Today I received some very interesting news. It came in quite a roundabout way as well. As some of you know it has been quite a rough go for us with Siberian Snow Babies and their Animals for Autism program. We began to have severe misgivings with their organization and overall credibility.
We had asked for assistance, information, and explanations but received only excuses from the founder, Lea Kaydus. After much deliberation we decided that this program was not what it had initially appeared to be and withdrew from the program and requested a refund of all monies we had paid in. We were informed by Ms. Kaydus that a refund was impossible as Bella had been too highly trained in clothing removal assistance and could not possibly be used as a service animal for another family. For this reason Bella could only be placed in a pet home. We filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Office of the Attorney General, State of Illinois and voiced our concerns to Global Giving (the Pepsi Refresh Program administrators) and Pepsi. Since Ms. Kaydus refused to refund our money, we proceeded to ask PayPal for their help in recovering our funds. We were told that we were outside the 45 day dispute window and had no recourse through PayPal. We then took the next step and initiated a chargeback request with each of the banks we had used to in our PayPal payments to Ms. Kaydus. (I should mention that all payments do not go to Animals for Autism or Lea Kaydus instead they are made to George Kaydus at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. I wonder if this is how Animals for Autism keeps their income down – by not reporting it all.
Ms. Kaydus was not at all agreeable to the idea of returning any funds to us or any of the people who donated on our behalf. So naturally, she contested our dispute. We were given a chance to counter the evidence she provided and then final determination would rest with the bank. After many months, we received notice from one of the banks that we were incorrectly (fraudulently) charged and our account was credited for the amount disputed, and the investigation closed. We are still awaiting the outcome from the other bank and hold onto a small bit of hope that PayPal might reconsider their stance. It is not likely though.
So back to the news from today – the grant administrators from Global Giving are headed out to Glenarm, IL to “volunteer” with Animals for Autism.
Today from Facebook: