I read the article and I feel for the parents/owners...
BUT - um really $20,000 for a PUPPY? How did they possibly think that a 3 month old PUPPY would be fully trained as a service dog, especially as an alert dog for a person the dog had never met? This puppy would not be in tune to this kid and his body makeup/scents as soon as it came off a plane? Not to mention any normal service dog (ie guide dog, etc) is much older when placed in a home to work, which they admit to knowing...so didn't they question how a puppy would be able to do this? I get the feeling this family did not do enough research going into this and went the easy route by going with the company that delivered the dog to you (rather than having to go to a training center to bond/train and pick up your dog, which is the norm). The fact that they thought they wouldn't have to do any training is amazing to me.
That all being said, I can see how they just wanted their son to be safe and were easily taken in by this snake oil salesmen!
I do think the company is horribly in its practices and is g-d awful for going after extra money raised. I hope this raises enough attention that this supposed service dog agency is shut down.
London - Senior GSDish
Taz - Teenage Rottweiler
Roo - LHGSD pup