We have set up this GoFundMe campaign to raise the necessary funds for a therapeutic service dog for our daughter Anna.
Anna faces daily challenges from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Autism, Depression and Bipolar Disorder. She has cut herself and has had 11 psychiatric placements in hospitals or CBATs (Community Based Acute Therapy) in the past 4 years. In fact she is in one as I write this. She struggles in social situations and gets overwhelmed very easily and has panic attacks. She is very vulnerable to bullying and being taken advantage of. Her disabilities are invisible to most which can make things very difficult for her, emotionally. Most people with emotionally disabilities spend their time trying to hold things together that they are exhausted and taking care of themselves takes a backseat. A dog would help her to sleep, wake her up on time, remind her to take her medication and keep up with her hygiene. The dog would be a companion to her since she is very lonely. Her dog will also be trained to sense her anxiety and smell cortisol, the stress hormone, and either help to remove her from the situation or “blanket” her for pressure therapy. We also believe that having a service dog will help her to live a more independent and full life. These are a few of the ways that a service dog would help Anna. She has been cleared for the placement of a service dog bred and trained by the North Star Foundation to serve as a therapeutic tool to help us to meet her social, emotional and educational goals. She will get on North Star’s waiting list as soon as our $7,500 fundraising obligation is met. This is half the actual cost of a North Star placement. The rest will be raised by the North Star Foundation. The cost reflects the quality of the breeding of North Star dogs, the intensive and specific training and socialization each North Star dog receives, along with training for the dog to be a Public Access Service Dog—a federally protected status that allows the dog to be with Anna wherever she can legally be. North Star Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children with special needs through the use of well-bred and trained assistance dogs. They have been incorporated for sixteen years and have created over 275 North Star placements in homes of children who face social, emotional and educational challenges such Anna. Their nonprofit work with children was profiled by CBS Evening News, and you can learn more about North Star’s work by visiting their educational library. Please consider making a donation to support the placement of Anna’s assistance dog. We hope to raise the $7500.00 by July 31, 2017 so that we can shorten our wait time for our pup. We are excited about the benefits Anna will receive through this service dog and we appreciate your support to help make this happen. We’ll certainly keep you informed of Anna and her North Star dog’s progress in the years to come! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your support!
Any additional money above and beyond the $7500 needed to get the service dog will be used for expenses associated with having the dog. Fence for the back yard, life insurance for the dog (that is required), a dog crate, bed, vests, etc. We estimate these costs to be about $3000.00.
Anything above and beyond our needs will be gifted back to North Star with our thanks for all your love and support.
- Rachel Stutzman
- Buppa & Gramma Trefry
- Diane Regan
- Peter Gardner
- Robert Ledwith