Service dogs are costly investments, and two women claim that they've fallen victim to an expensive and dangerous service dog scam.
Service dogs are highly trained animals which can perform various tasks to help people with medical conditions. Service dogs often assist people with mobility issues, diabetes, and epilepsy, helping to keep the people safe. But multiple women state that they have fallen victim to a service dog scam, and they took this scam public on "Dr. Phil."
The women, Melinda and Michelle, both state that they have been scammed by Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers, SDWR. SDWR trains Labrador Retrievers to be service dogs for people with diabetes. The dogs are supposedly trained to detect the glucose levels in their owners, and some of the dogs can perform additional tasks such as bringing their owners a juice box, fetching insulin, and calling 911 during emergencies.
But Michelle and Melinda say that their experience with the company was very different. Melinda bought a diabetes service dog for her 11-year-old son, but says that instead of receiving a trained service dog, she received an untrained puppy. Melinda states that the puppy she received has never been exposed to the scent of a diabetic, and after posting about the issue on social media, SDWR filed a lawsuit against her for defamation.
Michelle paid $26,000 for a trained service dog from SDWR to help her diabetic son. The dog she received, Alan, was sick when Michelle received him. Michelle states that multiple vets agree that Alan was overbred and has a weak immune system as a result, an issue common with puppies from puppy mills. Michelle has paid an additional $4,000 to care for Alan's medical issues.
In addition to receiving dogs which can't perform the tasks they are intended for, Michelle and Melinda cite that SDWR dogs come with complex contracts which are not disclosed prior to purchase. Both women bought the service dogs to keep their children safe, but claim that neither dog is up to the task.
The owner of SDWR did not appear on the show, citing an unavoidable conflict. Dr. Phil then asked to film footage at the SDWR facilities, but the request was denied.
If you plan to get a service dog, it is best to do thorough research into any trainer or organization that you plan to use. Be sure to check references and do some online searches into the reputation of the business.
WATCH NOW: Pets Lead to Good Health