Edmond, OK, September 15, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- Cash, a 6-year old boy from Edmond, Oklahoma, received a very special delivery today of his very own Autism Service Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers
to help him better communicate his needs and assist him with his daily struggles. Based in Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or “SDWR,” has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for people with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Cash - Autism Spectrum Disorder. SDWR has hundreds of service dogs working across the US and around the globe and is currently serving approximately 1,000 families.
Hoyos, a Golden Retriever Autism Service Dog, recently graduated from SDWR’s Service Dog Raiser Program where dedicated volunteers raise service dogs in training for over the course of approximately one year. Both the dogs and raisers must complete the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at their facility in Virginia.
Hoyos 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. Hoyos is named in honor of fallen hero Agent Rosario Hernández de Hoyos of Puerto Rico Police Department who was shot and killed by a disgruntled police officer who took her and two other officers hostage. Hoyos’s work as an Autism Service Dog with Cash will carry on in memoriam of Agent Rosario Hernández de Hoyos’s life of service before self.
Cash was diagnosed with Moderate Nonverbal Autism and a Global Delay at the age of 2-years-old. Cash’s daily life is a struggle to function like everyone else. He does not understand many things and has to be guided through most activities. Outings are not always the easiest for Cash and his family is hopeful that a service dog will act as a guardian for him. Having a service dog will help guide Cash through all aspects of daily life including staying focused to get ready in the morning and smooth transitions. Cash’s family is also hoping a service dog will help him attend tasks better at school and during therapy as well as encouraging a full night's rest.
Cash’s lack of communication and language skills also prove to be a big challenge for their family. Cash uses an iPad to help with communication, but primarily he is trying to learn to speak. Cash’s family is hopeful that with the arrival of Hoyos it will help keep him focused and encourage him to pay better attention to his surroundings. Hoyos will assist in reducing the effects each diagnosis has on the family’s independence and daily life by working continuously with Cash. Since Hoyos is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), he will be able to accompany Cash and his family everywhere - from playing outside, to restaurants, and even to school.
SDWR’s unique training program is what sets them apart from other non-profit service dog organizations. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Cash, his family, and Hoyos every 3-4 months over the course of the next 18 months to continue working on Hoyos’s customized training, follow up training and training the human to make a successful team and public access certification.
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a nonprofit 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 or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Autism Service Dogs go to http://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/autism/. To find out how you can volunteer as a service dog raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities/.