Powell, OH, October 15, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- Thor, a 6-year old boy living in Powell, Ohio, has received a very special delivery today 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 Thor - 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.
Walker, 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.
Walker 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. Walker is named in honor of fallen hero Detective Jerry Ronald Walker of Little Elm Police Department in Texas who was shot and killed after responding to a call involving an armed subject. Walker’s work as an Autism Service Dog with Thor will carry on in memoriam of Detective Walker’s life of service before self.
At age 2 Thor regressed and lost all speech and eye contact. Thor was eventually diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4-years-old and also has Developmental Delay and Sensory Processing Disorder. Thor’s disability affects him and his family in many ways in their day-to-day life. “Autism makes everyday tasks difficult for Thor. He elopes and because he is nonverbal he gets frustrated often,” states Thor’s mother, Rachel. Thor’s family is hopeful that a service dog will act as a guardian for him and help keep him safe and comfort him.
Walker will assist in reducing the effects each diagnosis has on the family’s independence and daily life by working continuously with Thor. Since Walker is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Thor and his family everywhere - from school, to the park, and even traveling on vacation.
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 Thor, his family, and Walker every 3-4 months over the course of the next 18 months to continue working on Walker’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/.