CAVE SPRINGS (KFSM)-- A local family is trying to help keep their son safe, so they're raising money for a service dog that could save his life.
Five-year-old Carson Lloyd was diagnosed with autism when he was only three.
His parents said he can get overwhelmed easily, and that can sometimes put him in danger.
“Carson tends to wander away or run off from safe situations,” Carson’s mom, Alicia Lloyd, said. “We have double locks on all of our doors, so that he doesn't get out without us knowing, which unfortunately has happened a couple of times.”
Carson's parents said they knew they needed something to keep their son safe. That's when they found Miller.
“He found a dog chained up in someone's front yard, and he offered the dog owner $50, and the dog owner said take him,” Alicia said.
Miller was rescued by a service dog trainer out of Joplin.
“We actually felt really blessed to find this company in Joplin that charges $11,000,and then even after he places the dog in our home, he'll come to our home and help train the dog as well,” Alicia said.
But, the Lloyds need some help raising that kind of money, so they held a cookout in Cave Springs.
“We've sold about 300 plates for the cookout today, so all of that is going to help tremendously to pay for Miller,” Alicia said.
“The community has really come together with the donations,” Mason Lloyd, Carson’s dad, said. “Almost all of the food was donated.”
They said they can't believe the amount of support they've received.
“People that have never seen Carson, that don't know us at all have been so generous with their money, with their time, so we really, really appreciate it,” Alicia said. “We're very grateful.”
The Lloyds say Miller will change their lives and could save Carsons.
Alicia said when they go out in public, Carson will be tethered to the dog, so he can’t run away, and when they’re home the dog can run in front of Carson to block him from the door. The dog can also track him.
The family has set up a gofundme account to collect donations. You can donate by clicking here.