GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Complaints against a North Carolina service dog training company have been filed across the country, and one hits closer to home than you may expect. KREX 5 News had the chance to meet a local family, who said after months of waiting and thousands of dollars spent, their supposed service dog did not even know how to sit.
Rebecca Webb decided to purchase a service dog for her young daugher Addyson last year. "We've been through some difficult issues with Addyson, she's had some medical issues, neurological issues, things like that, and we started thinking about what can we do to really help her," said Webb.
The family found Ry-Con Service Dogs in May of 2018, a nonprofit service dog training company in North Carolina. "What they told us was that they take Addyson's specific needs into account, they go hand pick a puppy, and then the puppy goes through rigorous training to become a service dog," said Webb.
Webb began making payments in June for the dog, but as the months went on, she started feeling a bit uneasy about the process. "We weren't getting the updates that we thought we should get, we weren't getting real communication, and we started hearing about other families that were having some problems and were returning dogs for aggression and all kinds of things," said Webb.
In November, Webb pulled the dog out of the program. "He came home on a Sunday, and 72 hours later the email went out to all the families that the facility was closing, and they had until the end of the month to pick up their dog," said Webb.
Even though their dog, Padfoot, had been in the program for months, they say when they got him home he did not seem trained. "Wasn't really house-trained, didn't know how to sit, lay down, he jumps, and he was there for five months. It was pretty disappointing," said Webb. The family spent over $10,000 for the dog in total.
One of her daughters said she's mainly saddened by the the fact that her sister did not get the service dog she expected. "They put so much hope into people, you know, my mom was so hopeful and so many of the families that she's talked to that are doing the same thing were so hopeful, and then it was just kind of crushed," said Payton Webb, one of Rebecca Webb's daughters.
Ry-Con Service Dogs has closed, filed for bankruptcy, and the owner has declined to comment to CBS affiliate WNCN in North Carolina.
But the Webbs say they will continue with their own training efforts for Padfoot, and they love him regardless. "One thing about pets is to love them with all your heart," said Addyson Edge.
Over 40 families have filed complaints with the attorney general's office in North Carolina. The attorney general of North Carolina has said if the allegations are found to be true, they will do everything in their power to hold the owner of Ry-Con Service Dogs accountable.
As for Webb and her family, they said the biggest thing they need help with is training. If you want to help, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will help connect you with the Webbs.