Juno the Shelter Dog
Lucas Hembree, a Tennessee boy with a rare genetic disorder called Sanfilippo syndrome, isn’t like other 5-year-old boys, and neither is his dog Juno. A Belgian Malinois that the Hembree family rescued from a local shelter, Juno has been trained to spend her time monitoring Lucas. Because of his condition, Lucas has limited mobility, eyesight, and hearing, and must wear braces on his legs, eyeglasses, and hearing aids to help his movement and senses.
Lucas’s father, Chester, researched purchasing a service dog for the boy, but the $15,000 price tag was just too much for the family’s budget. So Chester focused on looking for dog breeds that are commonly used as service dogs. When Chester heard of a Belgian Malinois scheduled to be euthanized at a nearby shelter, the family immediately went and adopted Juno. Chester expected Juno to help Lucas walk without falling and monitor his mobility, but was surprised to learn that Juno can also detect when Lucas is about to have a seizure. Since then, the boy and his dog have been inseparable.
Read more about Juno and Lucas here.