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Autism Service Dog Delivered to 8-Year-Old Boy in Redford, MI

An 8-year old boy named Ethan living in Redford, Michigan, has received a very special delivery of his very own Autism Service Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, also known as "SDWR."

Autism Service Dog Delivered to 8-Year-Old Boy in Redford, MI
Redford, MI, November 13, 2018 --( Ethan, an 8-year old boy living in Redford, Michigan, 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 Ethan - 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.

Ann, a black goldendoodle 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.

Ann 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. Ann is named in honor of fallen hero Deputy Director Carolyn Ann Cross of District of Columbia Department of Corrections in Washington, DC who was beaten to death inside her apartment in 2014. Ann’s work as an Autism Service Dog with Ethan will carry on in memoriam of Deputy Director Cross’s life of service before self.

Ethan was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2-years-old. Ethan’s disability affects him in his family in many ways. Ethan’s mother, Heather, states that, “My 8 year old son has been diagnosed with autism since age 2. Although he is a very happy and energetic boy, he has several challenges that prevent him from becoming more independent and staying safe. He is a runner and is a huge elopement risk!” Ethan also has sleep disturbances where he has had to sleep with his parents at night or he doesn’t fall and stay asleep. He likes deep pressure and craves physical contact which Ann will be able to assist him with. Ethan’s family is hopeful that a service dog will act as a guardian for him and help keep him safe and comfort him.

Ann will assist in reducing the effects each diagnosis has on the family’s independence and daily life by working continuously with Ethan. Since Ann is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Ethan and his family everywhere - from restaurants, to the store, and even to church.

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 Ethan, his family, and Ann every 3-4 months over the course of the next 18 months to continue working on Ann’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, To learn more about Autism Service Dogs go to To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit
Contact Information
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers
Beau Warren

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