Agency That Trains Diabetic Alert Dogs Under Investigation

Apr 14, 2008 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: ClipSyndicate

Dogs that are supposed to notify a family when a person is experiencing a sugar low or a sugar high may not actually have those skills, a Missouri agency said. via ClipSyndicate

Comments
1 - 19 of 19 Comments Last updated Jun 30, 2008
Lovin Heaven Scent Paws

Lakewood, NJ

#1 May 8, 2008
My child graduated from HSP in Feb 2008 and our dog alerts to our child's low BG. Our service dog has saved him from numerous lows that he would have had that would have gone undetected w/o his dog. Our child has hypoglcemia hyunawareness which means that he can't feel when he gets low. That is where the service dog comes in. They alert to us before he gets to the danger zone. We were in class with most of the families that are complaining. Rather then doing what they were told and agreed to do they have decided to "gang" together and file complaints. There was no negative talk about HSP before this Feb of 2008 class where some parents did not have their child in mind. HSP was our childs life line they have helped our child live a longer and healthier life. Thank You HSP for doing what you do best and that is helping the people that really need and want it. Without you guys we would still be going back and forth to the hospital.
wormy dogs for kids

Richmond, VA

#2 May 10, 2008
The dogs provided by HSP were in poor condition,(one had worms and was told to sleep with the diabetic child anyways), came no where near the standards of a service dog, and had little training past puppy 101. 3 children were bitten by their dogs and none of the dogs had ADA standard skills.

Lovin Heaven Scent Paws, why don't you tell the story about after your first dog was so frightened by you it wouldn't come away from the wall, you got another dog that poo-ed on your shoe in the classroom - whats not to love?

1/2 the February class has filed for investigation with the Missouri att. gen.(5) There are 13 complaints and 3 more getting ready to file. All from previous classes. The more you dig the more miasma.

I'd wait to find out the outcome of the cases pending against HSP before I got my child involved.
Lovin Heaven Scent Paws

Lakewood, NJ

#3 May 27, 2008
How do you love to leave facts out. Our 1st dog was fine with us until my son decided he didn't want diabetes anymore and constintly made it clear that the service dog started picking up on the negativity and shut down. Your dog had worms because it picked it up from another dog in the back of the hotel where you were not suppose to be pooping your dog and it spreads. The dog pooed in on my shoe because her schedule was completely off as we just received her and was not sure of the schedule as of yet. I do not have to defend myself, my son or his service dog. We did what we had to do to get where we are as we have a dog that alerts. Let me ask you Capri how did you turn such a great dog bad? You are getting on me for defending a company I believe in, what have I done to you? Did I personally attack you? The ONLY complaint you ever had about Bo was how he laid down on his back (his Privates showed, you jokingly asked for boxers). You always agreed privately and publically how great Bo was now all of a sudden there is a place for you to stand out and you take it. Since we are on attack mode I have been wanting to vent something. Everyone, Marisa, Rachel, Jolley, etc. all got sick because of you. I have to give credit to the other families when they or their child was sick they stayed in their room, not you, you had your daughter coughing and sneezing everywhere. My son was sick that weekend prior to leaving and we were 95% out of the class for Feb. He started feeling better that Tuesday and on Thursday 2 days before leaving my doctor felt comfortable enough to write a doctors note. I would have NEVER subjected other diabetics to such a virus. Their immune systems are stressed enough. How could you? Don't get on my case for believing in a company that you don't. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
wormy dogs for kids wrote:
The dogs provided by HSP were in poor condition,(one had worms and was told to sleep with the diabetic child anyways), came no where near the standards of a service dog, and had little training past puppy 101. 3 children were bitten by their dogs and none of the dogs had ADA standard skills.
Lovin Heaven Scent Paws, why don't you tell the story about after your first dog was so frightened by you it wouldn't come away from the wall, you got another dog that poo-ed on your shoe in the classroom - whats not to love?
1/2 the February class has filed for investigation with the Missouri att. gen.(5) There are 13 complaints and 3 more getting ready to file. All from previous classes. The more you dig the more miasma.
I'd wait to find out the outcome of the cases pending against HSP before I got my child involved.
wormy dogs for kids

Richmond, VA

#4 Jun 10, 2008
The woman who wrote the above letter is employed by Heaven Scent Paws. Heaven Scent Paws has been charged by the Missouri Attorney General's Office with fraud. Please see their web site for information about the case. And please contact Todd bickel at the Missouri Attorney General's Office if you have issues which need to be addressed
You can tell by the tone of the above letter so much about the organization. And just by the by my daughter was not diagnosed with the flu as were the families who fell ill. She had constricted lung capacity in the frigid weather, a complication of RSV while an infant. So hard to make that contagious! And my dog did not have worms it was a dog named Eggo who had worms. Bo is a beautiful and wonderful pet dog who does not have the temperament to do service dog work. My concerns were addressed to the "trainers" not to the general class and they were NOT apropriately addressed while we were there nor after we returned home. We are having an appropriate dog trained by a different agency to take Bo's place as a service dog.
Happy with HSP

