Nationwide campaign to reunite autistic boy with stolen support dog
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Nationwide campaign to reunite autistic boy with stolen support dog

A SOCIAL media campaign to help reunite an autistic child with his beloved support puppy has been gaining traction across Ireland-- but there is still no sign of the missing pup.

Four-year-old Ashton, from Charleville in County Cork, has been missing his puppy Ginger immensely since she was taken from the family home by thieves on 2 May this year.

His mother, Jenny Foley, took to social media that evening where she shared the heartbreaking news that her son's support puppy was gone.

Addressing the thieves themselves, Ms Foley wrote at the time:

"To whoever broke in to the back of our house this evening approx 9pm I hope you know I'm going to have my little 4 year old wake up to the news that his precious little doggy is gone".

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"This dog is so special to us all as she is the only dog that my son, who has autism, gave a name to," Ms Foley explained. "She is a family pet who makes my little boy smile every day."

She went on to urge the thieves to return her son's best friend, appealing to their sense of "decency or shame", but sadly little Ashton had to wake up to the news that Ginger was gone.

The community rallied: the post was shared hundreds of times and Ms Foley was inundated with messages from people urging her to check all the local pounds and animal sanctuaries; any time  news broke of animals being stopped at ports, or puppy farms being raided, supporters were asking if there was a young King Charles in there somewhere.

But weeks have passed and there are no signs of Ginger. But Ms Foley and the aptly named 'Ashton's Army' aren't giving up.

On Friday, Ms Foley wrote another post where she insisted "we are only going to apply more pressure to those than have her", and shared a photograph of the pup showing a distinctive mark she has.

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The campaign's Facebook page, One boy and his dog, has regular updates for Ashton's search for his beloved support puppy, with a recent post detailing how the search has become nationwide.

"We are sure someone knows something and will realise they are causing as much hurt as the ones that took Ginger," a recent post reads.

"We have been told today that there isn't a county or Garda station in the land that doesn't know of Ashton and Ginger's story now and that's down to every single person that has called, text messaged, liked and shared our posts.

"Ye really are 'Ashtons Army' and we will never forget the kindness ye have shown.

"With your help we know we will get Ginger Rogers home again."