Welcome to Pet Expo Facts.
Sadly, due to a number of incidents that have occurred since June of 2017, we have found ourselves in a position where we, after having produced 210 Pet Expos, Pet Cons and Pup Runs in the past ten years, are dealing with a number of negative items in the press, a lot of misinformation, and sadly, a group of former exhibitors that continue to keep this all going, long after it should have been over.
This whole thing is going to sound fantastical, impossible and insane. So I am adding documents, screenshots, audio files and other items that will verify what I am saying is true. Trust me, I often do not believe this all myself.
It started when we hired an accountant to serve as our Controller/in-house Director of Finance. She was, on paper, the perfect candidate. We had grown from producing 4 pet events nationwide in 2010 to 33 in 2016. We grew fast, and our staff of 25 was usually traveling, preparing to travel or returning from travel. We began to accumulate debt, and we felt there were areas where we were losing money, or spending too much or too little in certain areas. Hiring a CPA was,in our opinion, a no-brainier.
Before I go further, I should tell you a little about us. Our company is managed by my wife and me. I am William Rilenge and she is Sheila. We have two adult children, two grandchildren and a daughter-in-law that works here who we adore. My background is in advertising and marketing and Sheila was a lobbyist for an animal welfare organization here in Missouri. She was instrumental in the writing and passing of legislation that made cockfighting, bear wrestling and bestiality illegal in the state. She also fought against puppy mills and was and is a true advocate for animals. As you might imagine we have and have had a LOT of pets. While we no longer have 25 employees, we do have four people that have each been with us over five years, and three new team members that we like a lot. Sadly, the have had to witness a lot of insanity. This is us:
Now that's out of the way and I can get back to the CPA. There is a menu item on this page labeled Veeda G. Veeda was the CPA I hired. This is where I should point out that Sheila is and has always been smarter than me. She wanted to hire a firm, I wanted an in-house individual. I was thrilled with Veeda. Sheila was not. I pushed and pushed and got my way. To say I have paid dearly for getting my way is a gross understatement.
When I hired Veeda in 2017, we had five employees that were either on the board of Pride St. Louis or worked the event every year. We have always tried to have an accepting and diverse office, and it was understood that during PrideFest each year, these employees would be out of the office for an extended period. When I mentioned this to Veeda, who would be handling HR matters like vacation time, she did not indicate that she had a deep-rooted hatred for homosexuals. This is where the trouble began.
I knew that Veeda was very religious, and I am as well. My faith has gotten me through some tough parts of this. Sadly, religion can sometimes be dangerous, particularly if someone has an untreated mental condition, like Veeda. I will not go into all of the craziness here. The short version is that she hated all of our LBTQ staff members, she thought I was the anti-Christ (an opinion also held by my ex-wife, but this was a little different). Veeda set out to ruin us, put us out of business, and nearly succeeded. Had her own adult daughter not alerted us, she most definitely would have. On the Veeda G page of this site, I will share all of the documentation supporting this, so I will stop on that subject for now.
The purpose of this page is, really, an effort to get our names back. This whole story is so...bizaarre. No one really believes it except for those that lived it and still live it. The Better Business Bureau does not believe it, or the TV stations, the newspapers or any media. So we will attempt here to set the record straight.
We are also using this to fight back. We have tried to follow all the standard "PR" guidelines, and they have gotten us nowhere. So I am going to be incredibly unprofessional and just lay it all out. We have been trashed in the media, lied about by the Better Business Bureau, and we have suffered serious harassment and experienced tremendous damage stemming from the actions of some former clients - Lori Weese and Daren Alick of Across America Boxer Rescue, Rachel Davis of Lily's Pad Rescue, Nicole Berkhout of Barking Spot Bakery and some others. They were all involved with a woman named Heather Schwab, and I will detail all of that as well. As for Veeda, she was arrested and charged, but when she was awaiting her court date, she disappeared and no one seems to know where she is. I do get, as you will see, periodic texts from her. They are lovely.
You reach a point where you have lost enough, been called a scam artist, trashed by the media, lied to, sabotaged, manipulated and you just finally have to fight back, so we are.
One last thing - I messed up. I made a bad hire, I did not listen to my wife's/partner's input. I did not do a background check. She was not even a real CPA. So I am not saying I am just a victim here, but this has gone on long enough.
You can find tabs at the top of the page that provide a lot of information.
If you have questions, call me. 1-800-977-3609.