Autism Light #469 is Xena Hickey, The Warrior Puppy.
Xena the Warrior Puppy is a Pitbull dog who lives in Johns Creek, Georgia. Xena was a severely abused rescue dog adopted from the Dekalb Animal Services, who over the past 6 years has been a therapy dog for a now 14 year old boy with autism named Jonny Hickey. Xena is an Autism Light for having a positive impact in improving Jonny's journey with autism. Xena won the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Dog of the Year Award in 2013. Xena and Jonny have their own 501c3 non-profit and over the past six years have been raising awareness for autism and the prevention of animal cruelty.
The following video tells the story of Xena and Jonny Hickey and was featured when Xena won the prestigious ASPCA Dog of the Year Award in 2013.
Xena arrived at the Dekalb Animal Services on September 25, 2012 and after months of physical rehabilitation was able to join Jonny's family on February 11, 2013, and officially adopted on March 25, 2013. Linda Hickey stated, "We've spent thousands of dollars on therapy, and I just said to myself that is the best therapy, standing, four-legs, in my family room (As quoted by Pawpulous.com, June 14, 2017)."
This video was made by Jonny to promote April as Autism Awareness Month and the prevention of Animal Cruelty Month.
Although this story was born six years ago, it is remarkable the difference Xena continues to make in Jonny's life and for others as they raise awareness of autism and animal cruelty. There next publicized event is a "Spread the Words" 5K Fun Run/Walk on October 29, 2019, to benefit the Special Needs Community and Animal Rescue.
If you wish to keep tabs on Xena visit her website at Xena the Warrior Puppy and check out her social media pages below.
Xena will be added to the Autism Light Animal Page today. Xena is an inspiring example of a rescue dog who is making a difference in the life and development of a young person with autism. We wish Jonny and Xena all the best in the future.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.