RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The president and executive director of Ry-Con, Mark Mathis, has been indicted on 42 counts of obtaining property by false pretense. It’s a story CBS 17 has been following for three years.
“It would give me a sense of independence,” Katelyn Ranheim, a Raleigh teen said.
Katelyn had high hopes for her service dog, Boone. The teen has cerebral palsy.
“There was always a fear of I was going to fall. And so having a service dog, that was my new companion of balance,” she said.
Her family spent months raising money. In the end, they said they paid Ry-Con more than $14,000 for Boone.
“We finished paying Mark and Mark was like, ‘Take the dog home. He’s ready.’ And we’re like, he’s not ready, he wasn’t even potty trained,” said Deanna Ranheim, Katelyn’s mother.
He was also skittish around people and barked a lot. Deanna said she kept going back to Mathis. Then she said the nonprofit closed.
“We didn’t receive anything that we were promised,” Katharine Evaul, a Morrisville mom said.
Evaul tells a similar story. She also fundraised, ultimately paying $15,000 for her service dog, Einstein.
The Ranheim’s and Evaul’s are among the more than 50 complaints that the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office said it received.
“He represented that dogs could perform services to people that he knew they couldn’t do,” said Attorney General Josh Stein.
“Honestly, I’m thrilled. I didn’t think I’d be this excited… this man really hurt our life in ways I don’t even think I fully comprehended,” Evaul said.
“There’s going to be justice done. Mostly we don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Ranheim said.
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