bend the program to fit whatever they deemed necessary (which isn't right; their program is set up in such a way for a reason. This happens to be one of the reasons so many families choose this organization). You can pay for a fully trained dog, however, those waiting lists can be astronomical if you even meet their criteria and for my family they just were not what we were looking for. When I spoke with Dan, he wasn't pushy, he wasn't eloquent with words trying to be smooth and hide things. He was upfront, honest and direct. He told us to make sure that what their program offers is what will fit our life and that it takes A LOT of work. On several occassions prior to us making our decision to go through GASD and WR, he has said that their program isn't for everyone and that is okay. However, Warren Retrievers and GASD are two seperate entities. GASD is the non-profit we are able to use to raise the funds for our D.A.D. Not very many service dog organizations can offer the collaboration of a non-profit to raise money for your dog, we liked this benefit as well. I do not have to raise our funds in their name/on their behalf. I choose to do so and see it as a beneficial tool and an opportunity for my children to participate in helping other families as well.
I think it is great people want to help, we have been beneficiaries of many kind acts and gracious dontations. What it boils down to is how you go about raising those funds, as it could potentialy harm the non-profit status if people are mis-using funds or fund-raising in GASD name keeping all the money that is raised and nothing being turned in. In the end that can turn out to be a huge ball of mess. In order to protect that integrity it is very important that EVERY family follow those guidelines no matter how far they surpass their goals. If your intentions are to use money other than what GASD is used for, then do so correctly and under the correct advertisment. For me, that is important so that GASD can continue to help families that are newly raising funds for the same cause.

So foolish!

So you paid $20k to do the work yourself. Boy, are you an idiot.

And the programs that charge $12k for a fully-trained dog do not require all the money up-front and they help you fundraise. I see you have more homework to do.

GASD Fundraisers

Our family is also awaiting our diabetic alert dog however we are also doing other fundraisers due to my daughter's need of a pancreas transplant due to Type 1 Diabetes.

Mr.Warren and I have had lengthy conversations regarding our family's fundraising through two seperate 501(c)(3) organizations and there has never been any problems.

If we hold a fundraiser for her service dog ALL money raised goes to GASD. If we hold a fundraiser to benefit her transplant fund, ALL money raised gets sent to HelpHOPELive.

What many people may not understand is that families raise money through 501(c)(3)organizations so they are not responsible for taxes on the money raised. If a non-profit status is not LEGALLY obtained then taxes musst be paid on any money raised because the state (at least our state) considers that money as income.

I have never met the family involved and although my heart goes out for their son, I would have to question whether they did their research before raising such a substancial amount of money. I wonder, if a judge rules in their favor, if they will claim the money as incoming and pay taxes as required by law.

This should be a lesson to everyone who reads this article. The family may have had no ill intent, but I don't believe Mr. Warren does either. He's not the greedy person some people here are making him out to be, but he does have to protect his organization's tax exempt status for the hundreds of other families that are also raising funds for their dogs. He is simply doing what he must to keep his organization in good legal standing.

Very Sad for G.A.S.D.

As a mother of a twin with Type 1 diabetes as well, this story truly saddens me. My son has had diabetes for 5 years now. Early on in his diagnosis a looked into another service dog company and was completely scammed. About 3 months ago I came across Guardian Angel Service Dogs and Dan Warren. I did a lot of research and was quite cautious. Mr. Dan Warren personally spoke with me over the phone for a good forty-five minutes explaining the process to me. He was very clear that money raised goes to G.A.S.D. He has been nothing but kind, supportive and a true angel to our family. At any time if we had a question regarding fundraising, money or tax issues, Dan was prompt with returning calls and emails to clear up any concerns. We raised the money for our dog and are currently on the waiting list. Fundraising efforts took us less than a month and a half and we are over the $20,000 mark. We will continue to raise money for this cause and for other families who need a Diabetes Alert Dog for their child just as badly as we do. I am happy knowing that we are raising extra money and that it will be put towards another person living with this awful disease. It's a shame the Dan Warren is being portrayed in such a negative light. He has done so much for families with various special needs. We cannot thank Dan enough for all he has done for all the G.A.S.D families out there.

Simple Common Sense

I do not know the laws of fundraising, but I do know common sense. I do know that I have given to many, many fundraisers. I give from a place of good and have peace in my heart that the money goes to the disease it was intended for. I am simple that way… Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with “any” disease that has no cure, knows that the medical expenses grow and grow. Just because you get a dog does not mean the expense goes away. Just because you get a dog does not mean the medical condition goes away. You still have a lifetime of doctor’s visits, medication and constant unexpected medical surprises; amputations, blindness, etc... With any fundraiser you set a goal and you only “dream” of meeting that goal. Sadly, not many people are fortunate enough to meet their goal… apparently this family’s goal was exceeded beyond their wildest dreams; beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. The people that gave… gave from their heart to a little boy that has a lifelong disease. They gave because they heard it was the son of a fireman OR they gave because they went to school with his Mom/Dad,OR they gave because it was a friend of a friend, etc… They gave to a little boy who suffers from Type 1 diabetes and who will have a lifelong debt of medical bills. Why are you not defending this family and this young boy? Most of you are stating your family member has the same disease. It just breaks my heart. What if YOUR fundraiser exceeded your “original” bill? Would you not see it as a blessing and praise God that you are able to pay other bills pertaining to the disease? In my opinion, this family is being punished for having a successful fundraiser. You people are acting as if they bought an island resort with the bonus money… they PAID past medical bills; they continue to pay present and will pay future bills. When this child is married with kids of his own, guess what? He will STILL have medical bills pertaining to THIS DISEASE. There are not enough fundraisers in the world to keep this family from being in constant debt...OR from YOUR family from being in constant debt. This disease takes and takes… and now it is taking common sense from common folks. Fraud would have been NOT to pay for the dog, not to pay medical expenses. May God heal the hate, the hurt and lay peace upon your heart.

