Mark was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 3 yrs-old. His special caregiver, a black Labrador Retriever has been missing since last Wednesday night. The dog apparently left the Fontana’s home through an open door.
“She’s changed our life. She’s not a pet; she’s a critical caregiver for our son. She keeps him safe.” said Mark’s mother, Emily Fontana
Mark’s condition causes him to be non-verbal. His mother told WABC, “He’s a runner. He runs into the street. He runs to water. He loves swimming pools and he can’t swim. We have had many scares where he’s gotten out of the house,” and added, “When he’s lost, he doesn’t even know that he’s lost, he’s not able to go up to someone and say, ‘My name is Mark,’ or his phone number or where he lives.”
Echo was donated to the family by Guiding Eyes for the Blind who paid the $45,000 to train her.
The whole neighbourhood has printed out fliers and covered the area searching for Echo. But as of Monday afternoon, there were still no signs of the service dog.
Echo is between 50 – 55 pounds. If you see her, take her to the vet or anywhere they can swipe her chip and trace her back home.