Lane, a Labrador Retriever Autism Service Dog, recently graduated from SDWR’s Service Dog Raiser Program where volunteers diligently raise young service dogs in training over the course of approximately one year. Both the dogs and raisers must complete the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at their facility in Virginia.
Lane 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. Lane is named in honor of fallen hero Trooper David J. Lane of the New York State Police who honorably served with the United States Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trooper Lane was killed in a vehicle crash while on patrol. Autism Service Dog Lane’s work with Zeke will carry on in memoriam of Trooper David J. Lane’s life of service before self.
Zeke was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 2 years old. His family is hopeful that a service dog will provide constant companionship and make a big difference in his life. Lane will assist in reducing the effects each diagnosis has on the family’s independence and daily life by working continuously with Zeke. Since Lane is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Zeke and his family everywhere – from school, to the park, and even grocery shopping or out to restaurants.
SDWR’s unique training program is what sets them apart from other non-profit service dog organizations. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Zeke, his family, and Lane every 3-4 months over the course of the next 18 months to continue working on Lane’s customized training, follow up training and training the human to make a successful team and public access certification.
Service Dogs by SDWR 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 or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, https://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Autism Service Dogs go to https://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/autism/. To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit https://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities/
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