Shoe drive results in 1,250 donations
The Hudson Police Department, EJ’s Pizzeria and others, along with the Hudson Middle School organized a shoe drive to help purchase a service dog for 10-year-old Kaiden Juaire. Three years ago he was diagnosed with autism, anxiety, low adaptive functions and limited coping skills according to his mother, Hudson police officer and St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office jailer Dana Juaire.
The shoes will be sold to an international nonprofit that will distribute them worldwide. They purchase the shoes for 40 cents a pound. A service dog costs around $15,000.
The 4 Paws for Kaiden a drive resulted in the collection of 1,250 pair of shoes.
The shoes were collected at various points and delivered, with the help of Hudson Middle School students, to the Hudson Police Department Friday afternoon.
Kaiden experiences anxiety in new settings and environments, is subject to sensory overstimulation and has extreme difficulty whenever there is a change in routine or structure. He has little concept of personal safety according to his mother and will run away when given the opportunity. He wears a deep pressure vest as a calming mechanism. His condition has made attending school difficult and he has limited interaction with other children.
Research and practice have shown that service dogs can help children by being a calming influence and focal point that helps them with everything from improving reading skills, redirecting compulsive behavior and safety issues. Kaiden’s parents believe that a service dog could have a very positive impact on their son’s life. The goal is to have the dog increase Kaiden’s independence and confidence by lessening his anxiety while giving him comfort and teaching him responsibility.