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Into Thin Air: Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism Vanishes

I sometimes wonder if I should be surprised that this has happened – after all there was a significant amount of public outcry directed at their organization.  Their founder, Lea Kaydus, has been dodging questions from the families she is supposed to be helping, the Better Business Bureau, and even the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.  Initially it was just her program’s web site (http://siberiansnowbabies.com/animals_for_autism) and then the Facebook page was taken down after the segment on KING5 Seattle’s Jesse Jones talking about the concerns we had with the program.  It remained down for a few days and was restored minus a comment here and there.  She insisted that all was well and the whole fiasco was nothing more than a simple misunderstanding.  She was “encouraged” by the grant administrators at Global Giving to have more open communication with the families that were in her program.  There has been no real communication between the families and Ms. Kaydus.  In fact it feels like we are being shoved aside since we have had the audacity to question her credentials and credibility.  She has also “relocated” her facility and left no forwarding address.  What are the families to do?

She and her husband currently continue to list puppies for sale at PuppyFind.com under the name Snowbabies and have been so kind to provide a phone number for contact.

There are also several locations in which she provides email addresses for contact as well and rather than ask you to search for them I will consolidate them here for you.
siberiansnowbabies@yahoo.com
illinoisanimalsforautism@yahoo.com
autismserviceanimals@yahoo.com

If her treatment of the families involved has upset you and you would like to voice your concern about what has happened there are people that you may contact.  Apparently, the concerns of the families are not enough to get those with any clout to take notice.  It will take the combined effort of many people.  Let them know.  The following are part of the GlobalGiving.org Grant Team that administer Ms. Kaydus’ grant.
dcallejon@globalgiving.org
kellis@globalgiving.org

Apparently there has been a bit of rearranging at GlobalGiving.org and those that now administer the Pepsi Refresh Project grants are:
Cooper Breeden: cbreeden@globalgiving.org 
Linda Shaffer Oatley: lshaffer@globalgiving.org

Instead of playing musical grant administrators it might just be easier to direct questions and concerns to the founders of GlobalGiving.org themselves.
Mari Kuraishi: mkuraishi@globalgiving.org 
Dennis Whittle: dwhittle@globalgiving.org 

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Sue February 14, 2012, 1:59 am

    Are you saying that the families are not getting any communications from her at all???? (phone calls, private emails, etc)

    It’s hard to know how much we should get involved if she is working with the families privately.

    I would think that persistent, regular phone calls from the families to her would be in order. Record the conversations (be sure to announce at the beginning of the call) and then you’ll have a record of what she is “communicating.” If she is telling inconsistent stories and you have them recorded, then you have something to share with Global Giving and the rest of the world.

    If none of that is happening and she really has disappeared then GG should be told that too.

    You have been doing a good job so far in trying to educate us. Let us know specifically what we can do to help.

    • J. Creighton February 14, 2012, 6:23 am

      That is what I am saying. She has not made any attempt at communication with the families since becoming funded by the Pepsi Refresh grant administered by GlobalGiving. She has ignored all emails to her from the families and provided no information whatsoever. She has refused to go on record.

      GlobalGiving is running interference for her on a regular basis. GlobalGiving knows that she has disappeared. They have “encouraged” her to provide more regular communication and Lea has agreed. Apparently, that means to make it more difficult for people to contact her.

      GlobalGiving stated their position on their blog post here: http://blog.globalgiving.org/2012/01/27/animals-for-autism/

      They have also closed comments on the post. Apparently, nobody wants to hear about it anymore and Lea doesn’t want to talk about it.

      Frustration does not help things.

  • Jen February 15, 2012, 6:39 am

    KC is now the “Champion for Customer Bliss”?????? That’s a hoot!

  • Hldavis04 February 18, 2012, 2:55 am

    I am very surprised a private attorney has not stepped forward to help all of the families.

    • J. Creighton February 18, 2012, 10:25 pm

      The attorney would need to be licensed in Illinois and would be representing families from several states across the country (none in Illinois). We have not been able to find one who would consider taking this case.

  • Barbara Thomas3 February 18, 2012, 7:16 pm

    I sent an email. I hope it helps.

    • J. Creighton February 18, 2012, 7:49 pm

      Thank you Barbara. I hope it helps as well. Seems that they would rather ignore the issue what is happening.

  • guest February 20, 2012, 5:10 pm

    Well maybe they would take notice if word got out that Global Giving supports backyard breeders/puppymillers. Because that is EXACTLY what Lea is, in addition to being a cold, heartless scam artist. REPUTABLE breeders DO NOT advertise on Puppyfind. Period. I cannot believe that GG is still defending her and not angry they THEY have also been scammed.

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