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

Who are you? Which Local

Who are you? Which Local Union are you with? Hmmmm? Lets find out what your brothers think about you. I can tell you what McLeod's brothers think about him. This is an honorable man who fights hard for his family...firefighter family and community family and personal family. He works hard all the time...as does his wife. I rest easy knowing he backs up my husband. If there is ever a charity or need...Ryan is usually involved. That is actually my first memory of him...at a local fundraiser. Dont wrap yourself in the flag and ask about our 399 unless you want to throw off that anonymous name and show us your Union card. And frankly...just like a family...most HONORABLE members of the firefighting profession know that it is fine to disagree and argue...but you dont attack each other and name call in front of strangers. No one I know would attack a fellow firefighter like you did. And if by chance you might be a IAFF member...I bet you arent in good standing. We all know your kind.

Be man enough to list your

Be man enough to list your name next time and maybe someone will listen to you.

people ARE listening!

man enough to post name??? really??? Believe me, even w/o a name.... people ARE listening! If they weren't Warren would NOT be having his lawyer send out shut up letters!

Fred Davis, you deserve to lose your job over this.

First off, I am a GASD client, so let's go ahead and dispense with the "He works for Mr. Warren" or "He's a company shill" talk right away. So, let me tell you the TRUTH about Dan Warren and Warren Retrievers.

My wife and I started looking for a DAD when our youngest son woke up with a blood sugar in the 20's, unable to move, and had doctors tell us that we had come very close to losing him that night. She started doing research, trying to find a company that would work with us. She contacted somewhere around 20 companies, all of which said they would not work with us. Their reasons were varied, but mostly it was things like "We don't work with people from out of state", "It's $10,000 up front before you get your DAD", "We don't work with children", etc. It wasn't until one of my wife's Facebook friends mentioned Warren Retrievers that we had any hope of getting a DAD for our two diabetic sons. My wife contacted Dan and shortly thereafter we had put down our $1,000 deposit to get our name on the waiting list.

We were told, from the start, before we even talked about how much the deposit would be, that our DAD would be trained to recognize the scents of the changes in blood sugars, but that we would have to continue that training. We were also told that we would get quarterly visits from GASD trainers for the first two years, that GASD trainers (as well as Mr. Warren himself) would always be available to call or email with questions or concerns, and that we would be responsible for training the DAD on how we wanted it to alert to high or low sugars based on our preferences.

On the subject of fundraising: Again, before we even paid our deposit, Dan told us personally that any money we raised using the GASD name, our DAD's name, or any references to their organization was required, BY LAW, to go to their organization... Just as it would for ANY OTHER 501 (c)(3) organization. I can guarantee you that if the evidence in this issue points to those funds being raised under the GASD name, it will be the family, not GASD, that will be held accountable for misappropriation of funds.

Of course, had Mr. Davis actually done his research, he would know this. As a client of GASD, when you fundraise, you are a solicitor of funds for that organization. Also, by designating that those funds were being raised for Racer, the family was in fact designating that those funds could not be used for any other purpose. Even if they were raising the money for themselves and had set up their own 501 (c)(3) organization, they would still be guilty of misappropriation of funds. http://www.501c3.org/blog/misappropriating-nonprofit-funds/

As much as this situation is unpleasant for the family involved, it is their own fault for not properly knowing the laws they were operating under. Dan Warren and GASD did not mislead anyone in this instance.

You are correct Mr.

You are correct Mr. Scarpinato!

Diabetic Alert Dog

I am truly shocked by the family in this article. Guardian Angel Service Dogs HAS SAVED MY LIFE. To have this family say this about GASD truly is heartbreaking. Everything that was told to me before getting my AMAZING dog from GASD was 100% accurate. In additions, their trainers are AMAZING. The dog they provided to me has saved my life multiple time by waking me up during the night. These false allegations have truly made me sad to be an American. Let GASD save lives with their dogs and training, not waste their time with this bull. Because of this family now GASD has to spend time dealing with legal issues instead of providing dogs that save children and adults. TRULY HEARTBREAKING

Very heartbreaking! They are

Very heartbreaking! They are taking funds and time away from other families.

