Dog trainer runs off with couple's money

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PHOENIX - A Valley couple turned to a dog trainer to teach their pet some patience, but their help turned into trouble.

This Valley couple was told that the initial consultation would be free if they signed a contract with the company, but as you're about to see while the trainer evaluated their pups he was really chasing the couple's checkbook.

Patty Evans and Robert Kay say it's their dogs' berserk behavior that drove them to seek the help of a pet trainer.

"We just love em, we just wanted them to be right, we just didn't know how," Kay said. "We just wanted somebody else to show us how to train them."

That somebody was Aaron Ross, the owner of A North American Dog Training Academy.

"We got a guy, it wasn't gonna cost that much after we compared it to everybody else, we thought we were getting a smoking deal, it was a smoking deal alright," Kay said.

That so-called smoking' deal turned cold less than a month after the couple signed a contract with A North American Dog Training Academy.

Patty and Robert say after just three short sessions with their dogs Prince and Penelope, Aaron Ross disappeared.

"Each weekend it was something else, something different, this or that and then when he got his last payment he just never called never showed up," Evans said.

Having nothing but a phone number to contact Ross, Evans and Kay turned to the internet to try tracking down their trainer.

They found the company's address.

"We drove by there and it is a legitimate apartment complex, there was a legitimate apartment number, so it is a legitimate address, whether he lives there I don't know," she said.

3 On Your Side wanted to find out.

We made several visits to the address given for A North American Dog Training Academy which turned out to be a West Phoenix Apartment.

We weren't able to catch up with Ross, but he assured us over the phone he would resolve the issue with Evans and Kay.

"That first phone call he made back to us he said you guys contacted 3 On Your Side and it kind of freaked him out on that you know," Kay said.

After 3 On Your Side got involved, Ross agreed to return $300 of the $550 Evans and Kay paid him, but like the original deal, the refund arrangement would also turn out to be too good to be true.

"We did get some money back from Mr. Ross," Evans said. "He showed up over one weekend and brought us some of the money and was supposed to return the following weekend and we haven't heard from him since."

To date, the trainer has only paid them back $146, but Evans and Kay say they are happy at least they got some of the money back.

Here is a list of reputable dog trainers from the American Kennel Club,