Monday, August 1, 2011

SO mad... diabetes alert dog update

I'm SO mad, I can barely type...let me start at the beginning.

Two months ago, I decided to apply for a diabetes alert dog. There was an article in the Oregonian that prompted me, so I signed, I love dogs and don't have one of my own. The dog in my picture is my brother's dog, and while I do live with a dog (my roommate's dog), it's not my own.

I'm not sure if I should mention the company's name.

I know the dogs are in high demand, but they were training dogs for limited locations, and Oregon was one of them. Plus the dogs only cost $150. They said that it can take up to a year and they require you to go through part of the training with the dog they select for you, but that doesn't guarantee you a dog. Plus, they don't even reply when you apply for one...because they're in demand, you might not even get a response for several months. I think that when you apply for something like a dog, you SHOULD at least get a response that says we received your application, just so you know it went through.

So TODAY, I decided to randomly check the site. And. I notice. It says they are currently only placing dogs in northern and central CA. When I applied, it did not say this. Confused, I emailed them to see what was going on.

I got this response:


We appreciate your interest in XXX. Over the past months we have reviewed and made changes to our training program in order to continue providing the high quality assistance dogs that our clients deserve.

We realize the effect an assistance dog can have on managing diabetes and we know the need is great The value our program results from the high standards we set, both in training our dogs as well as diabetic clients.

A decision has been made to focus our services on those living in the Northern and upper Central California areas and to discontinue our two week program.

Client feedback and data assessment indicate that the most successful partnerships are created when clients attend weekly training sessions over an extended period, and attend monthly follow-up sessions. We will continue to assess our program and hope to offer other training options in the future that will once again extend our service area to Oregon.

We regret we cannot serve you at this time. Please periodically check in with us on our website. While we do not have a specific recommendation for another program, you can check the website for Assistance Dogs International ( to see if they are able to identify an accredited service in Oregon.

Best Wishes,


WTF. They decided to change things and not NOTIFY anyone? What about all the people in Oregon and other states who applied? I never received any kind of notification about the change, and if I hadn't randomly checked their website, I would have continued waiting. I emailed them back and told them this...that I was extremely disappointed and that if I had known, I would have searched other places for an alert dog. I don't think it's fair that they didn't at LEAST notify people in Oregon and other states...and I'm sad thinking that some of those people might still be waiting for a response because they're not aware of this random change in their program.


  1. Hopefully after your thoughtful response they will notify the other applicants as well. So sorry to hear about this Valerie.

  2. I can't stand companies that don't respond when you've contacted them...and then to change their program and not send out a notice, especially when they've were featured in an article. Just plain rude!

  3. it really stinks you submit an application then just wait, like youre floating in an abyss :( if they couldve just group emailed all applicants to notify of the changes it wouldnt have been such a blow. that really sucks im sorry thats the case. maybe some better opportunity is heading your way?

  4. So sorry Valerie. This is very disappointing :(

  5. Well, clearly they lack communication skills. Bet they don't communicate with their dogs either.

    It sounds like you were so excited. I'm sorry...

  6. That's so messed up! I'm sorry :( I hope you find your doggy soon!

  7. That is definitely not ok that they didn't at least respond to you or inform you of their change. How ridiculous and unprofessional! I hope that you are able to find a dog through another place instead that will be more on the ball. :o)

  8. Oh no! I'm so sorry. I would be totally disappointed too. I'm glad you checked the site and I'm glad you responded to their email --- they need to know that it is not ok to just ignore the applicants.

  9. OH NO!!!!! You were developing a plan for your life...getting things in order, thinking about the investment, and on the road to a new relationship...and they just CHANGE THE RULES???

    I'm so sorry.

    You deserved notification right away.

    I'd like to spontaneously change the rules for a few things too. Shouldn't be an issue, right?

  10. Glad you replied to them, hope that prompts them to send notice to the others that applied. I saw a place called Warren Retrievers (Diabetic Alert Dogs) on facebook, I think they are in Virginia, maybe check them out? Good luck finding your dog, it's a wonderful idea!

  11. How frustrating! Seriously, we're in need of some diabetes wins, right?

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