Giving Back

Dreams for Service Dog for Autistic Montville Resident Become Reality

b42afbea69b0114d8350_IMG_9502.jpg
Joey Stanley, without his helmet, mimics service dog Savannah in the Montville Township Library. Credits: Courtesy of Faith Stanley
432d8a84db765083609e_ed7be35f1b3afcb20f6d_IMG_5803.JPG
Faith Stanley, Joey's mom, and dog trainer Janice Wolfe watch Joey and service dog, Savannah in the Montville Township Library. Credits: Gail Bottone
a789e0e23cf1dc9a691b_IMG_9500.jpg
Joey Stanley, without his helmet, plays with service dog Savannah in the Montville Township Library. Credits: Courtesy of Faith Stanley
3305d89753da9d3c0957_IMG_9497.jpg
Joey Stanley, without his helmet, holds the leash of service dog Savannah in the Montville Township Library. Credits: Courtesy of Faith Stanley
2603e1426613bfe057c0_IMG_9490.jpg
Faith Stanley and Joey with service dog, Savannah in the Montville Township Library. Credits: Gail Bottone
261e03669404178d9523_IMG_9486.jpg
Joey Stanley, without his helmet, mimics service dog Savannah in the Montville Township Library. Credits: Courtesy of Faith Stanley
bbe57e51032b4b65f991_IMG_9499.jpg
Joey Stanley, without his helmet, mimics service dog Savannah in the Montville Township Library. Credits: Courtesy of Faith Stanley
93c6cba375d9ff6c447e_dee2047d2ef4b13d701a_IMG_5802.JPG
Faith Stanley, Joey's mom, and dog trainer Janice Wolfe watch Joey and service dog, Savannah in the Montville Township Library. Credits: Gail Bottone
7cdab4563135476cdaf4_3824df10cb2b8f366e34_IMG_5796.JPG
Joey Stanley, without his helmet, plays with service dog, Savannah, as dog trainer, Janice Wolfe looks on at the Montville Township Library. Credits: Gail Bottone
2c4e539f9b5b701a8925_4184d2748f02b22519fc_IMG_5795.JPG
Joey Stanley, wearing helmet, plays with Savannah, a service dog. Credits: Gail Bottone
b42afbea69b0114d8350_IMG_9502.jpg

MONTVILLE, NJ - Faith Stanley, a Towaco resident and a single mother of four boys, sought help for her youngest son, Joey, who is almost three years old and diagnosed with autism. Amazingly enough, Faith found the help she needed!

Due to the generosity and help of so many people, Faith has managed to reach her goal of raising $17,000 to obtain a service dog for her son.

Faith said, “I want to thank each and every person equally, whether they donated $5,000 or $5.” She is amazed by the outpouring of support and generosity from complete strangers. “There are so many amazing and good people,” she said.

Sign Up for E-News

Faith heard how service dogs can greatly help children with autism, and since Joey’s doctor recommended one for him, Faith wanted this for her son. 

But this single mom cleans houses for a living because it not only allows flexibility around Joey’s schedule, but allows Joey to be with her. Her income only covers her basic needs. There was no extra money for a service dog.

She explained that Joey has to wear a helmet because when he is upset or overstimulated, he bangs his head. This behavior is very common in children diagnosed with autism. A service dog can help stop this harmful behavior.

Children with autism have brain chemistry that impairs their ability to process sensory information, and the brain can feel overwhelmed. This sensory processing impairment causes pain. Joey’s world is full of background noises that are overwhelming, and to drown out the information being picked up by his senses, he bangs his head as a survival mechanism. Without the ability to process all the stimulation, head banging can help Joey get some relief. But this is very dangerous and brings on self-inflicted wounds to his head and chin. 

Faith said that she knew at a young age that Joey was not developing like her other sons. As a concerned mother, she sought help from her doctors. She went to a neurologist, and Joey was diagnosed with autism at age 18 months. He received early intervention and received occupational and speech therapy, developmental intervention and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.

