Several California families said they were duped after forking out thousands of dollars for trained service dogs.
A civil lawsuit was filed against a Yuba County non-profit for allegedly providing untrained dogs as service animals to special needs families.
A Sacramento family joined the legal fight, demanding for their money back.
Parker Saake, 6, suffers from ADHD and anxiety. His parents heard that a service dog could help with his anxiety issues. They came across Pawsitive Service Dog Solutions, a Yuba County non-profit that places service dogs with special needs families.
"Having a dog and going through this process would bring a lot of peace and calming to our family and to our son's life," said Adrienne Saake, Parker's mother.
They handed over $12,500 to the company to breed, raise and train their service dog. But what they didn't know was that the non-profit was filing for bankruptcy.
Despite the fact that they paid the full amount for a service animal, the family said they were told by the executive director Carmel Mooney that they wouldn't be getting a dog.
"I feel like I'm in a nightmare. That someone would go to these depths with families with special needs children and take their money," said Saake.
Weeks passed when they finally received a call from the company's bankruptcy attorney.
"Out of the blue, they said, you can go pick up your dog," recalled Sean Reiner, Parker's father.
He immediately picked up their dog, named Jackson, but just after a few days, they noticed something wasn't right.
"He had not even passed basic training yet. So he was nowhere near a service animal," said Saake.
The dog that was supposed to provide Parker some sense of security and calmness turned out to be a burden.
"He would bite at his hands and his leg," said Saake.
The Sacramento family wasn't not alone.
A civil complaint filed on behalf of 3 families alleges the company would only spend $200 per dog and pass them off as service animals.
"These service dogs ultimately hurt and became more trouble than a regular dog would be," said Matt Coleman, attorney representing the Saake family.
The family was forced to give up the untrained dog but never received their money back.
News 10 attempted to reach Pawsitive Solutions for comment but did not hear back from them or their attorney.