Fredericksburg, VA, July 13, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- A 12-year-old girl named Mia from Fredericksburg, Virginia has just received an incredible Seizure Response Service Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or "SDWR," has a mission to provide specially bred and custom-trained dogs for individuals of all ages with invisible disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder, PTSD, Diabetes, or in the case of Mia - Seizure Disorder. In addition to hundreds of working dogs already placed, there are over 400 families enrolled in SDWR’s program awaiting their service dog delivery.
Mia’s dog, named "Vega" has already received thousands of training hours as a Seizure Response Service Dog and it will continue to learn under the guidance of a certified trainer from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers and through the rapport it develops with Mia. Vega is also an honored graduate of the SDWR Fallen Officer Puppy Program. The Fallen Officer Puppy Program, also known as "FOPP," is an initiative by SDWR to pay respect to the legacy of service by fallen American police who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Vega is named in honor of fallen Police Officer Jose Gilbert Vega of the Palm Springs Police Department in California who was shot and killed in action while responding to a domestic disturbance call. Officer Vega had served the police force for 37 years and was scheduled to retire only 2 months after his murder. Vega’s work as a Seizure Response Service Dog with Mia will carry on in memoriam of Police Officer Vega’s life of service before self.
Mia was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 8 years old. Mia’s disability causes her to have grand mal seizures which can often happen in the middle of the night while Mia is asleep. Mia’s family is hoping a service dog will also be able to provide additional comfort dealing with her other diagnoses of ADHA, ODD, and Severe Separation Anxiety. Vega will be able to carry Mia’s emergency medications, get help if she falls during a seizure, and provide companionship to help with her anxiety. With Vega by her side, Mia’s family is confident that having a Seizure Response Dog will give her the confidence and independence she needs to face everyday challenges of living with epilepsy.
With the new arrival of Vega, Mia will have a four-legged tool that has received foundational training to not only assist Mia during seizures, but also help her to live a more independent and less anxiety-filled life. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Mia’s service dog will be able to accompany her everywhere - from cheer practice, to dance rehearsal, school, and even to the beach for vacations.
SDWR will continue to work with Mia’s family and Vega, to train for specific needs they may have. What makes SDWR so unique from other nonprofit service dog organizations is this highly customized and tailored training program. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Mia and her family along with Vega for the next 18 months every 3-4 months to continue fine tuning Vega’s skills to best fit their lifestyle and Mia’s disability.
What sets SDWR apart from other nonprofit service dog organizations, is that they have no age restrictions and none of the enrolled families ever travel in order to receive their service dog or participate in team training. SDWR’s customized training methods and careful considerations are made in order to match every service dog to their "person." Mia’s dog will work with the SDWR trainers over an 18-month training program towards public access training and certification. Through hard work and dedication of the organization and Mia they must work together to build on training foundations and fundamentals.
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the organization in its mission, "Until there’s a cure ... there’s a dog." To make a donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Seizure Response Service Dogs visit http://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/seizure/. To find out how you can volunteer or serve as a service dog raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities.