'They don't come cheap': Local woman with cerebral palsy trying to raise $30K for service dog
EDMONTON -- Carly Neis has cerebral palsy. She also has a service dog named Oakley, who allows her to live and work on her own.
“Without Oakley and this extra set of paws, I don’t think I’d be nearly as independent,” she said.
Oakley helps Neis by picking thing up or getting dressed.
“She helps me with tasks like taking off socks and pants and helping with pulling laundry out of the laundry machine as well as pressing automatic doors and just anything my body and muscles don’t let me do.”
But after years of service, Oakley is starting to show her age.
“I’m just seeing her slow down and start to tell me that she’s ready to start relaxing.”
“I put lots and lots of miles on this girl and it’s just about giving her the best working life.”
Neis needs a new service dog, but the price tag for a trained service dog is $30,000.
“You can either go private and fundraise yourself for a dog or you can be on a wait list for you know, years and years and years for a dog.”
“They don’t come cheap, and they shouldn’t, because the amount of hours and the amount of effort that are put into raising these dogs is unbelievable.”
She has been fundraising to meet the goal, but the pandemic has acted as a roadblock to her efforts.
“COVID has kind of taken all of my summer fundraisers that I had planned and that I had figured out for in person and turned them upside down just like it has anything else in the last couple of months,” she said.
Neis has a GoFundMe page to raise money for a new dog. She’s also planning a bottle drive at the Callingwood Bottle Depot on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to help with the cause.
Neis is about half way to her fundraising goal.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson