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Anderson family finally receiving service dog for son after community support, donations

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 11:05:46-04

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — An Anderson Township mother is beaming in anticipation of the dog her son is about to get.

Liam has autism and his mom believes a service dog will change his life.

We first introduced you to Liam last fall, when he was raising money for a service dog.

After Liam’s story aired on WCPO, the community showed up in a way that Liam’s mom, Kim Winnicki, said she never could have imagined.

“This truly was a need for Liam and a need for our family,” Kim Winnicki said. “Having something that seems maybe not accessible or not possible, and you feel like it's such a heavy need for your child… It's heavy. It weighs on us as parents.”

The Winnicki’s needed to raise $19,000 for the service dog, and people across the Tri-State that were touched by the story stepped up to help. Donations began flooding into the family’s GoFundMe page.

“I will never have adequate words of gratitude for the community for strangers. I mean strangers who have blessed our family,” Winnicki said.

Once they raised enough money, they had to wait for a match to find the perfect service dog that would be able to meet Liam’s needs.

This week, the Winnicki’s got some exciting news.

“There was lots of crying and screaming and lots of excitement over here,” Winnicki said. “He is officially matched with a sweet little doggie named Boomer.”

Boomer will continue training at Dulebohn Dog Training for the next two to three months, then sometime in late August, Boomer will be delivered to Liam here in Cincinnati.

Liam’s mom said the community’s response and willingness to help Liam gave her hope.

“We're going to disagree on things, but when the rubber meets the road, I think that that people really can come together and rally together,” Winnicki said. “That's what was beautiful about our story being out there and having strangers really show up to support our family.”

A previous version of this article stated that Boomer, the service dog, was training at University of Kentucky. The article has been updated to reflect the accurate information of where the dog is training.

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