WADSWORTH, Ohio (WJW) – The family of a little girl from Medina County with special needs is trying to raise enough money to acquire a specially-trained service dog.
Three-year-old Evelyn Huber, known to her family in Wadsworth as “Evy,” was born with a rare genetic disorder that has delayed her development and affected her muscle tone.
“She was very delayed in being able to roll over, sit up. She did not crawl until she was about 20 months old. She only started walking independently a little bit this year and she’s delayed in every other aspect. As far as speech and fine motor skills, they are delayed. She basically has to be watched and dealt with kind of like a baby,” said her mother, Anna Huber.
Evelyn’s parents say she developed a close bond with their family dog, Josie, and their relationship helped improve Evelyn’s mobility and ability to communicate.
Unfortunately, Josie died in 2020 and the family now believes that a service dog will be a crucial part of Evelyn’s development as she gets older.
“To have one dog that will be able to help her with day-to-day tasks, extend her mobility and her independence, but also to keep her safe,” said her mother.
Evelyn’s family learned about an Ohio-based non-profit called 4 Paws for Ability Inc. that raises and trains service dogs.
The organization says the cost of teaching a dog to meet Evelyn’s specific needs is about $40,000 and the Huber family is being asked to raise $17,000 of that total.
“I’ve never asked for this kind of money, but Evy is our little sweetie and we just want to see the best for her,” said Anna as she wiped away tears.
Donations to help to pay for the training of the assistance dog can be made directly to 4 Paws for Ability in Evelyn Huber’s name. So far, Evelyn’s family is halfway to their fundraising goal.
“It means the world to us, really, that people are so willing to help us. We’ve had people we don’t even know give us money and it just means the world to us,” said Anna.