Ellijay, GA

#5 Jun 10, 2008
I was in the same class with wormy and lovin. My son received a dog from this same class and he is doing wonderfully. He has been around a couple of different service animals, one of which is a drug dog. Guess who's dog was very well behaved and receives compliments daily on how well he is trained in BOTH obedience and alerting. If you will remember wormy, we were all told from the start that these dogs were simply a work in progress. My son was the youngest child in this class and he knows that he has to continue to work with his dog each and every day. You know I believe if you people spent as much time working with your dogs as you have on the internet trying to destroy this wonderful organization, you to might have had wonderful results like the rest of us.
TheDogTrainer

Deerfield Beach, FL

#6 Jun 10, 2008
OK, I am a private trainer that works with kids with Autism, Seizures, etc...

I would never, ever, guarantee that a dog will alert.

As a trainer, I can't make that guarantee. I can only teach response skills out of a dog, and then teach you(IE< Client) how to reward to the dog for alerting behavior and what to look for.

As far as charging(some forums have complaints about organizations charging.)....Not every organization has deep pockets like CCI, or Seeing Eye Foundation. And, unfortunately, anyone who trains assistance dogs has expenses to pay.

I, as a trainer, OFA(Prelim or otherwise) the hips on all dogs(regardless of size), CERF(eye exam), complete blood panel, and thyroid check. If there is something that is very specific to that breed, I check for it.

I put ILP's or register all dogs, and all dogs are sent home with at least a Rally Novice Title on them, or if they can, CD in AKC Obedience.

If a dog has chronic skin or intestional problems, they are "washed" from the program.

I do have rent, utilities, insurance, etc....that has to be paid, as well as buying dog food, etc...

For kids, I will only get dogs that have come from reputable breeders, and been raised with a family. Period. I will not, I repeat, not take a chance with a child and a dog(IE, if the dog was beaten when it was 6 months old by a man in a fendora smoking a cigar, then it might react very negatively to that scenerio in a year----it is almost impossible to put a dog in every environment.)

So, just some late night ramblings(ok, maybe not late, but I was up at 4 am EST working dogs....)
Lovin Heaven Scent Paws

Lakewood, NJ

#7 Jun 13, 2008
I am a volunteer (I am not paid) and I decided to do such after we got home from class (my son has a dog from HSP). They are such a wonderful company and what they do for diabetics is amazing that I just wanted to help and be part of this organization. I still stand by EVERYTHING I said including the illness. My son had RSV when he was a baby as they were twins and born early, so I know all about the respitory illness'. The fact remains you risked the groups health and they all had supressed immune systems!
wormy dogs for kids

Richmond, VA

#8 Jun 18, 2008
Thanks for your sharing your medical expertise. But, you'll forgive me if I stick with the actual doctor's diagnosis.

And you just go ahead and stand behind them. That's wonderful for you. I hope you do have a great dog, and it is helping your son.

Best wishes.
Lovin Heaven Scent Paws

Lakewood, NJ

#10 Jun 18, 2008
I have an awesome dog and so did you, as you even admitted from your own mouth. Thanks for your blessings they are doing great.

“Traditions in moderation.”

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#11 Jun 18, 2008
Gee, and maybe those pads you stick on your feet to suck the toxins out don't work either?

My eyes, they roll.
Just the facts count

AOL

#12 Jun 20, 2008
The facts are HSP are under investigations and there is a long list of things they have done that are not on the up and up. As far as their dogs... some seem to work and some don't. The fact is after paying so much money for a service dog to assist in the care of your child, I would research and wait for the Attorney General's final findings and after the courts decide prior to putting money into something that has a Big Red Flag at the present time. My child's health is too important to risk getting a dog that is not capable of being a service dog, that may bite, and may not be capable at all of picking up a decreased or increased amount of blood sugar levels. Further more, I personally would not do business with a company that has so many complaints against then along with a filing by the Attorney General, and no license or reg. within it's state of doing business. There are reasons that a company espeacially a Charitable org. is required to reg. and submit annual financial reports. Just Facts Count.
Just the facts count