perhaps 40,000 is more

perhaps 40,000 is more important to them than doing the right thing obviously. Greed rearing that ugly head. I read a post stating the McLeods have money for rennovations because the father likes doing projects.... seems they could have afforded that dog without others being asked to pay for it and making such a giant profit. How can he afford to do his remodeling projects with such mounting healthcare costs for that child. Some people make a living off of the government and some make a living off of sympathy and donations i quess. just thinking about sick children that the profits in their bank account could help tonight, but they only care for theirs it seems.

perhaps 40,000 is more

perhaps 40,000 is more important to them than doing the right thing obviously. Greed rearing that ugly head. I read a post stating the McLeods have money for rennovations because the father likes doing projects.... seems they could have afforded that dog without others being asked to pay for it and making such a giant profit. How can he afford to do his remodeling projects with such mounting healthcare costs for that child. Some people make a living off of the government and some make a living off of sympathy and donations i quess.

$20,000+ PUPPY

From the articles I've read.. It is up to each family to make their own fund raisers to gain funds for their $20,000+ PUPPY.

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 donated to help get Racer a

I donated to help get Racer a D.A.D.. At no point was I under the idea that the GASD would get a penny of it (other than the cost of the dog and training). I was under the impression that they were simply stating where the dog was going to come from since it is not common knowlge that there are such dogs that can help with children with T1D. I want my money to stay local and help a local child of a local firefighter. If they do have to give the GASD THEIR money. I will be glad to help hold a second event to help replace the money taken from them!! I have never even met Racer or his family!! If I wanted to donate my hard earned money to some kid I have never met I would donate to Make A Wish or St. Jude.

Katie I am wondering if you

Katie I am wondering if you have ever looked at Make-A-Wish or St. Jude. I have a child with Type 1 Diabetes. At any given time he could die from this horrible disease without notice. When contacting Make-A-Wish diabetes is not a serious enough disease for them to grant wishes to. Really Death is not serious. As far as St.Judes well my son has a bleeding disorder that is also and auto-immune disease and when we reached out to them for help well he is not sick enough for them. So go ahead and waste your money on an organization that DOESN'T HELP children instead of one that do.

Of course you donated the

Of course you donated the funds to help Racer get a D.A.D. and not anyone else. That's what everyone giving money to families for D.A.D.s are donating for - one specific family/child. Unfortunately, Racer's dad should have notified everyone before the fundraiser that they only needed $20,000 to go to GASD and any money above that should be made out to their family personally. It was an honest mistake on the McLeod's part, but still they must follow the law for 501(c)3s.

true, but...

This may or may not be true. That is not to be sorted out by us on an internet forum. I just stated that I would like to see them get to keep the money.

Katie, you contradict

Katie, you contradict yourself. You indicate you have never met Racer or his family. Then you indicated if you wanted to donate your money to a child you have never met you would donate to Make a Wish or St Jude. You further indicated you would hold a second fundraiser for this family (whom you have never met). What is the difference if you do not know this family but had the good intention of helping a child who struggles with diabetes to obtain a dog, if it was another child whom you also did not know? And coincidentally, as a mother who is also fundraising for the same cause, we do appreciate it when people help. That is the spirit that clearly drove you to it. Your gift continues to give if it is given where it was intended to go.

Poor wording on my part.

I see your issue with the way I worded my post. I did not proof read it. My point which was missed, is that I want my donation to stay in the Nederland/Port Neches/Groves area... the place I grew up, live, and work. If you live in this area and are holding fundraising for your child in this area, let me know when and where it will be held and I will be glad to donate for your child as well. And if by chance you raise well above the needed amount for you D.A.D. and someone raises a stink about it.. I hope you get to keep all of the money as well.

EXACTLY!

Exactly. You just hit the nail on the head. You donated for a D.A.D. I never seen where you mentioned his medical expenses. GASD would normally use that money to help another local family in your community get a dog.

All money turned over to GASD

All money turned over to GASD will stay in the local area to help other children. They had no right to keep the money raised using GASD's name.

From a Legal Standpoint...VERY SAD!

