Local non-profit owner hopes to raise money for a service dog for his son

Local News

The founder of a local nonprofit is now raising money to provide his son with a service dog.

Ryan Berding founded Alexander Foundation in 2017 after his son Keagan was diagnosed with autism at age 2.

Berding described his son as an energetic and adventurous 6-year-old whose fearlessness unfortunately led him to one of the most devastating days of his parent’s life just last July.

Keagan got out of the house by himself one Saturday afternoon. But after an emotional and chaotic 30 minutes of searching, neighbors located Keagan.

It was a nightmare the family says they hope to never to experience again. They believe a service dog would be a dream come true. 

This isn’t your ordinary service dog, however. The Berdings are partnering with “4 Paws for Ability” based in Ohio, which trains dogs to work with people with all abilities, ranging from autism and diabetes and beyond.

“The dog is also trained to help with (Keagan’s) elopement (taking off,) so the dog will be trained almost like a tether to Keagan, where if Keagan was to start to take off or something of that nature the dog would basically sit down and prevent him for taking off. Or in situations like what happened this summer, the dog would bark– let us know something is not right or in worst-case scenario, the dog is also trained for search and rescue.”

To learn more on Keagan’s story, or donate click here here.

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