It feels awkward so….

…I am only going to mention this a couple of times.

We have created a ChipIn account to help with the travel expenses we will incur while training with Faith’s service dog.

We will be traveling, probably by plane, to Ohio. We will then need to stay in a hotel for two weeks while we  train with Faith’s new canine partner and learn to work together as a team.

I will have a little widget thingy on the side bar of Mommy Rambles….scroll down a bit to see it.

You can also access the page directly through this link:

4 Paws 4 Faith Chip In Page

Thank you.

Turn the page – Pepsi Pups Mess

Have you ever read a book that was so engrossing, that held you so riveted….

…..that when you hit the last page….

…..you sat there, looking at that last page….

And all you could think was “No.” This can not be over. I still have questions. I want to know what happened next!

So you toss the book aside and swear never to read another book by that author because how dare they leave you hanging like that! Then you stomp into the other room and complain to your husband about how unfair the book was to end like that!

Ok, maybe that last part was just me.

:blush:

I think we are reaching the end of the Pepsi Pups book. Unfortunately it’s not a clean ending. There are way more questions than answers.

Answers seem hard to come by when dealing with Multi-billion dollar companies or a woman (remember kids, she applied for the $50,000 grant as an individual, not as Animals For Autism) who falls off the grid when it comes to communication.

Pepsi, well they don’t really give a darn. Really, it’s just $50,000. And regardless of HOW Lea Kaydus spent that money, they still get the same tax write off. It doesn’t matter to them that the voted upon grant was for training to place 10 service animals. It doesn’t matter to them that Global Giving, by Lea’s own written statement, REQUIRED her to change the grant after voting to fund tangible goods such as a facility.

Global Giving, well they don’t really give a darn either. Service dogs? That’s not in the funding any more. Lea is building her facility just fine. According to Lea’s Facebook status’s (before she took that down, just like her website. Oh, I’m sorry, that is right! That was never her website. It was just donated space from Siberian Snow Babies…..which is her website.) Global Giving MADE her change the line by line budget to cover the tangible goods. And since the tangible facility is all fine and good, well, who cares about the voted upon original grant’s families. Remember them? The families? Apparently not. No service dogs? No problem. The facility is right on track.

Too bad almost everyone we have talked to would NOT have voted on a facility.

Lea Kaydus?

Disappeared again. Of the original 13 families, out of the 9 I was able to check in with, NOT ONE has heard from her.

Poof. Gone.

And all the powers that be are a-ok with that. After all, it’s just $50,000. Oh, and the hopes and dreams of 13 children.

I’m not ok with this. The parents I am in contact with, who were promised well-trained service dogs for their children – delivered in Spring ’12 – are not ok with this.

Our story part one – CLICK HERE 

To have your heart-broken, and understand why this makes me so mad – CLICK HERE 

Our story part two – CLICK HERE 

(even more information, spanning the last year can be found HERE.)

I think I will be calling this post – The Last Page.

But this is not the end. It is only the end of this volume.

I hope Book Two will have more answers.

And a new chapter begins

Regular readers of my blog are very familiar with the trials my family, and the rest of the Pepsi Pups families have been put through in the past year. It has tested our resolve, our strength and our personal determination.

While I do wish I could report that justice has been served, alas it has not.

A few months ago we learned the amazing news of a Pepsi Pups family in Ohio. They were blown over by the news that Karen Shirk from 4 Paws For Ability was stepping up where Lea Kaydus – Animal for Autism, Pepsi and Global Giving failed. 4 Paws For Ability was offering this family a much needed service dog, fully funded! What an amazing lifeline, tossed by someone who could have simply looked the other way but chose not to. Who saw a wrong and made the decision to make it right. October they will be blessed with a service dog.

Amazing.

A few weeks ago, another family devastated by the Pepsi Pup scam was contacted by 4 Paws For Ability. Karen once again could not let the mess wrought by  Animals For Autism, Global Giving and Pepsi quietly be swept under the rug. She once again offered a lifeline to a family with little hope left. The news that she was offering another, fully funded, fully trained autism service dog to this Florida family brought much joy! March ’13 they will be blessed with a service dog.

Unbelievable.

This morning I woke up to an email from Karen Shirk at 4 Paws For Ability.

(edited a bit…..)

Faith will be in our January 2013 class to get her new service dog (YES FOR REAL ;0)   I will be able to tell you who to thank in a bit.  

