Help Roman Get a Fence and Service Dog

My son Roman is seven years old and he is on the Autism spectrum. Nearly half of kids on the spectrum have a tendency to dart away (Source: Academy of Pediatrics). Our family has already installed alarm systems on doors and windows, as well as sensors and cameras. Unfortunately, resources that would help avoid safety hazards outside of the home such as fencing and a service dog cost quite a bit of money. I have had the same job for eight years, but with Roman having a condition called Hypotonia which causes his throat and jaw muscles to be weak, he is prone to Pneumonia. He cannot attend school at this time being high-risk, so I am acting as his paraeducator full-time during remote learning. Due to this, I am on unemployment. My husband is also out of work, because between speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, case management, a swallow specialist, gastro, and regular therapy, there has been little relief lately.

On November 7th, we were all outside as a family and my son darted away. He was so fast that we couldn’t even tell which direction he had gone in. Our family and neighbors quickly banded together in order to search for him, but he ended up on the highway. Fortunately, he was found by some of the kindest people, but this could have quickly ended in disaster. I could have lost my son. I feel so grateful and blessed to have such an amazing community behind us that ensured my son was safe. I just want to ensure that this never happens again.

I have never in my entire life asked for money online, and I’ve always had a pretty public life on the internet. There have been times where I have been struggling, but I could not bring myself to ask for anything. This time, my son’s safety is at risk. My mom is going to help as much as she can with the fencing, but I know that it can cost thousands. We need a fence to ensure that when he is playing outside, he is secure at all times.

After the fencing is installed, we are going to get him a service dog for tether training. I found a local trainer who specializes in training service dogs. This will help my son be safe not only outside, but also when we go shopping at places like department stores that could be incredibly dangerous if he ran off at. Anyone can vouch for me that my family and I are very responsible pet owners. I have owned all of my animals from the time I got them until death. We have 2 cats, 20 chickens, and 3 ducks, and we love sharing our journey of taking care of our animals through videos. Any dog welcomed into our home would be treated with the highest quality of care and compassion.

I want people to know when they donate, they can be sure that their money is going directly to the causes I have listed. Due to this, I plan on sharing receipts or written documents, as well as pictures/videos, to be as transparent as possible. My reputation as a reliable person is very important to me, and I will make sure that I uphold this.

I have set the goal at $3,000 because according to the Thumbtack estimate in my area (New Hampshire), the average 6ft vinyl fence installation (materials included) would be $2,600. The average cost for dog training seems to be around $60 per hour, and although I’m sure he will need more than this, I estimated four sessions which would be $240. For the adoption fee of the dog, I put it at $100 (which was calculated by for dogs over six months), because even if it is not a puppy, we just need one under two years old for training.

Thank you to anyone who helps my family by sharing or donating at this time. <3 I wish I could express my thanks more in depth, but I do feel a bit awkward even asking.

Thank you again

-MJ Devine Bruso


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MJ Devine 
Atkinson, NH
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