Posted: Sep 24, 2013 10:06 PM by Tara Grimes - MTN News
GREAT FALLS - A Great Falls family is looking for the community's help so their daughter with severe autism can receive a service dog.
Sharon and Travis Pomeroy said doctors diagnosed their 4-year-old daughter Cara with autism three years ago. As she got older and began to walk, the family said they must keep their eye on her almost every second of everyday.
"We had an incident where she put herself in danger with traffic," Travis Pomeroy said. "She was able to break away from Sharon. I was able to get to her, but had the car that was coming, had he not been paying good enough attention I guarantee I would have been hit or she would have been hit."
The family calls Cara their "little Houdini."
"She's kicked out the screens," Sharon said. "It only takes a second. We've had our neighbors here luckily everyone knows where she belongs now. She's gotten out a few times and before we can even notice that she's gone, somebody's bringing her back."
Wandering away and not understanding dangers in an environment is just one typically behavior of someone with autism. The Pomeroy family is hoping to bring a little bit more security to Cara by raising $13,000 to get her a service dog through the organization "4 Paws for Ability."
"A huge thing that we're looking for is the harnessing, that the dog can also harness to the child or the child is actually harnessed to the dog so that when you're at the mall or anything you can actually not spend 100 percent of your energy into keeping her from taking off," Sharon said.
Besides safety, Cara's family said a dog would help calm her in a meltdown and improve her social skills and interaction with others especially because she isn't able to talk.
"I think Cara will fall in love with the dog from day one," her brother Connor Pomeroy said.
The family will hold a fundraiser on October 24 at the Flippin' Family Fun Center from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
There will be dinner, a silent auction, and raffle items.
To learn more about Cara, her family, and their quest for a service dog visit their Facebook page by clicking here.