Dog trainer takes service dog from 11-year-old diabetes patient

"I just want my dog back. I want my friend back," said Alayna. (Photo Source: family)
"I just want my dog back. I want my friend back," said Alayna. (Photo Source: family)

(WMC) - An 11-year-old girl with diabetes is missing her service dog, Major. That's because investigators say a dog trainer from Arvada, Colo. won't give him back.

It all started back in March of this year, when 11-year-old Alayna Barnes welcomed Major into her home.

"I'm gonna be able to sleep by myself. I was just so excited," said Alayna when he first arrived.

Alayna is living with Type 1 juvenile diabetes. Diagnosed at age 6, her blood sugar levels got so bad she couldn't even sleep in her own bed. That's why her parents, Amanda and Edmond Barnes, decided to get her a service dog.

"He's gonna protect me, he's gonna keep me safe," said Alayna. "When I got Major I was like, it's gonna be much better. And it was, it was a whole lot better."

Her family had to raise $20,000 to purchase and train the dog but the communities in St. Francis County, Arkansas helped raise all that money.

"To us it's not just our dog, this is a community effort that pulled together to make this happen for our daughter," said Amanda Barnes.

Major was trained by Julie Noyes of Arvada, Colo. Before the Barnes family purchased her they had to sign a contract that stated the dog would be removed if they abused or neglected it. If it was removed they would not receive a refund. They had already paid $12,000 by the time the contract was presented so they signed it.

That was in December of 2013, in March of 2014 they got Major.

"This dog went to school with my daughter, he sat in class with her all day, was in public with us. The whole community interacted with this dog," said Amanda.

But Major wasn't detecting low blood sugar as early as he was supposed to, so Noyes recommended they fly Major back to Colorado for additional training. On July 5 they put Major on a plane to Colorado, happy and healthy. Hopeful that he would be back in a few weeks, ready to be by Alayna's side.

"Everyone knows what our dog looked like when he left our hands," said Amanda.

But when Major arrived in Colorado, the family didn't hear from Noyes at all. She confirmed that he arrived and that he was overweight. But when Amanda Barnes tried to get information about his training progress she was contacted by Noyes' lawyer. They lawyer said she had documented proof that Major had been abused and neglected and that he wouldn't be coming back.

The Barnes family contacted the St. Francis County Sheriff and he had Noyes arrested for theft of property. An Arkansas judge signed a warrant for Noyes' arrest. She was arrested by Jefferson County deputies last Thursday and taken to jail. She is out on bond.

The Barnes family doesn't want their money back, they want their dog back. So that life can get back to normal.

"This is our daughter's life," said Amanda Barnes.

WMC Action News 5 called Noyes at the number she gave Amanda Barnes, she did not answer or return the call. The sheriff says he's working on extraditing her to Arkansas so she could face charges.

"I just want my dog back. I want my friend back," said Alayna.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.