Family Says Service Dog Trainer Took Off With Money Raised Through Donations

A suburban community tried to do a good thing by raising about $11,000 to help a little girl. But months later there is nothing to show for all of their donations.

Darcy Tellone said her daughter, Lila, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two years ago and the family now spends a lot of time monitoring Lila’s blood sugar and making sure she stays healthy.

But they were surprised by a recent outpouring of support organized by Lila’s friend, Anya, who started a Go Fund Me fundraiser to help pay for a diabetic alert dog.

“We never really thought about a service dog,” Tellone said. “It was actually out of the kindness of some friends' hearts who started this campaign without us knowing.”

Tellone said the Yorkville family was referred to a business owner in Arizona who would train a dog to detect Lila’s blood sugar events before they became dangerous. She said everything started off well and they were also sent photos of the dog and received updates on his training.

Tellone said she sent the trainer, Breanne Peeples, about $10,000. They also named the golden doodle dog “Mugsy”.

However, the family said they stopped receiving communication from Peeples in January.

“We just want to keep our daughter safe and we wanted this to be a positive outcome and it's kind of a nightmare,” Tellone said.

NBC 5 contacted the woman who sold Peeples the dog training business several years ago. The former owner said Peeples is no longer training dogs and is out of business.

Public records show Peeples does not appear to be in bankruptcy and her business was in good standing.

Peeples did not return a call from NBC 5 requesting a comment.

Tellone said she’s speaking out to warn other consumers.

“I also would love to get the money back and possibly find another service dog for my daughter and I just want the community to know that their support meant the word to us and we're just trying to make it right,” Tellone said.

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