Katy was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 2 years old. Her family is hopeful that a service dog will provide assistance to calm Katy during times of anxiety and be a constant friend. The dog is named after fallen officer Senior Deputy Jessica Laura Hollis.
Madison, VA, June 22, 2019 — Katy, a 7-year-old girl living in Mississippi has received a very special delivery of her very own, an Autism Service Dog from SDWR to assist her and help better communicate her needs. Based in Madison, Virginia, SDWR has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for people with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Katy – Autism Spectrum Disorder. SDWR has hundreds of service dogs working across the United States and around the globe. SDWR is currently serving approximately 1,000 families.
Laura, a Labrador Retriever Autism Service Dog, recently graduated from SDWR’s Service Dog Raiser Program, where volunteers diligently raise young service dogs in training 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.
Laura is also an honored graduate of the SDWR Fallen Officer Puppy Program. The Fallen Officer Puppy Program, also known as “FOPP,” is an initiative to pay respect to the legacy of service by fallen American police who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Laura is named in honor of fallen hero, Senior Deputy Jessica Laura Hollis of the Travis County Sheriff's Office in Texas. Senior Deputy Hollis served with the Travis County Sheriff's Office for seven years and was a member of the agency's Dive Team. Autism Service Dog Laura’s work with Katy will carry on in memoriam of Senior Deputy Jessica Hollis’ life of service before self.
Katy was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 2 years old. Her family is hopeful that a service dog will provide assistance to calm Katy during times of anxiety and be a constant friend. Laura will assist in reducing the effects each diagnosis has on the family’s independence and daily life by working continuously with Katy. Since Laura is a service dog and covered under laws per the Americans with Disabilities Act, she will be able to accompany Katy and her 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 Katy, her family, and Laura every 3-4 months over the next 18 months to continue working on Laura’s customized training, follow up training and training the human to make a successful team and gain public access certification.
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 the puzzle is solved… there’s a dog.” To make a 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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