The Chicago Tribune has run another story to follow up on the Pepsi Pups fiasco. The follow up article details the fact that none of the ten families have received the promised service dogs from Animals for Autism. The organization’s founder Lea Kaydus applied and won a $50K grant from the Pepsi Refresh project in June of 2011. The purpose was to provide ten free service animals for families in with autistic children.
The latest statement from the grant administrator Global Giving says that Kaydus has not broken any of the grant agreements. The terms of the grant were changed following Animals for Autism’s victory with the grant. Instead of the stated provision of ten service animals, the grant money would be used to provide kennels and equipment for the training facility, a facility that has yet to train even one service dog. The kennel is likely being used to provide a location for their backyard breeding business. This is beyond ridiculous.
All of the families were sent pictures of their dogs and were told that these animals had been placed in the service dog program. The problem is that Animals for Autism faked the pictures sent to the families. The meta data revealed that the pictures were from much earlier than Spring 2011. The fact that Lea Kaydus and Animals for Autism have been allowed to play this idiotic game with families of autistic children is beyond ridiculous. What would be the point of funding a service dog training facility that does not train service dogs?
The reality is that Animals for Autism is nothing but one huge fraud. Illinois Animal Welfare paid a visit to the location and was told that there were only eight dogs present. Think about this for a moment. The Kaydus family is still trying to sell puppies and breeding dogs to have more puppies. So where are the supposed service dogs? Nowhere to be found. This is beyond ridiculous.
By the way, anyone who looks at pictures of those adorable puppies for sale should check the meta data of the image just to see if the dates match. I thought that selling something with the intent to deceive was fraud. One more thing that is simply beyond ridiculous.
Enough is enough. It’s time to call this for what it is, a scam. Why can Pepsi and Global Giving simply admit that they did not check these things out and apologize for their lack of due diligence? Maybe it is simply pride, ego or some sense that they have done nothing wrong. Global Giving stated in the Chicago Tribune article that it is not their role to communicate with the families. Why did they step in to offer moderated calls between Ms. Kaydus and some of the families? It seems like they are now trying to wash their hands of this whole disaster. It’s beyond ridiculous.
Global Giving visited the site in Illinois several months ago. Either Ms. Kaydus somehow found a dozen dogs to show them or Global Giving knows the truth and is lying about it to save face. If this is the best they can do with a grant of $50k, they aren’t much of an administrator. It’s just beyond ridiculous.
There is good news among the Pepsi Pup families. Three of the families will be getting genuine service animals from 4 Paws for Ability over the next year. The Illinois Attorney General’s office is working to get the money invested by the Pepsi Pup families returned. The problem is that there seems to be no money to be seized. Here is a radical thought, since there seem to be no service dogs for the kennel, why not sell some $50k in items from the Pepsi grant to refund money? Now that would be a small piece of justice and far from ridiculous.
Just a thought or two,