Service Dog Trainers & Staff
Dan Warren is the Founder and President of Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. He believes that individuals who struggle with invisible disabilities often will benefit from having a canine companion in their lives to enhance a quality of life, provide hope, independence, and peace of mind. It is Dan’s personal goal to bring hope and peace until a cure is found for these disabilities and does believe, “Until there’s a cure… There’s a dog!”
Heather, Client Services
Hi my name is Heather. I am a Mom to 3 amazing children Zachary, Torrance, & Parker, 2 dogs Lena and Lenny, and a wife to a great guy Josh! I was born and raised in Charlottesville, VA and graduated with an Advanced Diploma from a local High School. When I was first introduced to the organization I would have never expected that it would be such a life changing experience for me and my family in so many ways! I was an volunteer before an employee, and when the opportunity arose to become a part of the team, who are not only friends but more of a family, I didn’t hesitate. I am very thankful to be a part of an organization that has a mission to provide peace of mind to individuals with invisible disabilities by providing them with an amazingly well trained and groomed Service Dog that will not only be their life long companion, but their life saver too! As being a mother to a child with an invisible disability, I know all too well what it feels like to have relief provided to your child, self, and family. Working in Client Services I am given the chance to be a part of providing an individual or someone’s child, mom, dad, sibling, grandparent, or friend their “relief” and that is a very rewarding feeling! Coming from a 10 year career in wireless to SDWR has been a great change for me in all aspects of life. I am dedicated to doing my part to grow SDWR, and providing sense of relief for many years to come!
Kristen, Marketing Director
My name is Kristen and I live in the nearby city of historic Old Town Manassas, VA with my husband and 4 rescue animals. We have a 14 year old Jack Russell named Scottie, a 12 year old Dachshund mutt named Lacey, a “foster fail” black Manx named Mookey, and a pleasantly plump tuxedo cat named Frank. I am a lifelong Virginia resident and I have been in the tech industry for over 10 years. Volunteering with animals and fostering cats and dogs that are looking for their forever home is something I’m passionate about and I am honored to be a part of the SWDR team helping families with invisible disabilities. It has always been my dream to find a career in which I can use my marketing and technological skills combined with my love for animals and helping people.
Ashlie, Trainer & Puppy Raiser Coordinator
Ashlie takes great pride in the work she does helping us transform adorable puppies into lifesaving SDWR service dogs. She is an instrumental part of our team overseeing kennel staff and answering check-ins.
Madeleine, Puppy Raiser Coordinator
“My time of working with dogs started my freshman year of high school where I started out as a kennel hand. I slowly started to progress and finally finished my time at that facility as an assistant trainer, specifically training dogs in duck hunting and for the show ring. I was accepted into Virginia Tech where I still currently am studying to receive a degree in Financial Planning. Sophomore year is when I first heard of SDWR and decided to become a puppy raiser. After my first two months of working with my assigned puppy I was given the opportunity to start as an Apprentice Trainer with SDWR where I worked with puppy raisers who attended Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. May of 2017 I stepped into the position of Puppy Raiser Coordinator where I work to place future service dogs in Puppy Raiser homes and ensure positivity and productivity among each one of our Puppy Raisers. It is beyond gratifying to see what Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers does for each one of their service dog families and the impact that they have had among all of the communities throughout the area that they work with. I look forward to continuing to work with SDWR and their family and cannot wait to see where this amazing job will take me. ”
, Training Director
In 2001, Cheri began her career in the Department of Corrections. Beginning 2005, she became a Narcotics Canine Handler, where her duties included searching cells for narcotics in multiple correctional facilities, as well as inmates, visitors and employees of the Virginia Department of Corrections.
In 2007, Cheri’s experience in dog training strengthened, when her career as a Narcotics Canine Handler Instructor began. She participated in the Narcotics Canine Handler Schools teaching new Handlers and their dogs on how to do searches as well as training the dogs on how to locate Narcotics.
After years of working alongside canine training, Cheri finally joined SDWR, starting off training puppies at the facilities. She described her duties,
“[Training puppies] included socializing them, teaching them sit, down, stay, come and proper leash walking. I then progressed to delivering the puppies into the homes of our clients. I have been delivering and training Diabetic Alert Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, and Autism Service Dogs. I am currently the Training Director for SDWR. During my time with SDWR I have trained over 300 very successful Service Dogs.”