AOL

#13 Jun 20, 2008
FatSean wrote:
Gee, and maybe those pads you stick on your feet to suck the toxins out don't work either?
My eyes, they roll.
Are you in this for a child's health or to bash other people... the facts are out there for the general public to see, read and research... So, why would you bring something up like a person using some toxin foot pads.. That person isn't hurting anyone at all, wheather he or she uses them or not.. The charible org. called HSP can possibly hurt others by there misrepensation of what their dogs can and can not do, and there are just as many complaints filed with the Department of Consumer Services as there are people stating all positive things about them.. So to me, this means only one thing, there is question to the legit claim that their dogs actually can detect increased or decreased sugar levels... I have to ask sincerely, why would you trust a dog at all with your child's health... There isn't a dog out there that has gone to medical school and has a degree. I also don't believe the FDA would approve such methods of checking your child's blood sugar levels either...As a precaution, they might be useful, but not as useful as they are to the blind, wheelchair confined, and hearing impaired... and the HSP dogs they are placing do not seem to be suitable to go into public places either, which actually put others at risk of health problems and situations that can happen with a dog is not properly trained. German shepards are on the top of the list of aggressive dogs. Which is why they make great Police K-9 dogs and guard dogs, and who knows the back round of the mixed breeds they are getting from animal shelters and elsewhere... The dogs they are placing have not been certified by an expert Cert. service dog trainer. I certainly would not want my grandchild around any of HSP dogs, not knowing their backround, and knowing that they truly are not ceritfied service dogs... Another thought.. You are teaching young kids to train these dogs, work with these dogs, and so on.. So, I have to ask why not teach your young child to check his or her own blood sugar levels..and if you have an infant why aren't you capable of checking your child's blood sugar levels? You are the one that ultimately makes the health decissions for your child so I don't see the entire need for these dogs to begin with. If a dog properly trained alerts you that your child's blood sugar is out of wack that is great but again ultimately you are the one that has to take care of the situation or your child. So why not just do what hundreds of thousands have been doing for many years now, taking care of your child instead of relying on a dog to do it for you, which is not full proof no matter how you look at it, and this doesn't cost you $7500. either.. the only cost involved is your own knowlegde and being a parent, which is time you are giving to your child anyway... as you must have to double check your child's sugar levels if a dog alerts you anyway. I don't think any of this is too complicated.. check your child's sugar levels, and if you want to get a service dog make sure the agency your getting it from are experts in offering, and training service dogs for your situation and need.
Lovin Heaven Scent Paws

Lakewood, NJ

#14 Jun 20, 2008
I might be out of my bounds when I say this, but I dont believe so...

I believe both anti-HSP and happy-HSP people along with all other diabetic service dogs owners would agree with me when I say that you are lacking the information as to why some diabetics use service dogs. Diabetic service dogs are NOT to take the place of any health professionals or equipment they are used as an additional tool. NOT ALL diabetics can feel their lows coming on. It is called hypoglymic unawareness (they are not aware that their BG's are dropping). Therefore seizures, black outs and coma's come close behind. Diabetic service dogs are to help prevent this from occuring by the scent changes in the body when your BG drops or raises to dangerous levels. The parents ARE not lazy and most if not all the children that are diabetic except for infants and toddlers know how and do take their own BG. I find your comments insulting to all diabetics and/or their parents. We are all doing what we can to battle this horrible disease and if there is a tool out there to make it that much better for the health of the diabetics that is what we are trying to do.

I am sorry that you feel so negative about Diabetic Service Dogs but that are a great tool in this battle of a disease.
Just the facts count

AOL

#15 Jun 20, 2008
For your information I am well aware of and in favor of any assistance you can get from other means to moniter your BS levels, and not only do I have many friends with the decease but family members as well.. The fact remains, you can not trust any animal full proof to check and alert..... so the only full proof thing is... CHECK IT WITH THE MONITERS IN WHICH HAVE BEEN FDA APPROVED....and teach your childen to check it often, and adults alike... If, and when something comes along to help assist anyone with this horrible decease... WE WILL ALL BE HAPPY... but in this case this is not something that all have to agree with especially when it comes to animals that can be aggressive, and are deemed risk biters...and have been evaluated by an expert to have failed in all levels of being a service dogs...It is my personal opinion that I would not ever trust any animal to alert me when it comes to my own child, if you want to that is your business.... I never called anyone lazy, I didn't say that I didn't agree with it totally, I said I question the legit of the Org. claims, and there are just as many complaints made as there are compliments,...so I would not trust this organization and you can judge me all you choose to... Again get with the facts.. beleive it or not.. HSP's has not been on the up and up.. and if they placed 35 dogs at the tune of $6000.,& $7500. each and in some cases even more...do the math!!!!!!!!!! That is a lot of money and the general public has a right to see their financial report.. oh yeah that's right they don't file one with the state because they think they are above the requirements of the State... I did research this business, and there are too many things to list as far as what they are doing wrong... You will see once the courts take care of it, I think the Attorney General is doing it's job by protecting other from getting ripped off the way many family's already have.
Lovin Heaven Scent Paws

