CHICAGO (WGN/CNN) – A man brought an autistic boy a new therapy dog, after his first dog was stolen in Chicago, IL.
“He just loves all over him and it’s just like God made this happen,” said Monica Paredes.
Two weeks ago, Mariano Paredes lost his best pal Peanut when he was stolen. The story reached national attention when television stations in Chicago broadcast his story asking for help in the search to find Peanut.
It was more than just losing a pet for the Paredes family – without Peanut, Mariano was refusing to eat.
John Debartolo heard of the news and decided to help. The diabetic who’s almost totally blind felt he had to do something since he understood not only the struggle the family faced with their special needs son, but also the importance of a pet to help them through it.
“I’m blind in the left eye and my right eye is 50 percent blind because of my diabetes,” Debartolo said. “And I have a small dog downstairs – her name is Lacy – and she’s right by my side 24/7, and when I seen that air on the news I could not sleep.”
Paying for the dog was not easy, but with the help of a garage sale and his own cash, Debartolo was finally able to buy the pet. United Airlines shipped him for free.
Petland gave the family a $1,500 gift that included five years of free shots for the dog, a year’s supply of food, and a chip to help locate him in case the puppy ever went missing.
Mariano’s mother was overcome with emotion and said she is grateful for the outpouring of support and generosity, even from perfect strangers.
“I just couldn’t wait to get here to wrap my arms around him, just to say thank you to them, they’ve done so much for us,” Monica Paredes said. “I don’t think I’ll be able to pay them back for that.”