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Deaf Harrington Park Mom Seeks Service Dog

Harrington Park mom of two Tara McCann with her service dog, Ruggles.
Harrington Park mom of two Tara McCann with her service dog, Ruggles. Photo Credit: Submitted

HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. --  A deaf mom of two is asking for the public's help in raising funds for a service dog.

Harrington Park resident Tara McCann has put her "bark for help," as she calls it, on RedBasket.org .

McCann is 98 percent deaf and is a proficient lip-reader. Her former service dog, Ruggles, filled in the gaps, alerting her to danger such as emergency vehicles approaching and allowing her to live independently by alerting her to smoke alarms, the doorbell ringing and much more.

McCann realized her need for a service animal when she nearly collided with a fire truck on call when driving. “I didn’t hear or feel the siren. It was terrifying. I knew then that I had to do something," she said.

She was surprised to learn that the wait list for a trained service animal was over two years. She was even more surprised to find that fundraising for the animal was key. Service animals today cost in the $34,000 range.

The end result: she purchased Ruggles years ago. Now that she's retiring-- she's 17 years old after all -- McMann needs to buy another service dog. She currently has "Snoop Dawg" -- her kids named him -- on loan from a friend and still needs to pay back the funds.

Which is where RedBasket.org comes in. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) fundraising organizations is one of the few that allows each donation to be eligible for a 100 percent tax deduction.

After a thorough application process in which McMann's need for a service animal and its cost were confirmed, RedBasket.org agreed to promote her cause. Her campaign, “Helping Tara Hear,” can be found at www.RedBasket.org/1267 .

You can also follow her journey at www.Facebook.com/EarsForTara .

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