I cannot count the times we've heard the same thing. While out and about with our dog in her beautiful vest strutting her stuff and keeping someone I love deeply out of harm's way, it never fails to hear someone say, "Oh my gosh - a diabetes dog! That is so cool! Where can I get one?"
I use social media a lot too. I encourage you to use a hashtag to search for us. Some of the hashtags members of our our oganizaiton use are:
When pictures are posted of Diabetic Alert Dogs from our organization, one of the top comments is always, "I wish I could afford a D.A.D for my ____" insert son, daughter, husband, grandmother, ect. "My insurance won't cover it, and we can't swing it." Seeing or hearing that breaks my heart! I hate to think any T1 Diabetic who wants an additional tool is missing out on the safety and security a Diabetic Alert Dog brings to your life. I hate to hear that you can't afford it, because the truth is that no matter what your financial situation is...you can!
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is nothing like many other organizations out there. Regarding "cost" what I can tell you is that we are not for profit organization that has a firm belief that no one should have to pay for a service dog on top of managing such a complex, terrifying disease, however, at the end of the day a not for profit charitable organization is still a business, and businesses incur expenses for training, travel, and day to day operations.
How do we offset this cost to achieve our goal, then? This is what our founder, Dan Warren, has dedicated his life to; developing a program that meets the needs in just the right balance. This has led to the program that Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers uses today. Most of our families become actively enrolled in our program as an Ambassador to the organization, and promise to dedicate a portion of their time and energy to raise awareness, educate, and promote advocacy for the Type 1 Diabetic community and SDWR in their own communities through our community fundraising campaigns.
We have many "Chapter Managers" through the states here in the U.S.A. Coupled with these, we have our National Director of Outreach and fundraising coordinators, who all help head campaigns, provide direction, they support and help guide these family ambassadors in the mission of raising funds under the auspice of our Organization to benefit us and help carry out our mission.
In essence, our clients make a pledge to accept an ambassadorship. This ambassadorship is a commitment to help us raise the funds that we need to sustain our organization and to defray financial obligations to those who enroll in our program. The pledge is how we budget and run day-to-day operations, cover our travel expenses, pay for the Service Dogs themselves, pay the trainers to train them, and to travel the world to meet our clients in their home settings and help them acclimate their lives to having a Diabetic Alert Dog.
Our organization allows the flexibility of a 3-year ambassadorship campaign, rather than other businesses or companies you may have encountered, which require funding upfront. This means as soon as you fulfill the requirements and accept ambassadorship with SDWR, your Family's name enters our waiting list and your once your dog is ready to begin work, he or she is delivered to your family - even if your pledge has not yet been met. All we ask is you keep on keepin' on and spreading the word!
Many families prefer to complete their pledge prior to their delivery as to focus the remaining two years of their training program on their Diabetic Alert Dog Team, but should the pledge not be completed at the time of delivery, ambassadorship and fundraising simply continues until the pledge has been met.
Each family does this along with the support and guidance of other families who have walked the same road, our National Director of Outreach, our Chapter Managers, our Trainers, and everyone else at SDWR who want nothing more than to watch you succeed.
So, if you have been dreaming of what a Service Dog can do for you, open your eyes! Here it is! We are a family at Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, and just like a family we will do everything in our power to make sure you live a long, healthy, happy life. We're only a phone call away.
You can inquire about how to get started by calling 1-540-543-2307 or inquiring online here.
Always remember we're here for you when you're ready. Until there's a cure, there's a dog!