Local 8-year-old with autism needs help raising funds for a service dog

Posted at 4:28 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 19:11:34-04


8-year-old Dylan Salinas plays with puzzles, his tablet and colors like almost every child his age. But, he’s also nonverbal.

“He’s been diagnosed with autism, intellectually disability, and ID, said his mother Mikayla Salinas.

She says he’s been in therapy since he was two years old, and while he responds well, he excels the most when his therapy involves animals.

“In the short time that he’s had horse therapy we’ve seen more progress than we’ve seen in most therapies,” said Salinas. “He will notice an animal before he notices a human being.”

That’s why now she’s applying to get Dylan a service dog to help with his autism and behavior in general.

“He bites on his finger and he hits his cheek,” said Salinas. “That dog will know what to do in that situation.”

But the family has hit a road block, a service dog for Dylan will cost nearly $60,000. Through a nonprofit organization called ‘4 Paws for Ability’ Salinas has found generous funding.

The organization will pay $43,000 and the family just has to come up with the rest.

“Your part is $17,000,” said Salinas. “They train multiple dogs specifically tailored to the child and then one dog will make it through,” said Salinas.

Dog trainers at 4 Paws for Ability will review video of Dylan doing everyday tasks, those videos will then determine how and what they train the service dog to do.

“We have to send in extensive video on how Dylan is at home, how he acts at H-E-B, and how he acts at different restaurants we go to,” said Salinas:

So far, the family has raised a little over $4,000, but they’re still a long way off from meeting their goal. There is no deadline to raise the money, but Salinas says the sooner they can raise the money, the sooner Dylan’s dog can begin training.

To donate to Dylan’s service dog fund, you can visit:

You can also mail checks to 4 Paws for Ability: 253 Dayton Ave, Xenia, Ohio, 45385. Notes: For Dylan Salinas.