Waterford mom anxious about pit bull service dog's approval

A Waterford mother is getting worried about getting her son's service dog in to class with him because she's a pit bull.

Tara Guerrieri's sixth grade son, CJ, has autism and wants his certified service dog by his side. The problem, Guerrieri says, is that the service dog is considered a pit bull.

Roxie is a certified service dog and working to accompany her best friend to school. She's also a Staffordshire Pit Bull Terrier and for Guerrieri, a pit bull advocate, she says that's going to be a problem.

"They're the first dog to be vilified anywhere. I would say meet one who's been trained," Guerrieri said.

Guerrieri said the bond between CJ and Roxie was instant.

"We knew automatically that she bonded with children and she felt their energy. It's very common with this breed to actually feed off people's energy," Guerrieri said. "She spends so much time with him because they're supposed to have that deep bond, as you can see she's very in tune with him, she just loves him."

CJ attends Kingsley Montgomery, a public school in the Waterford School District. Waterford recently eased a pit bull after controvery last year. Dan Tillery was fined $500 and told his dog had to leave the city because it was considered a pit bull by police. The case was later dismissed.

Tara says Roxie is the only dog for the job.

"If CJ's going through a hard time, having one of his melt downs, or just an off day, she senses it," Guerrieri said. "Sits right at his feet, sits at the couch with him, does whatever she has to do to basically bring him a sense of calm."

The administration say they have neither approved or denied the request for Roxie to work in the school with CJ. They said they're hoping to first meet with the family and have a discussion.

Tara is hoping to convince the administration and concerned parents.

"Just because she's a pit bull doesn't mean she doesn't deserve a chance," she said.

CJ just hopes Roxie will be able to stick around, and keep him comfortable.

"She's a special dog," CJ said.

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