Local community helps raise money for a service dog for a boy with autism

Korbin's Village
Posted at 1:10 PM, May 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 13:10:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Seven-year-old Korbin Ashling is quite the warrior.

“He is my hero he inspires me every day,” said Kelly Ashling, Korbin’s mother.

Korbin had a normal birth and toddlerhood, but at 27 months old he got an upper respiratory infection.

And within a couple of weeks, it regressed into autism. Florida State University’s first words project diagnosed Korbin just three months later.

Since then, it’s been an uphill battle. From multiple therapies addressing deficits, to open heart surgery.

"He gets different types of treatments from IV’s to medicines to pills you name it, and he still goes to school and tries his hardest,” Kelly said.

Korbin’s mother, Kelly, was in disbelief after the diagnosis.

She said, “It was a big pill to swallow, we knew it was going to change all of our lives significantly.”

So instead of harping on the diagnosis Kelly did the work!

When it came to getting a service dog, she was scammed out of $3,000.

Kelly reached out to service dog trainers and organizations all over the country and learned about highland service dogs in North Carolina

“They taught me here’s what you look for and here’s what you need!” said Kelly.

Their trainers were able to pair Korbin up with a golden retriever named Sadie, but the great training came at a cost.

Debra Livingood with Highland Service Dogs has been in the business for over 10 years and say if you find a service dog for lower than their price you should been wary.

So far Korbin’s Village, the community behind the cause, has raised over $9,000.

Kelly says with Korbin’s infectious laugh leading the way.

The goal will be reached, and Sadie will be home in no time.

For more on how you can donate: