The image displayed was neither created nor authorized by the FSDS.
It has come to our attention that our logo has been used without our knowledge or permission. It has been altered, and used to advertise not only an affiliation with our program, but create a misleading impression that trainers at various sites have earned a credential through us as a “Certified Evaluator”.
We have been informed that the problem is arising from a home office / parent company that manages domain names and websites for affiliate businesses. Though Notices of Infringement were sent to all trainers affected, we have received responses from only 2 of them. Thus, our understanding of precisely what the arrangement is between the owner of the parent company and individual businesses remains limited, and we do not wish to misspeak. We present here information as it has been provided to us. These businesses operate under the umbrella of “Off Leash K9 Training”.
Our logo has been altered by an unknown person, and a search of all of their published sites yesterday revealed that it appears on 62 different business domains, including two here in Arizona. Notices of Trademark Infringement were sent and we notice this morning that our logo has been taken down from their main site. We continue to identify, however, instances where the logo remains on the sites of their affiliate programs.
To be clear in an effort to eliminate any confusion:
- The FSDS has no active affiliation with the business owner.
- The FSDS Outreach Program permits qualified trainers to become Evaluators for the purpose of evaluating and administering our Certification Test to teams seeking to earn a legitimate SD team certification. Thus, we certify SD teams, not Evaluators.
- This badge is not authorized by the FSDS, nor at any time have we authorized any business to alter our logo in any manner.
We ask our followers to be vigilant, and if you discover any suspicious use of our logo please contact us immediately at: firstname.lastname@example.org In the past few years, this is the third serious example that has come to our attention of unauthorized logo use, and in some cases we become aware through observant and responsive readers who took the time to bring this to our attention. In each case, the offender was dealt with swiftly following appropriate existing protocols in place in society to address such matters. We remain grateful to those who have reached out and help us to ensure that our business and services are honestly portrayed to the community at all times.
Editorial Note of 11/1/2018: Subsequent to the posting of this article on our website PLUS on Facebook it appears that the situation has been corrected. This, however, did not occur before it cost the FSDS many hours of staffing and aggravation to research the matter thoroughly, place (unanswered) phone calls to the offender, consult with legal counsel and ultimately send Notices of Infringement to all individuals whose sites this fraudulent badge appeared on. We duly note that though the logo has been taken down, the owner of this business has made no effort to reach out and contact the FSDS either verbally or in writing to apologize for the trouble that this has caused.