In September of 2014 we contacted Christina Shusterich of NY Clever K9 Inc. to help us with our now 14-month-old dog Ella that we adopted from North Shore Animal League. After paying Christina almost $1,500.00 (one evaluation at $299 and 7 one-hour sessions at $170 per session) Christina told us our only option left was to euthanize Ella. She told us that keeping Ella would be selfish because she's suffering, giving her away would end up in her being abused and ultimately killed, and giving her to a shelter would be worse than killing her because no one would adopt her and she would either be killed or condemned to a life in a shelter. Two days after Christina told us to euthanize Ella we met with another trainer who evaluated Ella. He told us that he has successfully rehabilitated cases much more severe than Ella and euthanizing her is unconscionable. Since meeting with the new trainer Ella has made amazing progress and is on her way to being a well-behaved and balanced dog. When we contacted Christina to request a refund not only did she deny us the refund, but she went on to make a number of false statements about our conduct throughout our time working with her, which even if they were all true, would not begin to justify Christina telling us to euthanize Ella.
During the course of our 7 sessions with Christina Shusterich of NY Clever K9 Inc., she began pharmacological therapy for Ella with Fluoxetine, the generic form of Prozac. She repeatedly, both verbally and in e-mails, gave us instructions on what medications to use and not use, dosage instructions, told us what to tell our veterinarian about the use of medications, and even told us to change veterinarians when our veterinarian would not follow Christina's dosage instructions. After doing some research we found out that it is both illegal and unethical for a trainer who does not have a veterinary license to recommend medication.