I have some very exciting news to share with all of you this morning. Over the past several months, myself along with Giovanni’s therapists and physicians, have been trying to figure out the best way to meet many of his complex needs while helping him reach his fullest potential. We were introduced to an amazing organization out in Ohio called 4 Paws for Ability. They are a nonprofit whose mission is to place quality service dogs with children with disabilities. Each and every dog is specifically trained for the individual child, making sure that the dog is tailored to the child’s specific needs. We just found out that Giovanni has been accepted into the program and will be receiving what called a Multipurpose Service Dog. His dog will be trained to do various things including seizure alert and response, mobility assistance, tracking, tethering, and behavior disruption.
At 4 Paws it costs $22,000 to train and place a service dog with a disabled child. However, the families engage in fundraising activities as volunteers for 4 Paws to qualify for a free service dog. Each family is asked to help raise at least $14,000. By doing this, the waiting list is only as long as it takes the person to complete their fundraising requirement. Most other agencies that work with children have a 2-5 year waiting list as their dogs are “free”. Once we have met our fundraising goal, Giovanni's dog will start the training process which takes approximately 12-15 months. Once the dog completes the training, our family will have to travel to Ohio for two weeks to go through intense training and certification for the dog to be recognized by the ADA as a service dog. The dog will also be required to retest every year.
We are so very excited to have this opportunity presented to us. To start our fundraising efforts we have setup a fundraising page with the help of 4 Paws for Ability. When you make a donation, the money goes directly to the organization in Giovanni’s name. On behalf of Bob, Giovanni, and myself, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support.
Please share this page with your friends!