Ron and Vicki Santo Diabetic Alert Dog Foundation


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Vicki Santo of the Ron and Vicki Santo Diabetic Alert Dog Foundation says HERE on WGN Radio Steve Dale’s Pet World  what this non-profit is all about.

Ron would, of course, be proud that this non-profit providing diabetic alert dogs to mostly children has changed so many lives, and even saved some lives.

Vicki explains how and why the organization began and how an Australian Shepherd named Joker once – who Ron thought he wasn’t bonded to –  saved Ron’s life, and what Steve Dale’s role in this was. It turns out Joker was so very attached to Ron.

Here’s the mission of this non-profit, which launched in 2014:

Diabetic Alert Dogs are very expensive and insurance unfortunately does not cover the cost. This creates a financial obstacle that many diabetics can’t overcome. The Ron and Vicki Santo Foundation strives to assist diabetics by training and placing diabetic alert dogs to assist with mitigating the challenges associated with diabetes.

So, what’s the problem? There are available dogs, but there are more applicants in need of dogs than the Foundation can afford to financially support dogs for. Training, which costs $16,500 per dog, takes well over a year, including socialization, obedience and scent training – which includes the scent of the person who will ultimately have this dog.  Vicki says each and every dog has succeeded. Some alerts have literally saved lives, and typically that occurs in the middle of the night.

Vicki says Ron kept his diabetes a secret from his teammates – even his roomate Glenn Beckert, which Vicki tells a funny story about.

Ron loved baseball, and being any part of the Chicago Cubs on the field or in the broadcast booth. Vicki tells about how not only did Ron survive with diabetes, he excelled.

Of course, Ron Santo is in the Hall of Fall for play on the field and work in the broadcast booth. Still, the legacy continues right now with this non-profit. However, more children could be supported if only the Foundation had more resources. Do consider helping.

Gracie Wilkerson explains HERE how the dogs are trained- which is quite incredible.