Families who had been holding out hope that they would receive a service dog this spring to help a child with autism have all but given up on a program they now fear was mismanaged from the start.
In February the Tribune reported on complaints from families across the nation about a central Illinois dog trainer who told them they had won service dogs for their children, only to cut off communications when they started asking questions about her credentials and operations.
The dog training operation, called Animals for Autism, was founded by Lea Kaydus, who with the families' help won a $50,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project to train and place the dogs. Kaydus had said the dogs would join their families by spring 2012.
At the time of the Tribune's story, Kaydus had surfaced after a long silence with a January email to families. Since then, the parents say, they've heard nothing from Kaydus. They also say they have received no solid information from Global Giving, the company hired to manage the grant and project for Pepsi.Also see video here.