Service Dog Adele Joins Hospital for Special Care Autism Center

by Lisa

A specially trained service dog named Adele has joined the Hospital for Special Care (HFSC) in New Britain, Connecticut, offering unique therapy for children on the autism spectrum.

Adele, a black Labrador Retriever, has undergone extensive training to work with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and will be part of HFSC’s Autism Center therapy team, according to a statement released by the facility on Tuesday.


The hospital highlighted Adele’s role alongside occupational therapists, speech therapists, and other professionals, emphasizing her ability to provide specialized therapy to children with ASD.


Adele was donated to HFSC by The Hometown Foundation, Inc., and trained by the Forever in My Heart Foundation. Gallagher Buick GMC in New Britain contributed a $10,000 sponsorship, and Pierogies for Paws granted HFSC $15,000 to support the initiative.


The Forever In My Heart Foundation is recognized for its commitment to improving lives through service animals, particularly aiding families of children with autism. Research has shown that therapy dogs can significantly benefit children with ASD by enhancing communication, assisting with sensory processing, and reducing anxiety.


Mira Alicki, founder and president of the Forever In My Heart Foundation and board member of Pierogis for Paws, expressed the foundation’s dedication to fostering inclusivity and support within communities. Alicki emphasized Adele’s training as a significant step toward achieving this mission, promising a positive impact on countless individuals’ lives.

Douglas Shaw, director of The Hometown Foundation, Inc., explained that HFSC approached the foundation for assistance in covering the costs of a service dog, prompting the foundation’s efforts to find a suitable donor to fulfill the need.

Marc Brunetti, Chief Operating Officer of HFSC, expressed the facility’s excitement in welcoming Adele to the team. Brunetti highlighted Adele’s role in providing comfort, companionship, and support to patients with autism, acknowledging the crucial contribution of the Forever In My Heart Foundation and The Hometown Foundation in making Adele’s arrival possible.


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