Sackets family hits fund goal for service dog

Nic Arthur, a freshman at Sackets Harbor, poses for a portrait inside his high school. Julia Hopkins/Watertown Daily Times

SACKETS HARBOR — Diagnosed with a high-functioning form of autism generally known as Asperger’s syndrome when he was in the first grade, school hasn’t been the easiest place to be for Nic Arthur, a freshman at Sackets Harbor Central High School.

Along with not always being able to understand things like social cues or sarcasm, Nic also struggles with lights, sounds, and smells, all of which are abundant in a school setting. That’s where the company SDWR comes in, which places service dogs with those that need them.

Because of SDWR’s ongoing customized training program for each family, the service dogs end up being quite costly. SDWR asks that recipient families become ambassadors to help raise awareness, advocacy, education and funding to offset nearly half the expenses of raising and training a service dog, as it costs nearly $50,000 to place and train each service dog it provides.

After months of fundraising and community support, the full amount of the Arthur family’s $25,000 pledge has been raised and matched by SDWR.

According to Nic’s mother, Beth Arthur, the papers have been filled out for the trainer to identify a dog for Nic, and while the normal disclaimer is they will get in touch in six months, she believes it will be sooner and he’ll have the dog by the fall.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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