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Service Dogs of Virginia


Service Dogs of Virginia is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places dogs to assist people with disabilities. Highly trained dogs perform a multitude of tasks that allow greater personal freedom and independence. We serve clients residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and are based in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Physical Assistance Dogs

Whether a person’s medical condition is caused by an accident or a hereditary disability, a physical assistance dog can open doors (literally and figuratively), and do so much more for a person confined to a wheelchair.

Our dogs are trained to pick up dropped items, retrieve items from the fridge, get help when needed – even pick up the phone when it rings and give it to their person. Daily activities that most of us take for granted can be a major hardship for a person with physical limitations. A service dog can help create greater freedom and independence.

Autism Service

Autism is an invisible disability and until a cure is found, positive interventions are needed to help these children and their families. Autism service dogs are playing a bigger role and Service Dogs of Virginia is proud to train these exceptional dogs for exceptional children. We partner with the educators, parents and therapists involved in each child’s educational program to utilize our dogs as a motivational tool to affect change. The goals for some of these children may seem small, but they are in fact major stepping stones toward greater growth and autonomy.

Diabetic Alert Dogs

According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, there are over 3 million Americans with Type 1 Diabetes and each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults - approximately 80 people per day - are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the U.S. Diabetic alert dogs, through scent training, detect and alert for low blood sugar for clients with Type 1 Diabetes and hypoglycemic unawareness. Hypoglycemic unawareness is when the individual cannot tell their blood sugar is dropping. You and I might get a headache or become crabby, but a Type 1 diabetic feels no change at all until it’s too late. By alerting when blood sugar is dropping, our dogs can prevent an extreme low from happening and permit a person to manage their blood sugar in a timely manner. Diabetic alert dogs can prevent a person from attempting to function with reduced mental capacity, prevent dangerous lows that can lead to comas and even death. Diabetic alert dogs also provide a sense of security for those living on their own who cannot recognize when their sugar is dropping. A well-trained dog is more reliable than currently available technology for “brittle” diabetics. SDV is also developing training protocols that refine and streamline the training of diabetic alert dogs. One must be at least 12 years of age to apply for a diabetic alert dog.


PO Box 408 
Charlottesville, VA 22902 


(434) 295-9503


After High School Autism Spectrum Disorder Elementary High School Independent Living Middle School Multiple Disabilities Orthopedic Impairment Other Health Impairment Parent/Family Professional Resources Self-Determination Transition