Cheney, WA, October 15, 2018 – Yolanda, a 53-year-old woman in Cheney, Washington, received a very special delivery today of her very own Diabetic Alert Service Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. Based in Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or “SDWR,” has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for people of all ages that struggle with living with invisible disabilities such as Autism, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Yolanda – Diabetes. SDWR has hundreds of working service dogs placed around the world and is currently serving approximately 1,000 families.
Kendall, a white labrador retriever Diabetic Alert Dog, has already received countless hours of training through SDWR’s service dog raiser program where volunteers raise puppies in training for approximately one year. The dogs and raisers must follow through the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at the facility in Virginia.
Kendall 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. Kendall is named in honor of fallen hero Assistant Sergeant Ammy Bogue Kendall of the Mississippi Department of Corrections who was shot and killed as five inmates escaped from the Parchman Penitentiary in 1963. Kendall’s work as a Diabetic Alert Service Dog with Yolanda will carry on in memoriam of Assistant Sergeant Kendall’s life of service before self.
Yolanda was diagnosed when she was 7 years old and has had Type 1 Diabetes for 47 years. Her ability to self-detect and tell when she has high and low blood sugars has been worsening over the past few years. Diabetes affects her and her family’s day-to-day lives and everything that they do. This disability impacts her relative safety, overall health, and quality of life.
Yolanda foresees Kendall as being part of her family and working with them to minimize the disability of her hypoglycemic unawareness. Yolanda is are hopeful that with the addition of a service dog it will help make their lives a little easier and provide a sense of independence and security.
SDWR uses a proprietary scent training method to teach Diabetic Alert Dogs to detect fluctuations in blood sugar that fall outside of a handler’s healthy range. Since Kendall is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Yolanda and her family everywhere – from work, to church, even to restaurants.
During the upcoming 18 months, SDWR will return to Yolanda’s home every 3-4 months to continue working on Kendall’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 Yolanda after a progression of hard work and dedication to the SDWR training program. This training program is what sets SDWR apart from other nonprofit service dog organizations.
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 a donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, www.sdwr.org.
To learn more about Diabetic Alert Service Dogs visit www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/diabetic-alert.
To learn more about SDWR’s Fallen Officer Puppy Program visit www.sdwr.org/fallen-officer-puppy-program/.