Autism Service Dog for James

My friend Kate in Seattle has a young nephew, James, who is coping with autism. Today, I received an email Kate forwarded from her sister-in-law requesting financial help in obtaining an autism service dog for James.

The family is seeking 1350 people to donate ten bucks in order to raise the funds needed by June 6th.

Details from James’ mom Raven are as follows:

Hey All:

James and his dream dogWe need your help. For about the third year in a row, James has had a very difficult April and May which ultimately resulted in increasing his anti-anxiety medication. He is finally doing better, but he has lost a lot of his skills. Apparently, May is a very difficult time for many Autistic children in this area as the seasons change and things get a bit more frenetic at school.

After talking to James’ Neurologist, teachers and therapists, Mark and I have decided to apply for an Autism Service Dog for James. The Neurologist, Dr. Stobbe, has seven other Autistic clients with service dogs and says that James is a perfect candidate. These dogs help relieve anxiety, keep kids from running away, help keep the children focused at school, and provide a constant in the child’s life as the dog goes everywhere with the child. Dr. Stobbe is even hopeful that we can wean James off his medication once he is used to working with the service dog.

Even though there is usually a one to two-year waiting list for programs, we have found a highly-recommended program that has room in its February graduating class for James IF we can raise the necessary money ($13,500) by June 6th, 2008 (TWO WEEKS FROM NOW). (This covers less than half of the cost that the organization puts into the dog and includes two weeks of training - one week at the facility and one week at our home!) Here is the link to their website:

Our hope is to get 1,350 people to each donate $10.

We’re asking YOU to do TWO things for James:
1) If you are able, please donate $10.
2) Please forward this email to anyone whom you think might be willing and able to also donate $10.

Checks should be made out to ASDA (for Autism Service Dogs of America, a 501(C)(3) organization). GIFTS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE TO THOSE WHO ITEMIZE.

If you are OFF-ISLAND (or prefer the mail), here is the address.
James McCrackyn
PO Box 1451
Vashon, WA 98070

If you are ON-ISLAND, you can drop off your donation at any of the following locations:

R. Peter Lake, CPA, Bank of America, Beachcomber, Bob’s Bakery, Cafe Luna, Fair Isle Animal Clinic, Green Ginger, John L Scott Realty, Little House, Minglement, Monkey Tree, Pandora’s Box, Thriftway, True Value, Vashon Book Shop, Vashon Print and Design, Vashon Tea Shop, Windermere Realty, Zoomies

I have also attached a flyer.

Thanks so much!


I did not know there even was such a thing as an autism service dog and I think it’s totally awesome! I hope you’ll be inspired to contribute, too.


  1. Raven Pyle-McCrackyn:

    We have raised all the necessary funds for James. Thank you to everyone for helping! You can watch our website for more information on what this process has been like. We’ll be on Good Morning America later this week.


  2. Holly:

    Yay! Congratulations, Raven. I’m delighted to hear that all the funds have been raised, and wow, a spot on GMA, too. Best wishes to your family. Please do post pictures of James and his new friend soon so we can ooo and aaah.

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