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Shoe drive results in 1,250 donations

HPD Detective James Wildman visited the Middle School Friday morning and was photographed with student Will Golden, who personally collected 160 pair of shoes for the drive. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Posing with the collected shoes at the Hudson Police Department, front from left, HPD's James Wildman, Kaiden McWilliams (future recipient of the dog), his mother Dana Juaire, Alexis Harwell, Lexy Gornick, Renee Nelson, Spencer Johnson, Colin Greene, Claire Keech, Samantha Stidham, Andrew Sackett, Ashlyn Rykal and Jenna McCorkel; back, HPD's Jon Grass, Zach Schultz, Jason Muenich, teachers Jim Revoir and Maren Luedtke. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Doug Stohlberg)2 / 2

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.

Doug Stohlberg

Doug Stohlberg has been part of the Hudson Star-Observer since 1973 and has been editor since 1987. He worked at the New Richmond News from 1971 to 1973. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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