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Charity aims to pair autistic children with therapy dogs

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — At the Funny Bunny 5K run in Lee's Summit on Saturday, dogs were welcome to run the course with their owners.

In fact, it was really all about dogs—and the special kids they help.

It was all to benefit a local organization called "Paws 4 Autism," which helps families afford the cost of buying therapy dogs for children with autism. The dogs are trained to recognize when a child with autism starts to become anxious or do something dangerous.

The director of the new Kansas City-area charity, Terri Marvel Wible, says that her daughter has autism, and that their dog has changed their life. Now, she wants other kids to have the same opportunity.

"The dogs recognize when those anxiety levels are rising and they redirect before it becomes a meltdown," said Wible. "Depending on what the childs needs are, it can be anything from nudging to deep pressure to laying on them or being a pillow for the child, licking to barking to alert an adult."

For more information on Paws 4 Autism, click here.