East Albury family raising money for Smart Pups Assistance Dog

PUPPY GOAL: Belinda Moore and her son Corey, 9, with their cat Charlie. The family is trying to raise $20,000 for an autism assistance dog. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS
PUPPY GOAL: Belinda Moore and her son Corey, 9, with their cat Charlie. The family is trying to raise $20,000 for an autism assistance dog. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

AN EAST Albury family hopes man’s best friend will prove just that for a boy whose medical challenges never stop.

Corey Moore, 9,  has autism, frontal lobe brain damage, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, an intellectual disability and a heart condition that nearly killed him multiple times as a baby.

His parents, Belinda and Darren, have started an online campaign to raise $20,000 for an autism assistance dog, a goal supported by Corey’s school, Belvoir Special School.

Mrs Moore said previous experiences had shown interaction with animals benefited her son.

“The Smart Pup will be his anchor, that will help Corey with his sensory overload, that will make Corey feel calm, safe as well,” she said.

Smart Pups Assistance Dogs, a Queensland not-for-profit organisation, provides trained service dogs to assist children with special needs.

The fundraising and training process takes time; another Border child Cody Marquis is still 12 to 18 months off receiving his Smart Pup after his family achieved the money target.

Mrs Moore said Corey had been in and out of hospital throughout his nine years.

“He hasn’t had a great start to life,” she said. “He’s a happy, caring child, but sometimes he has this monster that comes out that he can’t control. With the Smart Pup, I can see a great change in Corey and Corey will be able to be part of the community and I won’t be as fearful of him running away.”