Man helps family get service dog

CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) -- A happy ending for a Clinton boy, who was in a need of a service dog. In a couple weeks, the boy diagnosed with cerebral palsy will have a dog to call his own.

Five-year-old Joseph Kinney is a happy little boy especially when he's around his friend Lucy. His mother says he's always got a smile on his face.

“Unless, he's hungry,” said Sharon Prater, his mother.

Joseph hasn't always had an easy life.

“Joseph was born at 27 weeks premature. So it was about his 6 month check up at the Center for Disability and Developmental at Iowa City, they had diagnosed him with cerebral palsy, said Prater.

Joseph hasn't let the hardships of life take away his smile, his joy has grown even more since he met Lucy a week ago at Wal-Mart.

“We just literally meet in the store,” said Prater.

Lucy is a service dog that belongs to Christopher LIoret, who's diagnosed with Epilepsy. Christopher says when he and Lucy ran into Joseph they clicked.

“I felt that I had to give back and joseph was amazing with my dog,” said LIoret, who started the Facebook post for the family.

So Christopher decided to start a Facebook post asking if anyone in Clinton would be willing to donate a dog to Joseph. Joseph's mother says she never expected it or saw it coming.

“It kind of like took a lift off of us, he's trying to offer him something good,” said Prater.

Christopher says a community member has offered to donate a dog to little Joseph. The dog will have to be trained as a service dog but Christopher says he hopes he can continue helping others like Joseph in the future.

“To help kids all around Iowa or the U.S. would be something that I would want to do,” said LIoret.

Joseph's mother says for her son to have his own service dog is going to mean the world to him.

“It brings excitement to him, he just loves animals. It brings so much excitement and for him to have a dog of his own right there with him regardless,” said Prater.

As Joseph is getting older his mother says they are also looking into getting a handicapped accessible van for him. There's a GoFundMe page if you would like to help Joseph is my Hero