Dog News

Family Unhappy with Service Dog’s Training

by Melanie

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Roxie, a Labradoodle purchased as a service dog member of the Gonzales family, is not exactly working out and the family want the training company to do something about it.

Logan Gonzales is a sufferer of a severe peanut allergy.  He has been hospitalized several times in his life because even just the smell can set off reactions in him similar to anaphylaxis, which for him could be life threatening.  Roxie’s main job is to sniff out any and all peanuts before Logan comes into contact.

“On a scale from one to ten, she wouldn’t even be on the scale for a service dog,” said Logan’s mom, Judy Gonzales.

Angel Service Dogs located in Monument, Colorado is the company Roxie was trained and purchased as a service dog through.  The Gonzales family in very unhappy with the quality of work Roxie does and want Angel Service Dogs to do something about it.

The Oak Harbor, Washington community the family resides in got together and rallied around Logan when he was about seven-years-old, and helped him get $!7,000 to go to Colorado and buy Roxie from Angel Service Dogs.  The meeting between Roxie and the Gonzales family was even featured on the Today Show.  Of the $17,000 raised, $12,500 was paid for Roxie to come and be a part of their family, and hopefully keep Logan safer.  The rest went to travel expenses and getting the family home with their new four legged, furry family member.

The problem seems to be focus.  Roxie becomes far too distracted far too easily in public.

“She gets very distracted by what’s going on around her and doesn’t do her job,” Logan said.

In a nonscientific test, a pound of peanuts were poured onto a table, and Logan was told not to get too near, but close enough where if Roxie were brought in, she should have signaled a warning.  Logan’s mom encouraged Roxie to find the peanuts, but Roxie paid the peanuts no mind at all.  After that, they put a bag of peanuts directly under Roxie’s nose, which should have prompted a reaction as well, but it did not.

“We were told she would be able to pick up peanut residue on your fingers,” Judy said.  “They made me believe it was my fault.”

This is not the first family accusing Angel Service Dogs of wrongdoing when it comes to training and selling their service dogs.  Sherry Mers, founder of Angel Service Dogs had to defend her company publically against a Beth Caudle of Colorado Springs who also claims to have been sold a poorly trained dog.

The Gonzales family is also being backed up by Kate Schreck, whom is the principal of Logan’s school in 2009, when he got Roxie.  She confirms the poor performance of the service dog while Logan had her with him in school.

“To me she appeared to be in puppy mode,” said Schreck.  “She couldn’t even find the jar of peanut butter we would use as a test for her in the classroom.”

Angel Service Dogs did work with them at first to help better train Roxie, with the family present.  Now, for any further help, Angel Service Dogs is demanding and additional $2,500 for a retraining.  The family is not willing to pay the extra money.

“They need to make good on this,” said Judie.  “I just want my son to live as normal a life as possible.”

Any attempts to reach out to Angel Service Dogs have not been answered at this time.