ELLISVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - A service dog could be life-changing for a 5-year-old boy with autism in Ellisville. His family is reaching out for help to make the dog a reality.
Weston Wade was diagnosed with level three autism when he was 3 years old. He struggles with things like communication, anxiety and wandering off.
To help overcome those obstacles, Weston is getting a service dog. He was approved through the organization 4 Paws for Ability. If that name sounds familiar, it is because the organization was featured in episode one of ‘Dogs’ on Netflix.
Weston’s mother said although he has not yet comprehended that he’s getting a service dog, his love for animals ensures he will be excited.
“Weston struggles with comprehension so, you know, even though we talk about it he doesn’t understand that he’s getting a dog," said Cheyenne Wheat. "But he loves animals, and it’s so funny because he, he doesn’t really try to make friends. He would rather kind of be by himself, but when he sees a dog, he’s like all about it. He giggles and giggles, and it’s like the sweetest thing in the world.”
4 Paws for Ability will train the dog specifically for Weston, but it’s an extensive process, meaning the dog will not come cheap.
Weston needs to raise $17,000 to get his new companion. Although that is a big chunk of money, Wheat said there are a lot of conditions the dog will help with.
“I asked that the service dog be trained in tethering, scent tracking, because he does elope a lot. He tends to run away," said Wheat. "It will also assist in transitions, being just like a comfort and security blanket. They’re also known to improve sleep. They train him to lay across him, because Weston likes deep pressure. He likes tightness. He likes hugs and things like that, so when he gets overwhelmed it kind of calms him down.”
To donate to Weston’s service dog fund, there are a few options. One option is to click here.
Donations can also be made by mailing checks to 253 Dayton Ave. Xenia, Ohio 45385 (add Weston Wade in the memo line). Credit card donations can be made by calling (937) 374-0385 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.