Service dog company facing lawsuit

Jan. 12, 2009 at 2:28 PM
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AURORA, Colo., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Missouri's attorney general is suing a service dog company, claiming it is guilty of scamming its customers by offering under-trained dogs.

The lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster alleges Heaven Scent Paws provided diabetes sufferers with dogs that were unable to complete their advertised tasks, The Denver Post reported Monday.

The Cole County Circuit Court suit also alleges the company failed to refund its clients money after they attempted to return the service canines.

Among the 28 customers who complained about the company's dealings was 13-year-old Mark Rinkel of Aurora, Colo. Rinkel had tirelessly worked a lemonade stand in 2007 to raise enough money to purchase a Heaven Scent dog for his 11-year-old brother Jason, who has type 1 diabetes.

Heaven Scent markets specially trained dogs online and offers dog-owner training at its Missouri location.

Attorney David G. Bandre, who is representing the canine company, said his client was not responsible for some dogs' inability to recognize changes in their owner's blood-glucose levels.

"A core group of about 10 families who are unhappy with Heaven Scent Paws never followed through on their contractual relationship with the company, including the follow-up care and training at home," he told the Post.

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