Diabetic Alert Dog Bentley Will Help Young Girl Manage Type 1 Diabetes

A special life-changing delivery made in Arkansas today!


Today is a special day for 10-year-old Sunnie of Malvern, Arkansas as she receives a Diabetic Alert Service Dog from Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers. Based out of Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers, or more commonly known as “SDWR,” places custom trained and bred service dogs for individuals with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, Autism, PTSD, and Seizure Disorders. With nearly 1,000 families actively enrolled or waiting for their service dog placement, SDWR has a mission to bring each a life-saving service dog. Bentley, a white labrador retriever, will alert to Sunnie’s dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar and perform other tasks to promote her independence.

Bentley is a specially-bred Labrador Retriever and trained Diabetic Alert. As a recent graduate of the SDWR Service Dog Raiser Program, he has received countless hours of training from SDWR staff and volunteers. He will continue to develop his skills as a Diabetic Alert Dog with the assistance of an SDWR custom tailored training program in his new home. The skills he will strengthen includes but are not limited to, alerting to high and low blood sugar, dialing 911 on a special device during emergencies, going to get juice or a meter, alerting to third parties within the home, and increasing her independence.

Sunnie, a 10-year-old girl, has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since 2 and a half years old. For Sunnie, like many other Type 1 Diabetics, it can be hard for her to feel her blood sugar change to dangerous levels and can result in trips to the hospital and other medical complications. Brandi, Sunnie’s mother, reached out to SDWR for a Diabetic Alert Dog specifically to help them manage dangerous highs or lows at night while Sunnie sleeps. Bentley will be joining the family today to begin work and provide the independence needed for Sunnie to enjoy her favorite activities like gymnastics, swimming, and hiking. Eventually, he will also attend school with her as she enters 5th grade this fall.

SDWR uses a proprietary scent training method to teach Diabetic Service Dogs to detect fluctuations in blood sugar that fall outside of a handler’s healthy range. Since Bentley is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Natalia everywhere including work and other public spaces. Sunnie and Brandi, her mother, will work with SDWR trainers to gain the full public-access certification.

In the coming 18 months, SDWR will return to Sunnie’s home every 3-4 months to continue working on Bentley’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 Bentley’s handlers, Sunnie, and her mother, after a progression of hard work and dedication to the SDWR training program.

SDWR has been utilizing the placement and return training method for nearly a decade and received positive results with families worldwide. The organization strives to place dogs with families based on their unique personalities to facilitate a strong bond and positivity-based training method. SDWR requires no travel by handlers to custom-train a service dog and instead sends trainers to their homes on a set schedule. This ensures the dogs learn all the custom commands in the environment in which they will be expected to work.

Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers 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 or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Autism Service Dogs visit http://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/autism. To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities.

Source: Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers

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