But you can't raise money for

But you can't raise money for yourselves under the name of another organization. If you are raising money for your own personal medical expenses then the checks have to be made to that individual, not Guardian Angel Service Dogs. You must be fair to both sides. There is no hate in that, unless you think the law is hateful. Maybe it is? But you still have to follow it.

Very well said! I couldn't

Very well said! I couldn't agree with you more. Dan Warren is being greedy in even asking for those monies.That child is in need of many things and will be for many years to come. So why does a *NON-PROFIT* need $60,000 for a $20,000 dog?!?!?!?

It's obvious your liberal

It's obvious your liberal approach taints you. This is an ORGANIZATION NOT A BUSINESS. This 501(c)(3) organization makes it clear, as does federal law, that ALL fundraising is forwared to the organization the family signed on with. Above the met target number, yes, there is room for incidentals like invisible fencing, dog toys, training aids etc. That's it. BUT, families can offer to move money from their childs account to another family. When I heard about other nearly poverty stricken families, my wife and I decided if we exceed, to transfer it. Obviously, this family's charm faired moreso. They knew what they were getting into. Frankly, the father's unethical keeping of the money, whereas, other agencies, unions etc, donated should second guess where they THOUGHT the money was going. The father is worthless and weak. He's not a firefighter, he's a candy striper !

Firefighter

Anonymous , lets say that you are driving down the highway and a chain reaction starts. It starts with a blown out tire and then several cars are involved. You and your family are involved and are trapped , your car now is on fire. Firefighters arrive and they start to put your car out and others start cutting your family out of the wreckage.You and your wife are out ,now to get your kid out two firemen cut away the back door and lay her down on the stretcher. When you see them walk away you see the name MCLEOD on the coat. He doesnt ask for a thank you he just walks away because this is what every firefighter does.Is that weakness ,is that worthless........Anonymous

Father and Firefighter

Thanks Anonymous, somebody emailed this to me and they were pissed. As a firefighter one important thing you learn is to laugh and let things just roll off. So I told them dont worry about your comment and have a good laugh. So I send my best to you and hope your never in need of me or one of my brothers. Ryan McLeod

Anonymous ?!?!?!

Anonymous ?!?!?! Really?!?!?! Very easy to hide behind your computer

You're is a contraction

You're is a contraction too...substituted for you are. It's obvious you're uneducated.

You're is a contraction

You're is a contraction too...substituted for you are.

Bravo...from the person

Bravo...from the person afraid to list their name.

Name given...

Due to letters from Warren lawyer with threats of law suits if they do not shut up cause fictitious users names to be used. Yes, we have proof of this happening.

Most of the comments being said to educate DAD users to federal, state laws... training... etc.

NOT YOU AGAIN

Oh Please, it figures you would show up on a thread about WR. Get lost already. Everyone in the GASD family already knows your motives. You could care less about the family or GASD, you just want to bash WR. I would love to imprint my foot right in your.... Nevermind

Bottom Line...

I do not care about GASD... you are absolutely correct! What I do care about is the overpriced untrained PUPPYs that family are spending their hard earned money on.

Bottom Line... I care about the children... who I pray will live a long healthy life!

You know so much?

It seems like you obviously know who this person is so why don't you report them.

And sadly, it's true. Dan Warren can't take the criticism so he has his lawyer send shut up letter to people who criticise him. Can't hide behind your lawyer forever Dan!

One of my friends e-mailed GASD to ask questions about his program. He never responded, guess her questions were too scary and Dan didn't have good enough answered. So she adopted a puppy in need of a home and 4 months old, the dog is alerting to blood glucose lows and learning how to bring juice to my goddaughter. They are better off without GASD and saved a ton of money!

GASD gets A+ from Me!

My husband and I are raising funds for a diabetic alert dog from GASD and we have NEVER had any problems whatsoever from Dan Warren or any other staff. These people go above and beyond to help the families who are fundraising for their dogs. They have always provided the information needed for fundraising and have offered several times to assist us with any of our needs. It is a shame that these people are taking advantage of Dan Warren and GASD after they have been provided with a precious gift that could save their child.

I would too if you were

I would too if you were giving me $20,000 + for a $2,000 untrained puppy

ASK THE IAFF IF THIS ETHICAL

As a member of the IAFF, I question the moral and ethical values this father has when he put his hand in the air as a sworn brother of the IAFF. I hope for your sake L399 he's not your treasurer. Maybe the IAFF in DC should look into this on behalf of other donating Unions, whereas, the donations that were made actually didn't get forwared responsibly. Guys like you make the rest of us look bad !