March 2, 2013
I am a long time dog trainer and pet professional. I was asked by North Star to foster a dog for a family. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. I saw the web site and eagerly awaited the day I would foster the dog. I had already fostered for another agency so I couldn't wait for the training I was told I would receive for my new foster dog. After recieving my dog, I was literally alone. There was NO training, NO support, and honestly NO knowledge from Patti Gross whom I had spoken with only once. I was on my own for vet bills, dog food, even heartworm medicine. Worst of all, there was absolutely NO training for me and when I called, and called, and called, I finally was told that it would all be forthcoming. Another lie. The dog that North Star had given me was fearful and had even growled at a small child who was not even touching the dog, and when I told Patti Gross that I did not trust this dog to be placed with a child, she told me to make it work because the dog had already been "sold" to a family. I was absolutely floored! Shortly after, I met anotehr foster who was also attempting to communicate with North Star, Same story, This woman has absolutely NO CLUE how to raise or train a dog. She is the mother of an autistic child. She is not in any way even a barely competent dog trainer...she is a scam artist. The other foster home complained that the dog they had been given was also fearful and unstable and they felt that it should not be around small children. After reading a few reviews from parents, and learning that PAtti Gross breeds dogs in her basement, without even AKC papers at a bare minimum, I am even more outraged. You are breeding dogs with epilepsy, diabetes, and dysplastic hips. I was so disgusted by this experience that I have now decided to train to become a certified canine behaviorit and certified service dog trainer at a New Jersey based non-profit, that gives free service dogs, not charging families $10,000 or more, for something that is not only unstable, or downrighgt dangerous. This otehr agency does not charge parents, and does not even allow families to demean themselves by begging, I mean fundraising, so that the CEP can get a salary. And really, North Star CLAIMS to have placed only 100 dogs in 10 years? That's only 10 dogs per year. That's small potatoes. And, if the dog I fostered and the one the other family fostered are any indication of the quality of those 100 supposed service dogs Patti Gross claims to have placed, North Star is either just an inept group, or downright scammers. The non-profit I am now hoping to work with has placed hundreds and hundreds of service dogs, and has an amazing foster trainnig program, one that is taught by one of the top dog behaviorists in the country. Novel idea, a service dog actually being trained by a professional dog trainer. PLEASE do your homework and don't give ANYONE your money or your trust until you see results. North Star is not the only inept one out there either...unfortunately, many of these agencies do not even have a basic knowledge of canine behavior. And sorry Patti, being a mother of one special needs child does NOT make you an expert on anything. How much salary do you take per year from your 10 "service dogs" placed by a "team of North Star professionals"? It is so sad that so many families are being scammed by you. I wonder who really wrotethose positive reviews too, since I have not heard a single good thing about this group from a parent or foster. Please do your homework if you are looking for a service dog. Please stay away from this woman. She doesn't even return calls unless you are giving her $10,000 dollars. After that, you'll never hear from her again. So sad. So evil. Why can't I give North Star 0 stars. The minimum is still one star. They don't even deserve that.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?