Cheri has also helped to supply dogs for the local Police Departments as well as USDA.
I have 2 dogs that I have had since they were 8 weeks old, a 7-year-old Rottweiler and a 7-year-old Bullmastiff. Both dogs have had extensive obedience training and both received their Canine Good Citizenship through the AKC and were registered Therapy Dogs with Therapy Dog International up till this current year when I retired them due to their ages. Also, I performed private obedience training with friends, family, and acquaintances. I started working at Petsmart in Norfolk, VA as a Pet Trainer for over a year. There I assisted families with basic obedience training as well as assisting several people with training their service dogs. After learning of the opportunity at Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers in 2012, I welcomed the opportunity to train dogs and help families at the same time. I have now worked with Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers for over 3.5 years and plan to continue for a long time which is why I am looking to relocate to this area. I have worked training dogs full time for the past 5.5 years and prior to that worked part time training dogs and worked full time in social work and counseling as I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
Hi, my name is Caleb and I spent close to eight years in the military after high school, and was medically discharged after being injured on a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. I studied dog training at the Tom Rose School outside St. Louis, Missouri in 2016 where I trained dogs in competition obedience, tracking, protection, scent detection, agility, and SAR. I ran the dog program at a rescue group for a year and decided to return to school to work with service dogs. That’s where I placed my first PTSD dog, a black lab named Shade, with a veteran. While there, I saw a posting for a job training with SDWR, and after visiting the farm and talking to the staff I was excited to join an organization dedicated to helping others improve their quality of life. My ten year old daughter, Grace, does competitive gymnastics, and I have two dogs of my own. Cyrus is a 7 year old Doberman I adopted from a breed rescue, and Susan is a two year old black German Shepherd I got in Kentucky at six weeks old.
, Kennel Assistant & Groomer
Beverly has been a groomer and animal caretaker since 2013. She loves bathing, walking dogs, and making sure animals are being properly cared for. Beverly loves doing her part to make SDWR a healthy team environment by working as a team member to in order to maintain a safe, functional, and friendly environment for customers and employees.
SDWR Chapter Managers
, North Alabama Chapter Manager
My name is April Reno I am 38 years old and the mom of two children with type one diabetes. I was a substitute teacher for two years where I worked with special needs children. I am a very active supporter of the Daring To Defeat Diabetes organization. I started my journey with SDWR in May 2014, when I decided to receive a DAD (diabetic alert dog) for my children. I am currently North Alabama Chapter Manager. My children and I are proud owners of Miracle our diabetic alert dog. My favorite part of working with SDWR is meeting other families with invisible disabilities. I love hearing their stories and I am always ready to share mine.
Michelle, Southern California Chapter Manager
I am Michelle Hyman. I have owned dogs all of my life and I love helping people! I have had my own Diabetic Alert Dog, SaveHer, for over four years. I live in the Southern California region.
, Kentucky Chapter Manager
Tracy Stakely began her career in the field of Social Work as a Case Manager and Therapist to the chronically mentally ill at her community’s mental health facility for 20 years. It wasn’t until her daughter’s diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes in 2008 did things change for her. She found SDWR after researching ways to help maintain her daughter’s new diagnosis and shortly thereafter obtained a Diabetic Alert Dog for her daughter. “I was amazed at these dogs and the life-saving abilities they possess. I knew I had to be a part of this organization.” She began working for SDWR in 2013 in support services and joined the Chapter Manager team shortly afterward. “I love seeing how these dogs change lives! I know what our Diabetic Alert Dog has done for my family and am excited to see how they can improve the lives of others as well.” Being a Chapter Manager for Tracy helps provide support to other families in KY who are also seeking a Service Dog. “My family grew immensely when I joined the SDWR team!”
, Michigan Chapter Manager
Ben started his journey with S.D.W.R in April 2013 when he signed on to receive a Diabetic Alert Dog. He was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 12. After hours of research, and searching for the right organization to get a D.A.D from he decided upon S.D.W.R due to his initial conversation with Dan, his enthusiasm and passion for the cause were contagious. Since receiving Max – Ben’s D.A.D, he has been training non-stop, and have had the pleasure and blessing of being amazed each and every day by his abilities. Ben’s bond with Max is such a beautiful gift to the family, we simply cannot imagine our life without him.
