Dozens of families file complaints about North Carolina service dog company

Service Dog(Photo: U.S. Air Force / Samuel King Jr.)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — More than 40 families have filed complaints against a recently shuttered North Carolina company that trained service dogs.

WRAL-TV reports Attorney General Josh Stein called the complaints against Ry-Con Service Dogs “deeply troubling,” saying his office is investigating.

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Customers said they paid hefty sums for dogs that weren’t properly trained to work with their special-needs children.

Rebecca Peluso of Florida says she paid $9,600 for a dog meant to calm her 6-year-old daughter with autism. She says the dog was an “underweight, skittish mess.” DeAnna Ranheim says she paid $14,600 for what amounted to a “very cute, very expensive pet” for her daughter with cerebral palsy.

Ry-Con founder Mark Mathis says financial difficulties caused the closure, which affected training, and the problems weren’t the result of a “willful act or scam.”