Every day, families around the country are raising money so their children with disabilities can receive service dogs to improve their lives. You can learn about Charlee Olmstead below. Please help make this dream come true!

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Charlee Olmstead


Dreamer Charlee Olmstead

We need your help!!

Charlee is a sweet and spunky two and a half year old girl with Down syndrome. She has been partnered with 4 Paws for Ability to get a service dog! Charlee loves dogs and we recently lost our family dog. They were very bonded and it’s such a big loss for Charlee.

We’ve chosen to adopt a service dog to assist Charlee with independence. When Charlee is playing outside she repeatedly tries to elope (run away). We have to keep her in a stroller or shopping cart anytime we’re out. Her dog will be trained to be a tether to her or in a worst case scenario, to track and find her. Charlee also struggles with sound sensitivity and sensitivity to positional changes (such as laying down for diaper changes) and her service dog could help calm her and give her a sense of safety. Her dog will also help Charlee with balance and gait stability when navigating new surroundings.

Her dog will also help to keep her calm in doctor’s offices and hospitals. She frequently panics from all her previous hospitalizations. Charlee has been through 2 open heart surgeries, gastric tube surgery with many complications, 3 sleep studies, and multiple hospital stays due to illness.

Her service dog will also provide a social bridge to encourage interactions with others. Charlee currently doesn’t communicate except for a few words in sign language. She doesn’t communicate her wants and needs. We hope to encourage more communication with her sense of ownership and added confidence.

We also hope to have her service dog trained to know when something is wrong, such as overheating, sleep apnea, or problems with her g-tube. She has anhidrosis, which is an inability to sweat, so she overheats pretty easily. We worry about her being monitored for these things when she attends school and has gym, recess or field trips.

We’re asking everyone, whether you donate or share this link, to help us meet our goal of $17,000 to start the process of raising and training Charlee’s service dog to meet her needs. It can take a minimum of 2 years for our dog to be fully trained once funding is obtained and it can’t come soon enough!!

How Can You Help?

It costs 4 Paws between $40,000-$60,000 to raise, train, and place a service dog. Our family has to raise $17,000 of that to pay for a service dog.

Donations by check in support of Charlee Olmstead should be made directly to 4 Paws for Ability – be sure to write Charlee Olmstead on the memo line.

Mail checks to: 4 Paws for Ability In Honor of Charlee Olmstead 207 Dayton Ave. Xenia, Ohio, 45385

If you wish to make an online donation directly through the 4 Paws For Ability website, click HERE. Be sure to include Charlee Olmstead in the memo line so that the amount is credited to the correct account!

If you would prefer to make a credit card payment over the phone, please call 4 Paws For Ability at 973-374-0385, Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm.