10-year-old in need of service dog gets support from Loveland community

10-year-old in need of service dog gets support from Loveland community
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:05 PM EDT
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LOVELAND, Ohio (WXIX) - A 10-year-old Autistic boy in need of a service dog is getting the full support of the Loveland community.

Hank Stratton will soon be celebrating his 11th birthday.

For his birthday, he doesn’t want the latest video game or action figure; he wants independence.

The 10-year-old wants to play freely without the help of his family, but autism and an excessive sleeping disorder, Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS), hinder him from having the freedom he seeks.

“Two years ago, he passed out on the football field, but we thought he was having a seizure,” Joyce Springer, Stratton’s grandmother, explained. “All this time, they had doctored him as a seizure. To find out, when they did some medical research, he spent a couple days in the hospital; They said he has KLS.”

Since that time, Stratton has not been allowed to be alone, but Springer says that will change once they can get the 10-year-old a service dog.

To make that happen, they need to raise $17,000

“This dog will help him if he decides to go play out about, and if he crosses the road and he shuts down, that dog will know that and will stop him from being hurt,” Springer said.

Helping raise the money needed is the Branch Hill United Methodist Church.

They are holding a yard sale to help Stratton.

Friends of the family and even strangers are stepping in to help by sending donations and stopping by the yard sale to buy some baked goods, games and bikes.

Stratton says seeing everyone come out means a lot.

“It warms my heart,” the 10-year-old boy said.

As for what Stratton plans to do once he gets a service dog, he has that planned.

“Get dropped off at King’s Island with my service dog and go to King’s Island and be by myself.”

So far, $5,700 has been raised. They have also received a $5,000 grant, leaving them $7,000 shy of the $17,000 needed.

The yard sale will be up on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Branch Hill United Methodist Church in Loveland.

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