I thought it was about time for an update on the whole Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism husky service dog fiasco. If you are not sure what I am talking about I would like to direct you back to previous posts and all the stress and heartache that Lea Kaydus and her cohorts so thoughtfully gave to thirteen families with Autistic children. It has been quite the campaign – one that at times seemed to not be important to anyone except a few of those thirteen families. There have been a few happy developments in this story – none courtesy of Lea Kaydus, Siberian Snow Babies, GlobalGiving.org, or Pepsi. These are good; honestly and truly good.
We have been contacted over the past several months with Terri Marvel Wible – founder of Paws 4 Autism, Patty Dobbs Gross – founder and Executive Director of the North Star Foundation, and Karen Shirk – Executive Director of 4 Paws for Ability, Inc. As amazing as the foundations they are associated with.
Terri came across the Pepsi Pup story and established a fund to assist the families directly affected by the Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism Pepsi Refresh scam. All monies collected will be distributed equally between the families affected. ZERO monies will be used for administration or other programming. Thank you Terri!
Patty dedicated quite a lot of time and energy in an effort to get executives at both Pepsi and GlobalGiving.org to reconsider the wisdom the grant given to Lea Kaydus as part of the Pepsi Refresh Everything Project to several litters of her Siberian Huskies as service dogs for 10 autistic children spread across the country. It appears that Pepsi and GlobalGiving.org have chosen to ignore the numerous emails, and letters they have received on behalf of the families lucky enough to be “chosen” as recipients.
**I would like to say that I am not saying that a Siberian Husky could not be a service dog; but an inexperienced service dog trainer expecting each dog to make it all the way through training with no drop-outs, and no back-up dogs is fraught with trouble**
Karen and her organization stepped forward in January to make things right for one of the families by providing them with a fully funded service dog after hearing of the story on their local news. Each and every bit of good news was met with enthusiasm by our small group of families. At this point we weren’t receiving much of it as far as service dogs were concerned. And here was a NATIONALLY-KNOWN service dog training organization with 500+ placements telling one of our families that they would in fact be receiving a service dog. Wow!! What great news. Again in April, another of the families received the same wonderful news from Karen. Once again, we were so very happy to hear some good news…and then days later we received an email simply titled “SMILE” giving us the same incredible news.
To the Veterans Group who made this possible for my family – Thank you!! I am deeply grateful for your compassion and generosity. Thank you.
Thank you as well to all those who have helped us get the story out there. Thank you Jesse Jones, Mike Brooks, Jessica Noll, Linda Thomas, Chris Henry, and all those who shared on their blogs, Facebook pages, and in their Tweets.
It saddens me to know that this is not an isolated case but rather one that happens on a somewhat regular basis. To all those looking for service animals – please check references, look for organizations registered as charities with the IRS/local state Attorney General’s office, Better Business Bureau ratings, and speak with prior placements.