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Boy With Autism Gets “Pug-tastic” Birthday Surprise Thanks To Kind Strangers

As Andrew Vaughan’s 14th birthday approached, he told his sister McKenna he did not want a party. Andrew is autistic and he feared no one would come out to celebrate with him. Knowing how much her brother adores Pugs, McKenna set out to plan the most “Pug-tastic” surprise party ever. With the help of social media and lots of local Pug parents, Andrew’s 14th birthday turned out to be a smashing success!

McKenna created a public event on Facebook, inviting anyone and everyone to come out to Sherman Oaks Park on Sunday, May 7 to help Andrew celebrate. She was primarily searching for Pug owners, but made it clear that all were welcome.

Three days before the big event, McKenna was getting nervous – she hadn’t received a single RSVP! Then something wonderful happened. A local Pug rescue group got wind of Andrew’s party and shared the information on their own page. The response was instant and overwhelming! Dozens of RSVPs flooded in within hours!

Gwenn Vallone from Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles told ABC News:

“All I did was share the invitation on our Facebook page and asked that any of our followers with pugs show up to the park. It all happened organically, really.”

Andrew arrived at Sherman Oaks Park on Sunday afternoon and found himself greeted by dozens of snorting little Pugs wagging their curly tails with excitement! Check out the video below to see his priceless reaction!

Andrew’s love for the stubby-faced, curly-tailed breed began in 2009 when he met two pugs named Sasha and Ketchup.

“I love their smushed faces and the way they snort,” he said.

ABC also spoke with Andrew’s mother who expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped make her son’s birthday a success – especially her daughter, McKenna.

“Siblings of kids with special needs have to give up a lot,” she said. “We used to have money to take trips. Now neither of us even own a car because his therapies are so expensive.”

McKenna was so inspired by the incredible turnout and support from the community that she has decided to start a nonprofit organization to throw birthday parties for kids with special needs. You can support this wonderful venture via GoFundMe.


H/T to ABC News

Featured Image via Facebook/The Pug Queen


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Written by Dina Fantegrossi
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