In October 2015 Ben was excited to announce to family and friends that he was given an opportunity to share in his passion for S.D.W.R by becoming the Michigan Chapter Manager of this wonderful organization! He believes as Dan does that “Until there is a cure, there is a Dog”. Ben and his family have witnessed firsthand the life saving and life giving a gift that a service dog has to offer and are very excited, blessed and grateful to have the opportunity to walk beside families as they start on the same journey he did in 2013 and advocate for such a stellar organization as S.D.W.R.
Chris and Carrie
, Oklahoma Chapter Manager
Chris and Carrie Chastain live in Enid, OK with their two children Tripp (5) and Quinn(3). Jake joined the family in January 2016 to serve as an autism service dog for Tripp who was diagnosed at age 4 with autism. Jake and the team from SDWR made such a positive impact on the entire family’s lifestyle that they jumped on board as chapter managers for the Oklahoma area.
, Tennessee Chapter Manager
In May of 2011, our world changed forever when our son Nathaniel, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Being an over-protective mom I started researching ways to help him manage his diabetes and keep our sanity. After several searches and many phone calls to different places I decided to make the call to SDWR. I was terrified of making the call as I had already experienced disappointing calls but from the moment Dan answered the phone my fears were put to rest and I knew that this man and this company had true compassion and understood what we as a family were going through. We signed up the next day and started fundraising for our miracle with 4 paws. In September of 2011 our wonder dog, Malachi arrives at our home and alerted to a low with in 15 mins. now years laterNathaniel has been diagnosed with several medical problems including Autism and Sensory Processing to Central Nervous Tremors. I never dreamed that Malachi would help in these areas of Nathaniel’s life but he has. From turning on the lights to calming him when he can no longer process the world around him. Malachi has proven himself time and time again, the same goes for Dan he total stands behind his word and has gone above and beyond when we needed him. Being a Chapter Manager for Tennessee means not only do I get to tell more people about how wonderful Malachi is but how I can help them get the miracle dog they so desperately need. Who wouldn’t want to help other parents feel the same relief that we feel every night when we close our eyes. Becoming an SDWR family member was the happiest thing diabetes ever gave to us.
, ArkansasChapter Manager
We love our DAD Noodle. He is apart of our family. Our daughter Raylee was diagnosed November 11,2014 T1D. Our lives changed dramatically. We were scared confused sad angry and many more emotions. But with time and support, we found SDWR and they have been a life saver and now family
Kami,Eastern Virginia Chapter Manager
My name is Kami Brown. I am a teacher in Chesapeake Public Schools. I have been teaching for 17 years. We have a diabetic alert dog named Rylie Ann. My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008 when she was 3 years old. Rylie Ann joined our family in September 2011. We spent years searching for the right company that we felt comfortable getting a service dog from before we found SDWR. We got so much more than a service dog to help our daughter. With SDWR, we got a family which provides unending friendships and support
Markeeta, South West Virginia Chapter Manager
“I have been married to Jason for 8 years, with two children Carter, 6 and Erin, 4. I am a kindergarten teacher. I have a graduate certificate in autism intervention. We received our service dog Happy in April 2015. He is an autism service dog for my son Carter. He helps with meltdowns, elopement, and speech! We live on a farm in southwest VA. We enjoy trips to Dollywood and Asheville. I also enjoy running and Happy makes a great running partner! “
Don & Kathy
, Ohio Chapter Managers
Kathy is a surgical diabetic due to an insulinoma (benign tumor in and through the pancreas). Three-quarters of the pancreas was removed. Currently on an insulin pump. Tried a CGM for 6 months but was always so far off it could not be trusted. As you may know there are complications with diabetes. One of which is hypoglycemia unawareness. This means Kathy cannot sense when her blood sugar is high or low, this is a very serious complication. To help combat hypoglycemia unawareness, Duncan(our DAD – Diabetic Alert Dog) alerts to lows and highs. Giving back more freedom and letting Don not worry as much when he goes into the office to work.
Don is a T2 diabetic and experienced lows when the doctors tried using oral drugs to control the BG. Now on just a weekly shot to keep the BG level without the lows.