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April 16, 2024 | NEW BRITAIN, CT – Hospital for Special Care is proud to announce the newest addition to its Autism Center therapy team – a specially trained service dog. Adele was donated to the Hospital for Special Care Autism Center by The Hometown Foundation, Inc. and trained by Forever In My Heart Foundation. Michael Gallagher of Gallagher Buick GMC in New Britain provided a $10,000 sponsorship as part of the car-dealerships commitment to the New Britain community and Pierogies for Paws also supported with a $15,000 grant.

The hospital’s service dog, named Adele, is a black Labrador Retriever, who has completed extensive training to work with children on the autism spectrum. Adele will work alongside the hospital’s team of occupational therapists, speech therapists, and other professionals to provide a unique form of therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Forever In My Heart Foundation, renowned for its dedication to enhancing lives through service animals, provides service dogs for families with children with autism. Research has shown that therapy dogs can be highly effective in helping children with autism improve their communication skills, reduce anxiety, and assist with sensory processing.

“The foundation’s commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals with autism through the provision of service animals underscores its mission to foster inclusivity and support within communities,” said Mira Alicki, Forever In My Heart Foundation Founder and President and Pierogis for Paws Board Member, “Adele’s training represents a significant step forward in achieving this goal, promising to make a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals.”

“The Hometown Foundation, Inc. was contacted by the Hospital for Special Care to help with covering the costs of the service dog,” said Douglas Shaw, Director of The Hometown Foundation, Inc. “Knowing the importance that this donation would have on the Autism Center, the foundation worked for several months to find the right donor to help fill that need.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Adele to the team,” said Marc Brunetti, HFSC Chief Operating Officer, “This furry addition to our team will play a crucial role in rebuilding lives by providing comfort, companionship, and support to our patients with autism. We are thankful to the Forever In My Heart Foundation and The Hometown Foundation for their support in making this happen.”

Media is invited to meet Adele on April 23rd from 12:00 – 1:00 pm at Hospital for Special Care. Leaders from Hospital for Special Care, The Hometown Foundation, and Forever In My Heart Foundation will be available at the event, in addition to the donor, Michael Gallagher.


About Hospital for Special Care

Hospital for Special Care (HFSC) is the fourth largest, free-standing long-term acute care hospital in the U.S. and one of only two in the nation serving adults and children. HFSC is recognized for advanced care and rehabilitation in pulmonary care, acquired brain injury, medically-complex pediatrics, neuromuscular disorders including ALS research, spinal cord injury, comprehensive heart failure and comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

Located in New Britain and Hartford, CT, HFSC operates inpatient and outpatient facilities serving Southern New England and the Tri-State area on a not-for-profit basis. For the latest news and information, please visit, and follow us on Facebook @HospitalforSpecialCare and Twitter @HospSpecialCare.

About Forever In My Heart Foundation

Forever In My Heart Foundation was founded to make an impact in the lives of homeless dogs in animal shelters and people with disabilities in our communities. The Foundation was founded in 2018 by a group of passionate women eager to make a difference in lives of people with disabilities as well as in the lives of homeless dogs. Forever In My Heart Foundation remains dedicated to embracing neurodiversity and unleashing pawsibilities.

The organization started by training Service Dogs for veterans suffering from PTSD and/or mobility disabilities and expanded to training both service dogs for Children with Autism and Facility Service Dogs for schools, hospitals etc. For the latest news and information, please visit and follow us on Facebook @foreverinmyheartfoundation.

About The Hometown Foundation, Inc.

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization committed to supporting those in need in conjunction with Bozzuto’s, Inc., its family of retailers and community business partners. The Hometown Foundation, established in 2002, raises money to support a broad range of programs that meet community needs. The Foundation’s focus and commitment center around five key program areas benefitting Animal Welfare, Emergency Response Personnel, Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities, Major Illness or Those In Need, and the Military. Our year-round programs are devoted to strengthening our local communities to create a more cohesive and inclusive society. For more information visit