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Do You See What I See? Autism Service Animal Dream Falters

The digital age has brought with it a whole new world that brings with it a host of advantages.  I have enjoyed the ability to communicate almost instantaneously with various members of the family seemingly no matter where they might be.  It is commonplace for people to be carrying a cell phone, and this also means they are usually carrying a highly portable video/still camera capable of pictures ranging from 2 – 10 MegaPixels many capable of HD video.  This means that a moment can be shared as it happens with an almost limitless audience.  From the simple communication device of old it has now grown into the modern smartphone.  Excuse me just a moment, I need to answer a quick Tweet.

From the phone a picture can be quickly posted to a Facebook album, Tweeted out, or pushed to any number of photo sharing sites to be shared with the world.  Many a phone has the ability to run Skype and provide real-time video chat.  Videos may be captured and uploaded to YouTube and yet for months families have waited for Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism to post a single picture of the dogs in their Autism Service Dog Training Class to be graduating this Spring.  You know, the dogs to be trained using the funds from the Pepsi Refresh Everything grant that was applied for and received by Lea Kaydus, the founder of the Animals for Autism program.  The only pictures of the growing “Pepsi Pups” were actually rather sad.  The picture below links to the photo album.  There is speculation as to the actual breed of the dogs.  White Shepherd has been suggested a few times.

Do these look like dogs you would feel comfortable assisting your disabled child.

It would not be fair if I didn’t once again state that Lea Kaydus applied for the grant as an individual not as her “organization” and she is required to remain and individual until the end of the grant period.  It would have been nice to have her publicly state this instead of continuing to campaign using the name Animals for Autism.  And then once the grant was announced, Animals for Autism released a press release announcing THEY had been funded.  Not really all that transparent.

But back to the original thread of this post.  Communication with Animals for Autism though any form of written medium became all but non-existent.  Lea insisted that the only reliable form of communication would be through phone…her cell phone.  Which again makes me wonder…why, with that wonder of modern technology in her possession the majority of the time she was unable to capture a video of any of the dogs in training, or heck, even a picture of a training session.  That would have given the families an opportunity to see their pups and the trainers in action.  As far as I know, none of the families involved has even spoken with their trainer(s).  All communication has been with Lea Kaydus.

I see a lot of misdirection, smoke and mirrors and many parlor tricks.

Do you see what I see?

[Paws 4 Autism has setup a dedicated fund for the ten families directly affected by the Animals for Autism / Siberian Snow Babies / Pepsi Refresh Grant Scam. To donate to this fund please follow the Paws 4 Autism link here.]

[The domain AnimalsForAutism.com has been registered by a concerned family and will be used to point to verified Autism Service Dog sources.  Any of their sites will have a labrador has its primary picture.]

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Onqsiberians April 12, 2012, 12:21 AM

    I own and operate OnQ Siberians Service Dogs( http://www.OnQSiberians.org ).I was recently made aware of this story, because someone thought that I might be this company. I am shocked and horrified, and I would like to reach out and help at least some of the families affected by these horrible scam artists. It breaks my heart to know that these children have been carrying around pictures of dogs that they will never bring home. My heart goes out to the parents, who thought that they would have help with their child. A dog to bring their child comfort, to distract them from hurting themselves, to ring an alarm to let the parents know that their child is hurting themselves, a dog to prevent their child from wandering away, to tell on them as they try to wander away, and if all else fails a dog trained to help them track their child if they do in fact wander away. Now those parents know that they are back to square one and some have probably given up hope. This is truly sad. If you are reading this, and you are one of the families affected by this nightmare, contact me. My email is onqsiberians@hotmail.com or you can reach me on FaceBook: http://facebook.com/onqsiberians . I hope that they catch these people and make them pay for what they have done. But for now, I hope that enough Service Dog Providers can step forward and offer to help these families in some way.

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