When They Rescued Her, They Never Expected This Reaction From Their Autistic Son.
When Xena was found on the streets, she was abused and in poor condition. She weighed just four pounds when she arrived at Dekalb Animal Services shelter in Georgia. The Hickey family heard about her story and decided to adopt her. After the dog moved in with the family, she quickly became close friends with autistic 8-year-old son, Jonny. Xena, who is a Staffordshire terrier mix, was crowned Dog of the Year in 2013 for helping the extremely shy autistic boy come out of his shell. She was also honored at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (ASPCA) annual awards ceremony in New York, where she was given a sparkling tiara and sash.