First off, let me say that I do not even have my dog yet, and from the very first conversation with the company and with other families it was clearly stated that I am fundraising for the Organization not for my family. Any excess funds will be kept and used for families in our state and go to help other families get a dog as well. This is the purpose of a non-profit organization. I have several fund-raisers set up and they are expected to bring in excess of 50k. Once my 20k is applied, 2 other families or more will also be benefiting from these fund-raisers. There are many families who raise funds even though their dog is paid off, to help other families. Now, for those who want to support the McLeods, I have a few legal questions.
1. Where is proof of flyers and advertisement that clearly states that funds raised are for Medical expenses? Are the McLeods not covered under health insurance? If they can not afford medical expenses the state gladly picks up the cost through medicaid programs.
2. After the initial 20k was raised, why did they continue to fund-raise using GASD name.
3. Forget the whole tax ID thing for a minute, but to even tell people it is tax deductible makes it a huge incentive for people to donate. With that being said, they should have acquired their own ID number and then raised separate funds. They did not do this
4. If they keep the money, whose responsibility is it going to be at the end of the year to report the 40k to the IRS? Who is going to be named as the Donor Recipient for those who want to claim they donated at the end of the year? Is this family willing to give their social security number to people and say they received all this money.

This writer is stating that there is a determination on whether or not GASD is misusing their 501 (c)(3) status, but yet who is monitoring what this family is doing with the money?

Families are clearly told that the dog will not be fully trained until the age of 2. They are told that it is their responsibility to keep up with the training. You can teach an animal how to do many things but they will not continue to do it if the family does not continue to instill it. I bet my life that if I am given their dog today, it will be obedience trained within 6 weeks and back to alerting the way it should be for the age of the dog. It takes commitment. It is sad how greed can get in the way of humanity. It is even sadder how people can use their children to profit off of the kindness of others.

SETX Community

I do not know the family involved, nor do I know of the organization that the alert dog came from. What I did know is that the SETX community was raising money for a little boy named Racer. I bet that many of the people who donated were aware of the little boy and his story, which is why the money was raised. Not for other families across the United States to also have an alert dog. It is sad that other's in the community that are in similar situations are taking this artical to judge or call this family out. I have always been very proud of the community in which I was born and raised for the generous and caring attitude, but regardless you will always have people that want to kick you while you are down. Whether this family is wrong or right will be decided in a court room and not by the public opinions on a Facebook page.

The money stays in the "local

The money stays in the "local area" NOT across the country. Did you know there is another boy in your town who needs a Diabetic Alert Dog? Do you see the damage this family has done to the other family by outright stealing from the company? They could have helped another child in the same town. This false media they are putting out there is harming another child trying to get a DAD... simply... because they couldn't follow the rules and chose to profit off of their child's illness... it disgusts me!

Yes, I am aware that another

Yes, I am aware that another family is in need of a dog. I am also aware of the fundraisers as many of my friends are actively participating in them and often receive request for the fundraisers. However, I can tell you that until this article I have never seen anything that states that any money above the $20,000 is for the organization and not the said families. That goes for ALL of the fundraisers for BOTH families.

The public will defend the truth

A judge may decide it, but I guarantee you that the public will be involved every step of the way. Many of these families may be called in to testify as well. And as you can see, it is quite obvious that everyone was given the same information when they signed that contract for their dog. The one's whose opinions wont matter will be your community because at the end of the day, regardless of what they thought they were donating for, it was advertised as tax deductible under GASD. That is illegal!

I am not saying it is right

I am not saying it is right or wrong, what I am saying is the local community donated to a local family. I see that most of the people have had very positive dealings with the organization but the donations in this case were more for the child/situation. So bring in the volunteers and donors and see if they want their money to go to the organization or the family. This is a small community raising money for one of their own.

