In January of this year, Service Dogs by SDWR announced a new project entitled “Fallen Officers Puppy Program—FOPP” a new initiative dedicated to continuing the legacy of community service shown by officers killed in the line of duty by naming future service dogs after fallen officers. Little did the Organization know at that time, or could ever imagine, that in the not so distant future, our Country would be faced with the emotional upheaval experienced in the past few weeks as we watched in horror our Nation’s men and women in blue become the target of such violence.
This project first began to honor Newark New Jersey Police Detective Michael Morgan, Jr., killed in November 2011 while trying to protect a woman during an attempted robbery. For those who knew and worked with Detective Morgan, he will always be remembered as a hero who served and helped his community, both on and off duty. Through this unique and special project, Detective Morgan’s name has been passed on to a service dog as it too dedicates its efforts to helping those in need. Service Dogs by SDWR, “SDWR,” a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, has named a puppy in training, “Morgan,” after Detective Michael Morgan.
Now as we, a Country, try to mourn and honor those officers we have lost so recently, we offer this project of memorial and hope for a better future. By banding together and by doing good together in the community, we show not only our respect for these fallen officers, we also continue their legacy of service.
“We know that so many people want to show their sorrow and appreciation of service to community whenever one of our Nation’s heroes is fallen in the line of duty,” says Founder and President, Dan Warren, “and we hope that by nominating an officer and helping to give the gift of a service dog to someone in need that people can feel that they have made a positive difference in this sorrowful time.”
What began in 2008 as an organization that bred and trained scent dogs, specifically Labrador Retrievers, for federal and local law enforcement work, SDWR’s mission expanded in 2010 with the goal to provide service dogs to people who cope with the challenges of living with an invisible disability such as Diabetes, Autism, Seizure Disorder or PTSD. Now it is one of the largest service dog providers in the country with 500 dogs working around the US and across the globe.
Dan Warren, Founder and President of SDWR developed the Fallen Officer Puppy Program, “FOPP,” in early 2016. “I wanted to find a way to pay tribute to the officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice, who paid the ultimate price in service to the community,” says Warren. “My work with scent dogs brought me in contact with many of our nation’s law enforcement officers and I truly was blessed to meet and get to know so many of them. This program is my Organization’s way of saying ‘thank you’ for your service,” states Dan Warren. SDWR’s motto is “One team, one voice, one mission, one heart and one goal—to do good in this world.” The Organization believes in not only providing service dogs to people in need but also feels it needs to provide meaningful ways for the community to do good deeds and pay it forward. SDWR invites you to sponsor an FOPP and or nominate a fallen officer to continue that officer’s legacy of service.
For more information about SDWR, its service dogs and the Fallen Officer Puppy Program, please visit the website www.sdwr.org/fallen-officer-puppy-program/ or call 540/543.2307.