UPDATE 1/4/14 – Bennett has removed the video showing his fake therapy dogs interacting with a child from public viewing private. Here’s a screenshot of the video in case you didn’t see it.
The story about Brett Bennett and his Rottweilers is getting more ominous.
On January 24 he posted this video of his “crying Rottweiler” named Brutus laying his head on another Rottweiler named Hank who Bennett claimed died of a “broken heart” after he yelled at the dog a few days earlier.
Then, on January 30, he posted this fundraiser on indiegogo asking people to give him $100,000 to help him buy his “grieving rottweiler” a new home.
This was just one of a few fundraisers he issues to get money from people who watch his videos.
Here’s one from early January asking people to give him $5000 to “Help Hank and Brutus buy a new home.” He collected over $6300 on that one.
On Sunday I wrote an article that raised questions about the validity of Bennett’s fundraisers, provided a link to his criminal record (which includes a hit and run conviction), and showed a text message exchange in which he admitted he was scamming donors by by using the money they donated to pay off “legal matters” and “everyday bills.”
But yesterday I discovered one of his own videos (it is no longer on youtube) that shows he used a more devious method to use his dogs to raise money for himself – pretending they are therapy dogs at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Hank and Brutus Therapy Dog Rottweiler Twins visit a child in the waiting room at childrens Hospital, Seattle, WA. He was not feeling well and the Twins did their best to make him smile 🙂
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/he… Please don’t forget to donate…There is only one week left!”
Seattle Children’s Hospital does have a therapy dog program that it runs in conjunction with Pet Partners (formerly the Delta Society).
All dogs in the program MUST be screened and registered as therapy dogs through Pet Partners. Any dogs that aren’t registered with Pet Partners cannot be therapy dogs at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
A representative of Pet Partners told me yesterday that Brett Bennett did NOT register through Pet Partners.
Furthermore, Seattle Children’s volunteer program prohibits certain breeds, including Rottweilers, from being therapy dogs at the hospital.
Dogs in the program at also required to wear specific bandanas from therapy dog program. Bennett’s dogs had generic bandanas from either PetSmart or Petco.
I do want to clarify that Bennett never said he registered his therapy dogs through Pet Partners. He never said they are in the therapy dog program at Seattle Children’s either.
However, because they weren’t registered through Pet Partners, and because they are Rottweilers, Bennett did not have permission to bring his dogs in the hospital.
Apparently, that didn’t deter Bennett. He tried to bring Brutus and Hank inside Seattle Children’s twice last month.
People familiar with both confrontations said Bennett heatedly argued with staff who prevented him from entering the hospital. In at least one instance he flipped them the bird when he wasn’t allowed to enter.
After the second visit, Seattle Children’s security department sent him a letter warning him not to come back again.
He must have taken the video after his first visit because both dogs are in it. He claims that the dogs visited a “sick autistic deaf child” in a waiting room at Seattle Children’s.
Nothing in the video that indicates the child is autistic, deaf, or sick.
He could have been, but given what we know about Bennett now it’s not unreasonable to believe he made it up. After all, he tells a direct lie to the child’s mother in the video when he says, “They’re therapy dogs, we just don’t have an appointment. There’s a kid in chemotherapy up there and they said it’s a restricted area.”
And you can see in the video that Hank and Brutus don’t appear to act like therapy dogs. Trained therapy interact with patients and give their their full attention. Bennett’s dogs spend their time scrounging for crumbs of food on the floor and hardly interact with the boy.
This KING 5 video shows how a therapy dog and its handler interact with patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
The dog has an orange bandana clearly identifying it as a therapy dog with the hospital.
So why did Bennett try to get inside Seattle Children’s Hospital twice with his dogs? Was he just trying to help the kids, or was he just trying to get inside so he could shoot a video of the dogs with a sick child to tug at people’s heartstrings and get them to open their wallets?
Well, if he really wanted to use Hank and Brutus as therapy dogs he would have registered them through Pet Partners instead of attempting to sneak them inside twice. And he did conveniently include a link to one of his indiegogo fundraisers with the video.
I suppose Bennett’s dogs could have been trained as therapy dogs at some point during the 2 years he’s had them. He may very well have a soft spot in his heart for sick kids and wanted to use Brutus and Hank to help them. But his actions indicate he was mainly concerned about staging a touching video of his dogs with a sick child to raise money.
In closing, I’ll repeat an important message I used to close my last post:
DO NOT GIVE YOUR MONEY TO BRETT BENNETT!