Diabetic Alert Dog

I am so sad to read this article. I am a mother of a child with Type 1, who is also a twin, and am fundraising to obtain a dog through Guardian Angel Service Dogs. It is made clear to all of us the parameters under which we contract with the agency to obtain a dog, the costs associated with the dog, and what happens with additional monies raised in obtaining our dog. In my mind it is not relevant if the family actually utilized the tax ID number. What is relevant is how they advertised their efforts. If they put it out there that they are fundraising for a dog to assist their child, then that is what people are coming together to support. As a parent, I do understand the magnitude of the medical expenses that occur for our children. We have lived with this disease for 6 1/2 years. I know all too well the costs of the medications and supplies and the exhorbitant expense of health insurance. It would be lovely to be able to bankroll money to cover those expenses. If that was their intention, then they only needed to have a separate fundraiser specifically outlining that intent. As for our family, our goal has always been to raise enough money for our dog and to obtain a dog for another child. I am disheartened to read so many comments from the folks in Texas who quickly discount the value in providing this wonderful service for another family....especially one who might also live in Texas. Our experience with fundraising has been overwhelmingly positive and I am so sorry this has happened because it impacts all of us. It tarnishes (wrongly) the reputation of Guardian Angel Service Dogs and has far reaching impact for the way they must now do business with the rest of the families. First, this will change the nature of contracts for new families. Second, it could also raise the fees for the rest of us, to offset the costs of legal fees incurred. Third, the time it takes for Guardian Angel Service Dogs to defend itself against spurious allegations, takes away from the time that is able to spent attending to the needs of those of us who are successfully and happily utilizing their services. Additionally, this family now has a dog that is not completely trained (which they knew in advance would be the case). I feel bad for all involved, but feel the family bears the responsibility. This is not a mystery process. How is it that the rest of us understand we are not allowed to do this, but this family does not? This is sad for your children, for the dog, and for the diabetic community, as well as the impact it has for all of us who are legitimately raising funds for our children. Please consider what you are doing and the power it has to impact many other children and families.

Warren

If Mr.Warren is so great why does he remove negative comments or refuse to answer questions or not return phone calls to families who are so desperate to help their child. Let's give the devil his due, Maybe he's in over his head or has his finger in too many pots! No matter, he is dealing with people's lives...people with sick children.

Mr. warren has ALWAYS

Mr. warren has ALWAYS returned my calls and emails. Everytime I call in, they tell me it could be up to 72 hours... but yet, 9 out of 10 times he calls me back with in a few hours.... he calls me, no one else. I researched A LOT of commpanies and chose this one for many reasons. One of the main reasons was GASD to fundraise instead of paying the full amount. I have 2 other companies very near me... one we did not qaulify for because of age and already having animals (they also have a 5 1/2 year waiting list), the other wanted us to provide our own dog, pay 16k for training and have no help after training was done and no health or training guarentees. We wanted a young puppy to form a bond with my son throughout training and we wanted to be more hands on.

"Anonymous" Why wouldnt he

"Anonymous" Why wouldnt he remove negative comments on his company page ? that would be a pretty stupid business move to leave that don't ya think? And as far as returning call he does return calls to everyone thats worth returning calls to ,if its someone genuinely trying to help their child or them self then yes he returns calls if it's someone looking to start trouble then he probably doesnt return calls, again Smart Buisness man . He has too much to do HELPING families to waste his time on nonsense,Like this!!!

Good business man??????

Hardly, you don't run a business by only dealing with what you want to hear and ignoring potential problems. No matter what kind of business you operate you have to be transparent, especially if people are giving you thousands of dollars. If he has too much to do, he should hire (and try to keep) more staff and make sure the families have all the literature they need prior to sending their deposit.

Dan is very profesional and

Dan is very profesional and just because he doesnt waste his time dealing with nonsense IN THE PUBLIC EYE doesnt mean he doesnt deal with it nor does it mean he needs more employees ,it means he deals with things in a profesional manner like he should.(Not running to a newspaper to have a smear campaign) And as for making sure the families have the proper literature they need ,every family is welcome to as much literature as theyd like about the organization. We're Adults and have the responibilty to make educated decicions so if any family fealt they didnt have enough literature all they have to do is ask an they shall receive it .As I said earlier I stand behind Dan Warren and GASD fully! It is unfortunate that the McLoed family didnt read all the paper work before they started fundraising and know the laws or they would have known to have SEPERATE fundraisers if they needed medical expense money ,which is understandable with this disease BUT fact is they didnt !

