Cleveland, OH, April 10, 2019 – A 22-year-old woman named Hannah living in Cleveland, Ohio, has just received an extremely special Seizure Response Service Dog from Service Dogs by SDWR. Service Dogs by SDWR, or “SDWR,” has a mission to provide specially bred dogs for individuals of all ages with invisible disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder, PTSD, Diabetes, or in the case of Hannah — Seizure Disorder. In addition to hundreds of working dogs already placed, there are over 400 families enrolled in SDWR’s program awaiting their service dog delivery.
Hannah was diagnosed with epilepsy as an infant and with schizencephaly at the age of 18-years-old. Hannah’s epilepsy severely limits her independence and causes her emotional distress by worrying about having a seizure. With Rose by her side, Hannah is confident that having a Seizure Response Dog will provide her with the independence she needs to face the everyday challenges of living with epilepsy.
Rose 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. Rose is named in honor of fallen hero Deputy Sheriff Rosemary Vela of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee who was killed in a single vehicle crash while responding to backup another deputy. Rose’s work as a Seizure Response Service Dog with Hannah will carry on in memoriam of Deputy Sheriff Vela’s life of service before self.
With the new arrival of Rose, Hannah will have a four-legged tool that has received foundational training to not only assist Hannah during seizures, but also help her to live a more independent and less anxiety-filled life. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Hannah’s service dog will be able to accompany her everywhere– from going to restaurants, to running errands, and even to work.
SDWR will continue to work with Hannah and Rose in her home environment, to train for specific needs she may have. What makes SDWR so unique from other nonprofit service dog organizations is this highly customized and tailored training program. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Hannah and her family along with Rose for the next 18 months every 3-4 months to continue fine tuning Rose’s skills to best fit their lifestyle and Hannah’s disability.
What sets SDWR apart from other nonprofit service dog organizations, is that they have no age restrictions and none of the enrolled families ever travel in order to receive their service dog or participate in team training. SDWR’s customized training methods and careful considerations are made in order to match every service dog to their “person.” Hannah’s service dog will work with the SDWR trainers over an 18-month training program towards public access training and certification. Through hard work and dedication of the organization and Hannah they must work together to build on training foundations and fundamentals.
Service Dogs by SDWR 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 a donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Seizure Response Service Dogs visit https://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/seizure-response/. To find out how you can volunteer or serve as a service dog raiser visit https://www.sdwr.org/volunteers-opportunities/.