SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Autism Service Dog Delivered to Family in Valdez


October 30, 2019
Wednesday PM

(SitNews) Valdez, Alaska – Eathan, a 9-year-old boy from Valdez, Alaska, received a very special delivery Saturday of his very own Service Dog from SDWR. Eathan's service dog, Gwen, will be able to accompany him everywhere thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Eathan's parents are looking forward to having additional help with their son’s anxiety, behavioral issues, and sleep. With his Autism Service Dog, Gwen, by his side, Eathan's family is hopeful that having Gwen will help him lessen his anxiety and outbursts as well as assist him with his daily struggles of autism.

SDWR will continue to work with Eathan, his parents and Gwen in their home environment, to train for specific needs he 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 Eathan, his family, and Gwen every 3-4 months during the next 18 months to make a successful team and gain public access certification.

As an honored graduate of the SDWR Fallen Officer Puppy Program (FOPP), the service dog is named after fallen hero Patrolman Gwendolyn Ann Downs of the Louisville Police Department, Louisville, KY. 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. Autism Service Dog Gwen's work with Eathan will carry on in memoriam of Patrolman Gwendolyn Down's life of service before self.

Service Dogs by SDWR's mission is to provide specially-bred dogs for individuals of all ages with invisible disabilities like PTSD, Seizure Disorder, Diabetes or in the case of Eathan, Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition to the nearly 600 working dogs already placed, there are several hundred more actively enrolled in SDWR's program.


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Service Dogs by SDWR

Service Dogs by SDWR is a non-profit organization based in 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, visit the website, To learn more about Autism Service Dogs visit To find out how you can volunteer or serve as a service dog raiser visit




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