There is a difference between

There is a difference between negative comments and flat out untruthful and slanderous statements. He has the right to protect his reputation. Dan spends many hours of the day returning phone calls and returns all of them! If he didn't have to spend so much time and energy on false articles and law suits maybe there would be more time. This article is not about phone call returning it's about breaking the law. If you raised $500 for and behalf of the JDRF would you keep $400 to pay your kids medical bills? This is about using a tax ID to benefit yourself!!

I am sorry the family feel

I am sorry the family feel that way but when fundraising with a charity organization all funds raised using that charity's name, etc goes to the charity. If the family had a fundraiser stating it was for medical expenses then that would have been fine. The fundraisers they had all said for Racer's diabetic alert dog which is why the funds should have gone to Guardian Angel Service Dogs. Those excess funds then would go to other families in need of a service dog.
The dogs are puppies when they arrive and although they have been trained, the training is not complete for 2 years. This is something the McClouds were well aware of and should have been prepared for. GASD is still committed to continuing training for that family's dog. There are other organizations that provide fully trained, adult dogs but I much prefer a young dog since my daughter was attacked by a dog several years ago, receiving over 85 facial stiches. It was the best choice for our family. Having a young dog does take work on the part of the family but as I said we are prepared for that. All of the GASD families have seen our child suffer and have feared for his life because of the is terrible disease. We all have medical bills. As it was stated previously, they could have stopped fundraising for a diabetic alert dog and fundraised for medical expenses. Then none of this would be a problem.
I am deeply saddened by all of this for everyone involved. I have seen and spoken to dozens of families that have or will receive a diabetic alert dog from Guardian Angel Service Dogs that are thrilled with their service dog and am still confident in my choice. I hope this situation is resolved soon.
Corbin's dog arrives next month and I am hoping our community will see what a positive experience this really is.

pay it forward

My 4 year old Jack just received his Diabetic Alert Dog last week from Warren Retrievers and my heart is saddened by this article. My son was diagnosed at age 2 and we are a middle-class family still paying for that hospitalization. Our community came to support us and we raised $19,000 in 6 months. We still have a huge fund-raiser scheduled for August and never dreamed of pocketing that money (the last Harley poker run made $9,000, so instead we called the Harley organization to ask of they would mind the money benefitting other local children and they were happy to help). The fundraiser is still for "Team Jack" but it will benefit Abby, Caden, Hunner, Remi, and Amarion. 5 other type 1 diabetics will be blessed. The excess money would have helped another family, it would not go in Dan Warrens pocket, the IRS wouldn't let that happen. Non-profit organizations are monitored closely. my heart is saddened because everyone wants to accuse Dan with greed, check yourself, that money could have benefitted other children. If you want to raise money for medical bills, call it that, the way this went down is deceitful and Dan is not the horrible person you are accusing him of being.

pay it forward

My 4 year old Jack just received his Diabetic Alert Dog last week from Warren Retrievers and my heart is saddened by this article. My son was diagnosed at age 2 and we are a middle-class family still paying for that hospitalization. Our community came to support us and we raised $19,000 in 6 months. We still have a huge fund-raiser scheduled for August and never dreamed of pocketing that money (the last Harley poker run made $9,000, so instead we called the Harley organization to ask of they would mind the money benefitting other local children and they were happy to help). The fundraiser is still for "Team Jack" but it will benefit Abby, Caden, Hunner, Remi, and Amarion. 5 other type 1 diabetics will be blessed. The excess money would have helped another family, it would not go in Dan Warrens pocket, the IRS wouldn't let that happen. Non-profit organizations are monitored closely. my heart is saddened because everyone wants to accuse Dan with greed, check yourself, that money could have benefitted other children. If you want to raise money for medical bills, call it that, the way this went down is deceitful and Dan is not the horrible person you are accusing him of being.

