Maxi Zoo cus­tomers raise thou­sands

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

MAXI Zoo cus­tomers in Bray have helped to raise €25,650 which is set to trans­form the lives of chil­dren with autism by pro­vid­ing them with highly trained as­sis­tance dogs.

The amount was raised as part of the an­nual Maxi Zoo Give Paw fundrais­ing cam­paign and all pro­ceeds from the event have been pre­sented to Autism As­sis­tance Dogs Ire­land (AADI).

The month long fundrais­ing cam­paign was gen­er­ously sup­ported by lo­cal pet own­ers when it took place at the Maxi Zoo pet store at Bray Re­tail Park last Oc­to­ber, of­fer­ing lo­cals the op­por­tu­nity to sup­port the na­tional char­ity by buy­ing a €2 friend­ship bracelet.

As­sis­tance dogs are not pets but ser­vice dogs who are trained for up to two years to carry out spe­cific tasks to sup­port chil­dren with autism to over­come the dis­tress­ing el­e­ments of their dis­abil­ity and to live the life they de­serve.

As­sis­tance dogs pro­vide safety and com­pan­ion­ship, re­duce anx­i­ety and suf­fer­ing, pro­mote in­de­pen­dence and im­prove cop­ing mech­a­nisms for chil­dren with autism who would oth­er­wise live in a very iso­lated world.

‘One in ev­ery 65 chil­dren in Ire­land has Autism. We have over 200 chil­dren on our wait­ing list which we had to close due to lack of fund­ing. In the past 24 months we have had over 1,600 fam­i­lies con­tact our char­ity ask­ing us for our sup­port,’ said Nuala Ger­aghty, CEO, Autism As­sis­tance Dogs Ire­land.

‘These are fam­i­lies that you no longer see in our com­mu­ni­ties be­cause their child’s Autism is so de­bil­i­tat­ing that they can­not leave their homes. The gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions to Maxi Zoo’s Give Paw cam­paign will re­ally help us to reach more chil­dren and their fam­i­lies and to change their lives and their fu­ture,’ she added.

Maxi Zoo Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Ciaran O’Neill, also thanked those who sup­ported the fundrais­ing cam­paign when he pre­sented a cheque for €25,650 to the char­ity.

Ciaran O’Neill, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Maxi Zoo Ire­land, Nuala Ger­aghty, CEO, Autism As­sis­tance Dogs Ire­land, John Con­si­dine, chair­man of Autism As­sis­tance Dogs Ire­land and Eadaoin O’Gor­man also of AADI along with dogs Jamie and Koda.

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