After Joey turns three in March, in the first week of April, he will be going to Cedar Hill School. He was accepted into the ABA full time program, and his service dog will be allowed to go with him. This will allow his mom to take on more cleaning jobs that will help the family financially.

In the fall, Faith set up a GoFundMe account and sent it out to family and friends. She even posted it on Facebook, Montville Moms and a site in Wayne Township. She did receive $1,000 of the $17,000, but it was not even close to what she needed.

“By a miracle, or by fate, or by what anyone wants to call it, things began to happen,” explained Faith. She continued to say that a news reporter, Lisa Rozner from CBS news, who was born and raised in Wayne, heard of Faith’s need and asked her if she could do a story on her and Joey for CBS news.

At first, Faith thought it was a hoax, but she found out it was real.

Rozner did the story on the night of Jan. 29, and that is when things really began to go right for Faith. Within 24 hours, $15,000 was raised.

After the story aired, Janice Wolfe from Merlin’s Kids entered the picture. She called the news asking about Faith and Joey.

“Merlin’s Kids is a non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and trains shelter dogs to be service dogs for children with autism and other special needs,” explained Wolfe. They also train post-traumatic stress disorder and mobility dogs for veterans and disease detection dogs for firefighters and first responders. The organization relies solely on charitable donations to achieve this goal.

Faith said, “Some people may call it God, magic, luck, science, and others may call it chance, but everything just kept falling into place.” She said that she and Janice just clicked from the beginning. They “felt connected to each other,” and a friendship was born. 

Wolfe said, “It was one of the quickest placements,” and she explained that it takes well over a year to train a dog, and the timing of this was perfect because they have the perfect size dog in mind for Joey.

But Wolfe also pointed out that Faith, who owns a Chevy Cobalt, will need a bigger car to transport five people and a dog. She is trying to help Faith overcome this obstacle and is asking for anyone’s help.

Wolfe is not only the founder of Merlin’s Kids but is the founder and CEO of United K9 Professionals. It is said that for more than 30 years she has been known for her ability to connect in a gentle way with dogs that other trainers and veterinarians could not rehabilitate. Wolfe has personally rehabilitated more than 30,000 dogs with behavioral issues.

According to her website, Wolfe is an author of several canine behavioral books and is currently writing two books with world-renowned animal behaviorist and autism authority, her close friend, Dr. Temple Grandin. 
 
Wolfe graduated from Columbia University in three years with two bachelor of arts degrees, one in biological sciences, including a concentration in animal behavior and one in economic sciences, with minor areas of concentration in English, Spanish, political science, genetics, and philosophy.

When watching Wolfe interact with Joey and Savannah, a Rhodesian Ridgeback service dog, it was obvious that Wolfe knew exactly how to redirect Joey from an unacceptable behavior to an acceptable one using the service dog. This redirecting skill and many other techniques would have to be taught to Faith, so she would be able to use the service dog to the maximum while making Joey feel better and meeting his needs.

During the course of the two hour interview, Joey was calm and well-behaved as he took off his helmet and placed his head on top of Savannah. Throughout the meeting Joey imitated the postures of the dog; if the dog was on her side, Joey rested on his side, if the dog was on her stomach, Joey was on his stomach and if Joey got too rough with Savannah, the dog stood up letting Joey know that it was not acceptable behavior. When Joey started an unacceptable behavior, Wolfe was able to let Joey take the leash and walk the dog, completely distracting him from banging his head and his fists. 

The service dog, in the long run, will not only help Joey and his mom but his brothers Brendan, 15, Danny, 13, and Matthew, 12. Faith will be able to spend more time with her older children, and their family life in general will be less stressful.

Faith explained that other organizations offer service dogs, but they do not offer training to the parents. Merlin’s Kids will do this for Faith and Joey. 

Faith also explained that GoFundMe takes a percentage of the money raised. Even though she raised $17,000, the company takes at least 5 percent. And there are other charges as well. If one donates to Faith through Merlin’s Kids, Faith gets all of the money.

