COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A service dog provider in Colorado Springs is now closed. Thirty-eight formal complaints against "Noelle's Dogs Four Hope" prompted an investigation and now the facility has agreed to hand over its license.
The Colorado Agricultural Department found sanitation violations, some dogs were served cat food, and dogs were sold even though they had diseases and injuries.
Briggs Geister's husband, Robert has multiple disabilities.
“It is difficult for him to get out and walk around," she said. "I thought 'well a service dog might be the answer.'"
For $9,000 this family got the opposite of what they needed.
“She wasn’t what she was advertised to be," Geister said. "She became this huge liability to us."
After eight days this couple gave the dog back, with no refund and no explanation.
“It was more than a disappointment, it was something that really disrupted our lives and our souls. For this to happen to disabled people, is to me heinous.”
“We had some family, who the dog was supposed to be an epileptic seizure alert dog and the dog would almost knock the child over," Nick Fisher with the Department of Agriculture said. "The dog wouldn’t alert to when the child was having a seizure so it didn’t alert to the parents or anything like that.”
The Colorado Department of Agriculture found Noelle's made false promises. Over the course of four months, the company failed multiple inspections.
“We give every facility the leeway to come into compliance with the rules,” Fisher said.
The department is now in an agreement with Noelle's. The company has to give up its license for two years.
“I am glad that she’s closing. I am concerned that she’ll open up again under a different name because as long as there’s nothing criminal attached to her she can do that again, she can go out and hurt people again,” Geister said.
The owners of Noelle's can reapply for a license after the two years is up, but the Department of Agriculture always takes previous incidents into consideration before anyone can get their license back.