This Mother Couldn’t Afford A Service Dog For Her Son, So This Pet Store Stepped In

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It was a story of generosity coming out of Cape Coral, Florida that will renew your faith in humanity. Maxwell Cushion is a three-year-old boy who had been diagnosed with autism. His doctor recommended a service dog to help the child cope with his condition, but there was a hefty price tag involved. The Cushion family knew they couldn’t afford the animal on their own, so Maxwell’s mother started looking for ways to raise money through donations. Maxwell’s story was shared throughout the area and caught the attention of one local business owner who knew she had to help in a big way.

Mary Rhoades owns the local pet store, PetLand and knew she wanted to help the small child. Rhoades decided to donate a nine-week-old goldendoodle puppy to the family. Despite not yet being trained to be a service dog, Victoria Maxwell explains that the donation of the dog saved the family about $15,000.

(Credit: Michael Braun/The News-Press)

(Credit: Michael Braun/The News-Press)

The Cushion family is still working hard to raise the more than $10,000 needed to put the dog through the intensive training. A GoFundMe account made to raise donations for Maxwell’s cause has gathered about $3,500, but there is still work to be done. Several local organizations are setting up events, such as a Bingo night to help out. Some businesses are even giving whatever they can. For instance, a local animal hospital has donated a year of medical care for the dog.

Maxwell getting to know his new friend. (Photo credit: Michael Braun/The News-Press)

Maxwell getting to know his new friend. (Photo credit: Michael Braun/The News-Press)

If all goes well, the puppy will begin service dog training later this month. Maxwell’s mother says she can already see the bond growing between the two and knows that this animal will help her son in ways she never could of imagined.

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