Lakewood, NJ

#16 Jun 22, 2008
I did not mention HSP once in my comment to you. I spoke of Diabetic Service Dogs, period. I am not going to go into a debate with you about HSP. You have your opionion, I have my facts. I wish those in your life with diabetes all the best as you should know how detrimental this disease can be.
Just the facts count

AOL

#17 Jun 22, 2008
Thanks, for your best wishes for my family and those I know with Diabetes.... This entire blog and the issue is about HSP, their dogs, the AG's charges, and the way they have conducted their organization... Which is who, and the only agency I was referring to in any post. Read the last line of my 2nd post...clearly it states "if you want to get a service dog, make sure the agency your getting it from are experts in offering, and training for your situation and need".. READ THE TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE, as well... HEAVEN SCENT PAWS happens to be the subject of this blog! I wasn't referring to any other agency, organization, only about HSP's dogs, and way's they practice doing business... and you know that as well as anyone that posted on this blog or any other blog it is all about HSP's.. Read the first line of my 1st post... It is you that takes only what you choose to read, and that is what this post is all about.. so of course you wouldn't have anything logical to say back because you are
"LOVIN HEAVEN SCENT PAWS" You are entitled to your opinion, but so are others.
Lovin Heaven Scent Paws

Lakewood, NJ

#18 Jun 22, 2008
So because I agree with HSP I am not logical?? First you are saying that these service dogs are agressive and don't alert. Were you at this class? Did you see first hand what ACTUALLY took place? Well I DID! Don't believe EVERYTHING YOU READ! You know NOTHING about me! Yes, EVERYONE is entitled to their opinion but when I am speaking it is from ACTUALLY participating in class as a client with my son. We were in the same class with most of the clients that made a claim with the AG's office against HSP! Sorry, but I am not a follower. I saw what took place during class and immediatly after. I also know to remember that there are 2 sides to EVERY story. What you and everyone else is reading is what was filed with the AG's office. Attorney Generals do not always win their casses, and there are times after times that they just get it wrong. I will no-longer entertain this conversation with you as it is point less. The courts will decide the fate of HSP and my family along with MANY others will be there to back them! I still wish the best to you and yours!
Just the facts count

AOL

#19 Jun 22, 2008
Your right, Lovin I wasn't there, and I'm glad I wasn't because it sounds like it was difficult on everyone involved. I am not taking sides, and I'm actually truly respectful to the fact that you are loyal to what you beleive in, and the facts that you witnessed in the class. There are actually three sides to every story though. Their story, the other party's story and the truth... I'm sure all in their own way beleive they are telling the truth. What I am saying is that I do believe the dogs that were evaluated by an expert did fail to be considered service dogs, and were also considered to be agressive. I honestly do not think the AG would state that they were if they were not, and I do not believe an expert would risk their own reputation even for the AG, experts call it as they see it... When it comes to the statues and laws of the IRS, and State, I'm not going to go into all of that as it is really too complicated for me to explain to you or anyone else. I do have experience in both though, and the statues of the IRS when it comes to 501(C)3 determinations are complicated, and what you are allowed to do and not allowed to do, and what's required and so on...So again your correct, we will all see how it all turns out in the courts... I wish you no harm and I certainly hope your fate is not determined by whatever the courts deside on the outcome of HSP. Although since you a volunteer and not actually employeed by HSP, I really don't think it will effect you, your family, or any other family that got a dog that is sucessful at alerting... My comment about you havng something logical to say.. was because you seem to keep taking things stated on this post out of context... My feeling will remain, I wouldn't trust any animal to alert me of my child's BS.. but I don't put you down for doing so... I'd rather not.. I am sorry that you feel as though this is a personal attack because it certainly was not meant to be... If you knew why I even stumbled on this page you might understand my feelings towards all of it.. but that would be too much for me to explain to you... Take care and wish you well...
JoeCali

Portland, OR

#20 Jun 30, 2008
"When it comes to the statues and laws of the IRS, and State, I'm not going to go into all of that as it is really too complicated for me to explain to you or anyone else."

Hmmm. Not trying to pick a fight here, but if you know so much about IRS 'statues' and laws, you might want to spell it right, unless you really meant to refer to our lovely blind lady justice. Statutes are another story. Anyways though.

How much mistreatment does it take for an animal to become aggressive? And if a family already frustrated with a difficult disease is now frustrated with an animal they expect to perform immediately, how do you think they would treat it? I don't mean they would beat it or anything (not calling you an abuser Capri), but maybe yelling, being angry, or even just unkind to an animal might put them on edge.

I'm not to pro here, maybe we could ask TheDogTrainer, but I've grown up around dogs, worked with dog breeders, etc, and I've never had trouble spotting a dog that had an unhappy owner.

It's amazing how much damage a person can do to an animal out of ignorance.

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