Weekly Feature

2015-06-11 / Local News

Benefit aims to bring home service dog for young boy

Dustin Fitzpatrick Dustin Fitzpatrick A public benefit to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at Francesca’s, 2022 Seneca St., will benefit Dustin Fitzpatrick, a 2½-year-old boy with sensory integration disorder who is in need of a service dog.

The benefit will provide an afternoon of food from Francesca’s Italian Cuisine, live music and an open bar.

Sensory integration disorder affects a person’s daily living, not only with behavior, but also in delayed learning. Sounds, lights and the way things feel can initiate a meltdown. Some people who have the disorder also don’t like to be hugged.

Dustin is prone to severe meltdowns several times a day, is a head banger, wanders off and has no sense of fear.

A service dog will be there to comfort and protect him. The dog is taught to lie over him during a meltdown, since pressure helps to calm him. His dog will also be able to press a button when needed and track him.

A service dog at North Star Foundation will be brought to Dustin as a puppy, and live with a trainer. Dustin will bond with his service dog right from the start.

The benefit is open to the public. For more information, call Trisha at 563-2707.

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