Visit and read your exclusive Montville news at TAPinto Montville​ 24/7 for FREE: TAPinto​Montville​.net 

Sign up to receive FREE TAPinto news in your email inbox: www.tapinto.net/enews

Follow TAPinto on Twitter: @MontvilleTAP 

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MontvilleTAP/

​​Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening. 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7c2707407169c2f1629c_library_by_courtney_sonn

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Library - Summer Reading Kickoff (Kids)

Education

Carousel_image_ccf612db2e8a23ffc851_casa

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Health & Wellness Law & Justice

Carousel_image_a4f056c118bacf9c0109_dsc01420_-_copy

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Gardening with Wildflowers

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_48de19959646e17d11a3_library

Sat, June 23, 1:00 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Summer Reading Kickoff - Teens

Education

Carousel_image_d0da896932290d3669b0_img_6739

Mon, June 25, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club Meeting

Government

Summer Concert Series Announced by Montville Twp Recreation

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Recreation Department announced its summer concerts in the park lineup. The free concerts will be held on Tuesdays beginning on July 10, at the amphitheater beyond the Montville Township Public Library. Parking is available at the library (90 Horseneck Road) or in the high school parking lot (100 Horseneck Road). Assistance is available, for those who ...

Four Montville Residents Participate in American Legion Jersey Boys State Leadership Program

June 21, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Four young men from Montville Township are among 883 other rising-seniors from New Jersey attending the 73rd session of the annual American Legion Jersey Boys State (ALJBS.)

At the event, taking place at Rider University this week, the students get to "govern and interact with their peers from across New Jersey as they run their own mythical 51st ...

May the Fourth Results in Donations to Lung Cancer Foundation from Cedar Hill Character Education Group

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Cedar Hill Fifth Grade Character Education Council sponsored May The 4th Be With You on Friday May 4 from in the Cedar Hill multi-purpose room. The event was to benefit the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. To raise money, each participant paid $5 for a Star Wars-themed scorecard. Upon completion of all events, scorecards were put in a raffle for a Star Wars video ...

Hot Rod Show in Roxbury Raises Money for Boy With Brain Disease

June 21, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - They came from all over North Jersey to show off their chromed-out, big V8s. By day's end, they'd raised big bucks for a sick boy.

The annual North Jersey Street Rod Association (NJSRA) Father's Day Rod Run took place under sunny skies at Horseshoe Lake Park in Roxbury on Sunday. The charity event drew about 1,300 spectators and raised "a little ...

Former Jefferson School Staffer Facing Criminal Charges For Alleged Lewd Photos of Students

June 22, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A former Jefferson Elementary School paraprofessional has been charged with criminal behavior believed to be related to lewd photos of students at the school that were found on his cell phone after he was arrested in Morris County on an unrelated sexual charge.

It also appears that South Orange Maplewood School District officials knew about the arrests as early as ...

Morris County Chamber Issues Statement About State Budget Negotiations and Proposed Tax Increases

June 21, 2018

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, yesterday issued the following statement on the budget negotiations in Trenton:

“Individuals and businesses are shouldering a significant tax burden already in our state. Raising taxes sends a signal to our employers and future investors that New Jersey will remain uncompetitive for decades ...

Columns

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/16 - 6/17, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018:

  From 12 - 2 p.m.

  201 English Place, Bernards Township

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  170 Morris Avenue, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full ...

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/9 - 6/10 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  25 Hillcrest Road, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018:

  From 1 - 4 p.m.

  1 Philhower Court, Denville

   Click HERE to see full ...

Open Houses this Weekend by Century 21

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, June 23 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis Drive, Montville

Sunday, June 24 from 12 - 3 p.m.

6 Woodside Drive, Montville Township

Sunday, June 24 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, June 9 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
7 Diann Drive, Montville

Sunday, June 10 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

Pet Corner