April 2 was World Autism Awareness Day but helping to kick off Autism Awareness Month, Blum announced they are partnering with Paws With a Cause for an amazing purpose. Over the next year, we are hoping to raise $30,000 to sponsor a service dog for a Chicago family with an autistic child!
In 1981, Mike and his wife Antoinette (Candye) founded Ears For The Deaf, which came about after Mike helped train a dog to assist his friend who was hearing impaired. Then in 1989, Ears For The Deaf changed its name to Paws With a Cause (PAWS) and the first litter of puppies who were bred to be assistance dogs were born. Per their official website, “PAWS trains Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs and Service Dogs for Children with Autism. We do not train dogs to assist with PTSD, diabetes, blindness, psychiatric disabilities or emotional support (as a primary condition). As of 2012, PAWS trained its 2,500th assistance dog and to date more than 2,600 dogs have been placed with people nationwide.
While PAWS does amazing things for people with all different types of disabilities, Blum decided to focus on fundraising to sponsor a service dog for an autistic child. These service dogs, “act as constant companions to children with autism to help them improve social interactions and relationships, expand verbal and nonverbal communication, teach life skills, increase interest in activities and decrease stress within the family.” The assistance and support these service dogs provide for not only the child, but for their families as well, is immeasurable. This video shows just how incredible a service dog can be for an autistic child!
PAWS clients do not pay to receive or apply for an assistance dog. All the funding for PAWS comes from individual donors since there is currently no insurance or government funding available for assistance animals. This is where Blum needs your help! We have set up a fundraising page to help meet our goal of $30,000 by April 2018. Any contribution to this wonderful cause will help bring us closer to achieving our objective!
Over the coming year we will be hosting a silent auction as well as other fundraising events, so please keep checking our Blum Fund Facebook page for up-to-date information. For more information or to find out ways you can help, please call us at: (773) 327-4446.
Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.