Guardian Angel Recipient

I spent countless hours researching an organization for a diabetic alert dog for my type 1 daughter. It was after speaking with Dan Warren personally that my decision was made to go with Guardian Angels and I have never regretted my choice. From day one we, as recipients, are told that we are getting a puppy who will come with some training but since they deliver at 13-15 weeks of age, the training will most certainly be an ongoing process. And, Dan and his team are right there with the families to ensure that training. By phone calls, emails, texts, and actual in home visits these pups stay on track and their alerts become more spot on everyday. Dan, from the beginning, let me know this process would not be easy but that as time went along and training continued, both professional training and our homework, it would be a rewarding experience for our family. I am proud to be a part of the Warren Retriever family and will stand behind Dan and Guardian Angel Service Dog for always. I empathize with the Texas family and the heartache they have experienced but to attempt to tear apart the character of a man who truly has a huge heart is simply wrong. We, too, raised funds in excess as well. Not to the extreme as this family but still all funds raised by our community for my child's attainment of her service dog were turned in to Guardian Angels. The excess funds are kept in an account to be used for our service dog....food, treats, vet bills, etc for ad long as those funds hold out. People on the outside looking in have no idea what Guardian Angels has done for our families. Dan, we support you!

pay it forward

My 4 year old Jack just received his Diabetic Alert Dog last week from Warren Retrievers and my heart is saddened by this article. My son was diagnosed at age 2 and we are a middle-class family still paying for that hospitalization. Our community came to support us and we raised $19,000 in 6 months. We still have a huge fund-raiser scheduled for August and never dreamed of pocketing that money (the last Harley poker run made $9,000, so instead we called the Harley organization to ask of they would mind the money benefitting other local children and they were happy to help). The fundraiser is still for "Team Jack" but it will benefit Abby, Caden, Hunner, Remi, and Amarion. 5 other type 1 diabetics will be blessed. The excess money would have helped another family, it would not go in Dan Warrens pocket, the IRS wouldn't let that happen. Non-profit organizations are monitored closely. my heart is saddened because everyone wants to accuse Dan with greed, check yourself, that money could have benefitted other children. If you want to raise money for medical bills, call it that, the way this went down is deceitful and Dan is not the horrible person you are accusing him of being.

Shame on the McLeod family!

Guardian Angel Service Dogs CLEARLY makes it known fundraising is for the organization and not your family. Their training program goes for 2 years and the dogs are NOT 100 % at time of delivery..EVERYONE knows this that signs on with them.
To use a non-profit organization to fundraise means ALL money goes to the organization and to help other families-NOT for your personal bills and profit.
This family is completely wrong in their doing and all their fundraising was clearly done for the DOG, NOT for personal gain.
Even if friends and family do not care what they used the money on, it does not make it right.
So ashamed anyone would do this and then try to make the organization look bad. Shame on you!

GASD is a wonderful company!!

First of all I want to say I FULLY SUPPORT GASD and Dan Warren who is a wonderful man that is the furthest thing from Greedy ,Second ,Did the Mcloed family not know what they were raising money for ,as Ive seen it stated over and over that they recieved a dog that was NOT FULLY TRAIINED, Well had they done any research they would have known its clearly in Black and White that you recieve a puppy and it take 2 YEARS to FULLY train that puppy , second it's also in black and white that ANY ANY ANY money raised under the GASD name is to go to GASD and will be used to help other famalies in need of a service dog ,anyone that thinks it's OK to use an orginizations name to raise funds and then keep it is seriously lacking morals. NOW had they raised funds for thier dog and THEN had other fundraisers for thier childs other medical needs thats one thing but they didnt they used the GASD name and had fundraisers . It's a shame to see so many people that know nothing about Dan Warren or GASD being so quick to judge them when it is clear they have only heard ONE side of this story .. And if any of you honestly think Dan is being greedy and he NEEDS this money ,Give me a break, this is about the principal and protecting his company which helps so many families each year . And SHAME on you Fred Davis for writing this one sided story, you were obviiously hard up for a story,but your reporting leaves something to be desired!! !!!

I donated and know many who

I donated and know many who did , and I know it was for whatever racer needed medically. I don't agree with the guardian angel service doing this.

This is about the improper

This is about the improper use of a FEDERAL TAX ID! They can raise all the money they like privately but DO NOT USE the name, slogans, tax ID of a fully certified 501c3 organization. Then proceed to start a media campaign to defame this organization. This is criminal.