It is a true sin what Lea did and we are happy to be able to bring some good to the end of the story at least for the three families we are able to help :0)

Karen Shirk, Executive Director 4 Paws For Ability, Inc.

I am humbled and tearful. I am almost speechless.

More when I can type without crying…..

Thank You To Animals For Autism & the Pepsi Pups!

A  “Thank You” to Lea Kaydus, Animals For Autism, Pepsi and Global Giving. 

From the amazing mommy at Speaking 4 Sam:

Today, I have an odd thank you to give out.  To those who have followed our story, you know that we were originally involved with a service dog organization that turned out to be a complete scam. We lost a lot of hard earned money, as well as generous donations from family, friends, and community. Pepsi and Global Giving became involved in this scam when they provided funding to the individual who was the “founder” of the so called organization…. funding that was supposed to help provide service dogs to children with autism(You can read more about our story in the previous blog entries). I, as well as the other families, have gone through a wide range of emotions. We were hurt, disappointed, confused, and angry. We tried to complain. We were told by Pepsi and Global Giving to just wait… everything is fine… and PLEASE be quiet. We took the proper channels to report what happened. We turned to media when all else failed. We hoped someone would hear us and do the right thing.

Someone did. However, it wasn’t the founder of Animals for Autism. It wasn’t Pepsi. It wasn’t Global Giving. It wasn’t people in positions of authority who could have done something….. it was someone not involved in the mess in any way. It was instead someone who could have easily turned the other way and went on with the great work she was doing already… It was the founder of a REAL service dog organization called 4 Paws for Ability. It was someone with a gentle heart, who loves what she is doing, and wanted to help children in need. She stepped up once to help my son by providing a fully funded, well trained service dog (which he will be receiving in October). She could have stopped there…. but she didn’t. She just recently stepped up once again to help another family involved in this mess.http://stinkerbaby.blogspot.com/2012/04/our-new-beginning-to-happy-ending.html#.T4OGIFHBI0o.facebook  Her kindness seems to know no boundaries. She stepped in and went beyond the “right” thing when others who made the mess to begin with wouldn’t. I cannot say enough good things about 4 Paws for Ability.

I have been there on site and seen their dogs. I have seen the training sessions and met the individuals working with the dogs. It is amazing. They are a nationally recognized organization, well respected, honest, and trustworthy. They have trained hundreds…plural…hundreds of service dogs. My son (and now another beautiful little boy from the AFA mess) is going to get a well trained service dog. A dog far better than anything he would have gotten from AFA. It will be trained in behavior disruption, tethering, and tracking (yes, that is right…. The dog is being trained to track my son if, God forbid, he ever wanders off). Wow, we are so excited for what the future holds.

So, believe it or not, I am glad that the founder of Animals for Autism did not follow through on the Siberian husky that she promised us. It could have been a disaster for my son. I have since learned that Siberian Huskies (although beautiful animals) make terrible service dogs and are not recommended for ANY child, let alone an unpredictable special needs child. I have learned that the founder of Animals for Autism lied about her experience, her trainers, her staff, and about the dogs themselves. She was never qualified to train any service dog and certainly not capable of training a Siberian Husky for such a service.  Thank you Animals for Autism for NOT giving my son a dog. (I would however like my money back).

 

Pepsi assured us that the founder was well qualified and told us they were honored to work with her.  Global Giving (who oversaw the grant program for Pepsi) told us we didn’t know what we were talking about. They said they had seen the dogs in training. Everything was fine. The funding continued despite the evidence. It is because of them that we took our stories public.

So, thank you Pepsi and Global Giving for NOT listening to us (although an apology would still be nice).  If they had listened to us and stopped their funding of this scam, if they had just admitted they were wrong, the families would have never turned to the media to have our stories heard. If we had never gone public with our stories,  4 Paws for Ability would have never heard about our situation, and so we would not be in the amazing spot we are now in.

So, in a strange way, I am glad for what happened, because in the end, my son is getting what he needs from a place very capable of providing it. However, I don’t want to forget the ones who started this whole thing to begin with. So as a way of saying thank you, I want to actually keep a promise my husband and I made to Animals for Autism’s founder way back last May when we made our first payment. We told her we would spread the word so that everyone would know about this little known organization and what they do….  I believe I am keeping that promise. I am trying to make sure EVERYONE does indeed know about Animals for Autism, their founder, their dogs, and EXACTLY what they do there. For good measure, I want to be sure  EVERYONE knows about the projects that Pepsi and Global Giving support as well…… You are welcome!