On Friday, January 27 2012, the following open letter was posted to the Facebook page of Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism:
Dear Lea, Global Giving and Pepsi,
We are grateful to have some form of communication from you; however,
we are sad that this came about only after many months of asking and
waiting. It is disappointing to all of us that communication was only
initiated after significant media attention. We all expect a fully
trained and suitable service dog for our children, reserving our right
to move forward and comply with investigations currently underway or
opened in the future.
Due to lack of consistent answers when posed a question, a history of
lack of communication and removal of Animals For Autisms website, we
feel there has been a major breech of trust. We are offering a chance
to re-establish some trust by once again asking a few questions.
Before we commit to any answer regarding our place in the program, we
would like to have our questions answered.
1. We would like the easily verifiable canine training credentials of
Lea Kaydus and each individual trainer who has contact with the dogs.
These dogs are possibly coming into our homes and we have a right to
know the specific verifiable credentials of those training them.
2. We would like to know if during the 5 months Lea Kaydus was “off
the grid”, did she maintain contact with Pepsi and Global Giving?
3. We would like to see the line by line budget of what exactly
Pepsi’s grant is funding. Many of us feel very deceived since we voted
for one grant (training fees) and only much later found out that it
had been switched after the voting ended.
4. We would like to know specifically if Pepsi and Global giving are
concerned with the safety and appropriateness of the service dogs
attempting to be placed with our children, as promised in the original
voted upon grant, or if they are only concerned with the “facility”?
5. Was there a service dog training expert on hand during Global
Givings inspection that took place 01/23/12? If so, who was it and
what are their credentials?
6. We would like to know the verifiable age and the sire and dam (with
AKC numbers) for each dog that began training. We would also like
immunization records from a third party veterinarian for each dog who
entered into service dog training and we would like the current
location of each dog who entered into service training including phone
numbers of any shelters utilized.
7. We would like to see a video showing all the dogs together,
introduced individually, with a demonstration sample of training
achieved in the past 9 months by each dog.
8. All the families that paid money into the program would like the
requested, but still not received, financial statements stating what
came in and from whom, with full amounts listed.
Being “off the grid” does not trump basic decency. There are many
other ways to keep in touch, none of which were exercised.
We kindly ask for your response to be in written form so all families
are told the exact same thing and for easy referral in the future.
Thank you for your your time and attention to this matter,
The Animals For Autism Families
Pooser Family, DeWitt Family, DiRedo Family, Andrade Family, Creighton
Family, Williams Family, Johnson Family, Spencer Family, Ristau
Family, Podkowka Family
In my opinion this request was very clear and very specific. Global Giving’s response was posted 10 hours later:
Please give us a call anytime on Monday between 9 am – 5 pm Eastern. 202-232-5784. Please tell whoever answers that you are calling regarding the Animals for Autism project so that we can transfer you to the right person. Thank you!
Really?? One of the main points was that any response be in written form and you are asking for each individual family to call. At this point I can’t imagine that you do not know who the families involved are as well as have the contact information for them. And if Global Giving does not have that information, Ms. Kaydus most certainly does and just chooses not to utilize it. It would seem that it is the families responsibility to initiate all communication. I find it hard to believe that in this day and age, with her many volunteers willing to put in thousands of hours of time to complete her new breeding/training facility, that nobody would be willing to take and post pictures of the animals in training. Instead five (5) months went by with no updates. Families would like answers and these questions are merely the beginning. I would recommend that you start there.
Those of you reading this post who have followed our story – please take a moment of your time and let Lea Kaydus, Global Giving and Pepsi know what you think. The text of the families Facebook post will take you to the Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism Facebook page. Please like the post if you agree. Make any comments you feel appropriate and even more importantly – please – Pass this story along to your family and friends or anyone else willing to listen.
My family drinks a significant punt of Pepsi products we will now be Coke product drinkers. We will no longtime spending our money with such an irresponsible corporation