Then the Mcleod family should

Then the Mcleod family should NOT have used GASD's name on ANY of the fundraising events they had if they were keeping the money for medical expenses. There greed is going to hurt other families in the area who are legit in raising money to recieve a DAD.

How is "Racer's Diabetic

How is "Racer's Diabetic Alert Dog" in any way affiliated with "Guardian Angel Service Dogs?" In my opinion these are two totally different phrases.

Disgusted

Disgusted by the this journalists lack of research for this article. Extremely one-sided and bias. My son is receiving a Guardian Angel Service dog in a few weeks, and we have nothing bu wonderful things to say about this organization. They have changed our lives in so many ways. When we signed up with Guardian Angels back in February, we were fully aware of the dogs potential of not being fully trained upon delivery. That is why the trainers come back every few months to help keep up on the training. And as a family you are expected to also keep up on the training every single day.
You cannot advertise to donors that you are raising funds for a dog and turn around and use the money for something else entirely. I do feel bad for this family and their rising medical expenses. But they need to do what is right.
Personally, if I raise that much money, I will gladly turn every penny over to Dan Warren and Guardian Angel Service Dogs. What they are doing with what they have is truly amazing. They deserve so much more than what this article has made them out to be. LOVE YOU DAN WARREN AND EVERYONE AT GUARDIAN ANGEL!!

You are blissfully ignorant

You are blissfully ignorant as of yet. We were also thrilled. Check out Mr Warren's BBB ratings. Ask about him in his beloved service dog community....not just Guardian Angel Service Dogs. You should heed caution friend, not be disgusted. No one has refused to give him one penny that was due him. We gladly paid him every penny.

Also, if Mr. Warren is such a fine citizen, why does he send his little minions here to do his bidding...yet when we respond to his site, we are blocked and deleted? What does he fear? No one was offensive...merely stated facts.

Guardian Angel

Really? You are actually going to pull the BBB card. One complaint that has yet to be corrected that very well may have came from the McCleods is not indicative of what the company is about. And all money raised if for the GASD organization to help other families after their dog was paid off. I would want proof that the fundraising was clearly stated that it was for medical expenses

Not Offensive?

You just offended me by calling me ignorant, and a minion. I am completely offended! And please don't ever refer to me as a "friend". We were asked to give our stories, and I did so. You're setting a fine example of classiness. Oh, and what do you know, I'm still disgusted.

While going through this

While going through this process the McLeods were attacked by many in the service dog community for using Mr. Warren. His ethics and morals have been questioned many times before it seems by people in the service dog community. We didnt listen either.

As well, I think minion is a perfect name for you and yours...whether you be a sniveling card carrying member of the IAFF or not. ( I know many cowards that carry that card btw. We can all find some individual in ignorance to strike out on our behalf). I also know some fine men and women carrying that card...and Ryan McLeod is one. This is a local paper. You dont live here and would be unaware of this had you not been sent here to protect the poor defenseless Mr. Warren from the big bad McLeods. Funny that, since it was Mr. Warren began all the legal posturing.

Are you not also a minion?

Are you not also a minion? Attacking us (the GASD community) makes you a "minion" of the McLeod family. And as far as for the IAFF memeber comment, I have no idea what you are talking about. I am not a member of said organization. I really have the utmost sympathy for the family on their medical bills. I am a juvenile diabetic (18 years now) and mt 3 year old son is one also. I am no stranger to medical expenses. But the fact of the matter is, they signed a contract that any excess funds raised would be given to the GASD organization. They should have used another platform to raise the money for the medical expenses after the money for the dog was raised. And not only that, but why do they have to slam and slander the GASD organization? I think it's absolutely ridiculous that it had to come to this point!!

contract

Hi Jeana, we are not commenting on all post but we had no contract or verbal agreement stating all monies go to GASD. We also didnt use the tax ID. we also told people that did want a tax write off to go directly to GSAD page and donate. I dont know what stage of the process your in but in our dealings with GASD it seemed most people had different info depending on when they put their deposit down maybe because it was a newer company. As far as slander we were just interviewed for this article we didnt write it. I wish you the best, and I dont take these comments personal as most these people dont know me or my family. Ryan