A young Boca Raton boy will soon get the service dog he desperately needs -- as the Florida Atlantic Police Department graduates its first ever K-9 class. It's no coincidence either.
"We've always wanted to implement a K9 program here,” says FAU police Sgt. Gary Grande.
As they prepared the program, Liam Cruz's condition was only getting worse.
"It's bad it's Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome,” says Nicole Boulfe-Cruz, Liam's Mother. “It's a very rare genetic disorder."
The five year old's mom, Nicole, says her son's case is one of about 80 ever recorded - worldwide. It eats away at Liam’s mental and physical development.
But there's something about a dog’s touch or even just talking about a dog-or "wow-wow" as he calls them that brings out a healthy and happy energy in Liam.
"I know, I can't wait to have your ‘wow-wow’ back,” Nicole says to Liam.
A service dog for Liam was a must, but at a price tag too high. Nicole knew about the Rocco Mangel's past fund raising efforts on his Facebook page for Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar, so she made a call.
"I knew a guy names Bob Anderson who trained my dog, who's a K9 Trainer,” Rocco says.
FAUPD needed a dog, so he and bob made a deal to train what's become Liam’s lifeline.
"So he ended up donating a dog to the FAU Police Department for their new K-9 program and I told him I would donate training services to the family,” Bob says, owner of International K9 College.
So Kona-an English lab-will be trained sniff out drugs and faith, a golden retriever will soon be side-by-side Liam.