Centre Hall, PA, October 30, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- Dominic, an 11-year old boy living in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, has received a very special delivery of his very own Autism Service Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers
to help assist him and better communicate his needs. 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 Dominic - Autism Spectrum Disorder. SDWR has hundreds of service dogs working across the US and around the globe. SDWR is currently serving approximately 1,000 families.
Floyd, a golden retriever Autism Service Dog, recently graduated from SDWR’s Service Dog Raiser Program where volunteers diligently raise puppies 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.
Floyd 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. Floyd is named in honor of fallen hero Lieutenant Steven Romell Floyd, Sr. of Delaware Department of Correction who was killed during a 20-hour hostage situation at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware in 2017. Floyd’s work as an Autism Service Dog with Dominic will carry on in memoriam of Lieutenant Floyd’s life of service before self.
Dominic was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3-and-a-half-years-old. Dominic’s disability affects him and his family in many ways. Dominic’s mother, Abigail, states that, “Dominic has frequent nightmares, self harm tendencies, elopement issues and self esteem issues. It pains us to see him struggle so much when he has such big dreams. He also has issues with heat and cannot tell when he is overheating. He has been hospitalized in patient five times and twice this year. Our family is a bit broken and we miss him always when he has to leave us.” Dominic’s family is hopeful that a service dog will act as a guardian for him and help keep him safe and comfort him.
Floyd will assist in reducing the effects each diagnosis has on the family’s independence and daily life by working continuously with Dominic. Since Floyd is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Dominic and his family everywhere - from restaurants, to the store, and even to horse therapy.
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 Dominic, his family, and Floyd every 3-4 months over the course of the next 18 months to continue working on Floyd’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, https://www.sdwr.org/. To learn more about Autism Service Dogs go to https://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/autism. To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit https://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities.