PRESS RELEASE UPDATED: August 20, 2017
Grover Beach, California, August 20, 2017 –
Natalia, an 11 year old in Grover Beach, had a special delivery today! After 3 years of living with Type 1 Diabetes, she has received her very own Diabetic Service Dog from Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers this week. Based out of Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers, or more commonly known as “SDWR,” places custom trained and bred service dogs for individuals with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, Autism, PTSD, and Seizure Disorders. With nearly 1,000 families actively enrolled or waiting for their service dog placement, SDWR has a mission to bring each a life-saving service dog. Natalia’s new dog, Yukon, will help alert Natalia and her family to dangerous fluctuations in her blood sugar and help provide newfound independence.
Yukon, a Labrador Retriever Diabetic Alert Dog, recently graduated from the SDWR Service Dog Raiser program. During his training, Yukon received several thousand hours of training with both volunteers and professional trainers to equip him for working service dog life. With the assistance of a certified SDWR trainer, Yukon will continue to develop his skills to serve Natalia with actions like alerting to high and low blood sugar, dialing 911 on a special device during emergencies, and increasing her independence.
Natalia is 11 years old and was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2014, over 3 years ago. Her family began researching diabetic alert dogs because she is unable to feel when her blood glucose raises too high or too low. For diabetics, it is extremely important to keep blood sugar within a healthy range to prevent comas or in extreme cases death. Natalia’s mother, Katrina, says she is looking forward to the freedom and peace of mind a service dog will provide the entire family. Yukon will be joining the family on their many outings including camping, biking, beach days, and eventually attending school with Natalia.
SDWR uses a proprietary scent training method to teach Diabetic Service Dogs to detect fluctuations in blood sugar that fall outside of a handler’s healthy range. Since Yukon is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Natalia everywhere including work and other public spaces. Katrina, her mother, will work with SDWR trainers to gain the full public-access certification.
In the coming 18 months, SDWR will return to Natalia’s home every 3-4 months to continue working on Yukon’s customized training, follow up training and training the human to make a successful team and public access certification. This certification can only be given to Yukon’s handler, Natalia’s parents, after a progression of hard work and dedication to the SDWR training program.
SDWR has been utilizing the placement and return training method for nearly a decade and received positive results with families worldwide. The organization strives to place dogs with families based on their unique personalities to facilitate a strong bond and positivity-based training method. SDWR requires no travel by handlers to custom-train a service dog and instead sends trainers to their homes on a set schedule. This ensures the dogs learn all the custom commands in the environment in which they will be expected to work.
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 or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Autism Service Dogs visit http://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/autism. To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities.