Local mom fundraising for son’s service dog

Photo contributed by Janine Brodeur

October 20, 2023 – A Clovis mother needs your help to get her son a service dog.

Janine Brodeur is a single mother who works full time. Her youngest child is 9 year old Cooper, a student at Mickey Cox elementary in a Special Day Class. His mother says he has a great support system at school between his one-on-one aid and his teacher that he has had for the last three years.

Cooper has Down Syndrome—and he has had many medical challenges since he was born. He wasn’t able to walk until he was 4 years old, and his body tires very easily. His mother was just recently able to finally get a wheelchair approved after several months of dealing with insurance.

He has a good vocabulary, but it is still limited and this causes him communication frustration. He can sometimes be very sensitive to sounds and other parts of his surroundings. His mom has to be very cautious when they are out and about.

Two major concerns for his mother is that Cooper doesn’t have safety awareness, and that he is at risk for elopement a.k.a. flight risk.

These are just a couple examples of why it is so important that Cooper gets a service dog. 

“Everything is kind of a battle, but we are looking to get a puppy [. . .] to be a comfort and a companion for him,” said his mother Janine Brodeur.

Here’s the thing, service dogs are very expensive. Between the cost of adopting the puppy and the cost of the necessary training, the price tag is a minimum of several thousand dollars.

Raising children as a single mother—including a child with disabilities—is incredibly difficult physically, emotionally, and of course, financially.  

This is a chance for our community to come together to change a child’s life, therefore changing a family’s life. 

“The dog will be trained to sleep with him at night to keep him warm and calm. During the day the dog will be a comfort when having a melt down, transitioning in daily life, redirecting behaviors, providing deep pressure during meltdowns, keeping him safe outside and in public areas. A true constant companion,” said Janine. 

Please, visit Janine’s gofundme and give what you can—anything helps! Even a dollar or five is greatly appreciated. If we all give a little, Cooper will be able to get his service dog in no time. 

Gofundme: Companion – Service Dog for Down Syndrome Child by Janine Brodeur


Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.