Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers Delivers Autism Service Dog to Girl in Katy, TX

Autism Service Dog Dakota will help little girl with challenges of living with Autism


Karoline, a nine-year old girl of Katy, Texas, is having a special day as Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers delivers her Autism Service Dog "Dakota" today. Based in Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for adults and children with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Karoline—Autism Spectrum Disorder. Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, "SDWR" has 600 service dogs working across the U.S. and around the globe.  SDWR is currently serving almost 1,000 families.

Dakota, a Golden Retriever Autism Service Dog, has already received thousands of hours of training through SDWR's puppy raiser training program where volunteers raise puppies in training for about a period of one year and then through the foundation and skillset training provided through SDWR trainers at the facility in Virginia. Dakota will continue to learn under the careful guidance of a certified trainer from SDWR and through the rapport he develops with Karoline and her parents, Jennifer and Peter.

Karoline was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at just three years of age. Karoline has problems with recognizing danger, self-harm, and elopement. These are just a few of the common challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Service Dogs are trained to assist children as they face these problems.

New scientific research studies into Autism therapy provide positive evidence of the difference a service dog can make. Dan Warren states, "The studies showed children exhibited greater communication and social interaction, had less frustration and anxiety when around their service dog." One of the main goals when training an Autism service dog is the need to keep a child safe and calm. Karoline will be tethered to Dakota when out in public thus giving her parents a greater feeling of calm and security for their daughter.

With the arrival of Dakota, Karoline and her parents will have a four-legged "tool" that has received training to assist Karoline to live a happier and more enriching life. Since Dakota is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Karoline everywhere — from restaurants to shopping to eventually going to her favorite activities such as horseback riding, swimming and gymnastics!

Dakota will continue to work with the SDWR trainers and with Karoline and her parents in their home to learn new skills to assist Karoline as well as to achieve public access certification. Certification must be achieved by Dakota and his handlers — in this case, Jennifer and Peter. Dan Warren is quick to point out that "all the incredible services these dogs can provide are through progression, hard work and dedication of the organization and the family who must work together to build on training foundations and fundamentals. This is about an 18-month program for follow up and customization training."

What sets SDWR apart from other non-profit service dog organizations are the customized training methods and SDWR matches dogs to their "person." According to Dan Warren, "That important bonding time between dog and person can begin to happen right away. For nearly a decade we've been utilizing this method of dog placement and we've achieved amazing results."

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, To learn more about Autism Service Dogs visit To find out how you can volunteer as a puppy raiser visit

Source: Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers