Newark police officers present boy with autism new service dog

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

A Newark boy with autism who lost his dog to a tragedy, now has a new furry friend thanks to the generosity of some Newark police officers.

It has been a rough couple of weeks for 10-year-old Frankie Velez. He and his previous dog were hit by a car while out for a walk in their neighborhood. Velez was not badly hurt, but the dog did not survive. The dog was a service pet for Velez, who used the animal to help with his autism.

"He's very emotional. He's very close to animals he loves dogs. Of course, he lost his best friend,” says family friend Melvin Lopez.

Velez was devastated by the loss, so Newark Police Officers Malikah Muhammad and George Hiens devised a plan to get him a new best friend.

The officers presented Velez with a 5-month-old Yorkie Tuesday afternoon. The boy named the dog “Blue” after the color of police uniforms.

“It's a wonderful thing what the officers did. Very wonderful,” says Lopez.

Velez is the only person in his apartment complex who is allowed to own a dog since it is a service animal.

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