Merlin's KIDS.. INDIVIDUAL matches  

We work very hard to make the INDIVIDUAL match a great one.  We don't have an "autism dog" or "mobility dog" ... we look at each individual's needs and task train a dog specifically for them. 

First dogs must be trained to pass rigorous standards on 17 tasks that all dogs need, and ensure that they pass public access exposure criteria.  Our natural canine behavior approach is very successful in this training, so a high percentage of dogs, even those rescued from shelters, move on to the ultimate role of individual service dog. 

From there, we look at what the individual service dog applicant needs, and do some meet and greets with dogs to ensure a strong bond.  We task train the dog and continue with training for the dog, handler and family, for at least a year.  Much of the individual training occurs at the home of the handler, where the dog will need to perform his or her duty.

This process is long and expensive, but the reward of that final match is priceless!  Congratulations to those dog/handler matches that have been made this year.  We have a growing wait list, and we're working hard to make many more successful matches! 

Meet Courtney, a foster and handler from Rutgers!

Hello! My name is Courtney Bliesath. I am a senior at Rutgers University and one of the current Presidents of the Rutgers Companion Animal Club. 

I have been handling and fostering for Merlin's KIDS for over two and a half years and honestly it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Being able to help each and every dog in some way in order to help with their service dog journey to become amazing service dogs for children and veterans in need is truly inspiring. 

It is definitely not for everyone. It can be very hard to let them go, as they feel like your best friend. However at the same time it is not that hard because you get to see the difference that they make for their recipient. One of the best examples I can give of this is my first foster PJ. I started fostering him in May of 2018 and I was unbelievably excited. I took him everywhere! Restaurants, the movies, to classes, you name it! I even took him with me on the train to New York City to see Wicked on Broadway. Then he got placed with his forever family in April of 2019. I still remember the moment that made every single minute spent working with him truly worth it. His recipient was sitting on the couch and PJ was lying right next to him. His recipient looked in his direction and PJ touched his nose to his face and it made him laugh and smile. I then realized how happy his person and PJ were and how I had truly helped "save two lives at a time." I am even more thankful that I was able to foster Jimmy, who will be saving many lives in the courtroom. 

I am so thankful to Merlin's KIDS for this amazing opportunity. As a future teacher, I care a lot about helping children and people in general and I am so thankful I am able to give back to the community through my immense love of dogs! 

Courtney, Merlin's KIDS is so thankful for you and all the wonderful students in our University Partners Program!  It's truly a win, win, win for all involved!  Thank you for your dedication to saving two lives at at time!  And thank you for dedicating your birthday to help even further!  Happy birthday! 

Celebrating Mother's Day.. Rescue Style!


Mixie was rescued in Texas along with her puppies!  She was so scared and unapproachable, but through Natural Canine Behavior Rehabilitation has come a long way!  Her puppies are growing and being trained as service dogs.  You can see how far Tank has come from the scared little puppy to a fun loving young adult dog!  This is our goal - from shelter dog to service dog, saving two lives at at time! Thank you to our supporters for making it possible! 

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To set up your own facebook fundraiser to benefit Merlin's KIDS, or to make a donation directly through facebook, visit   As an approved Facebook nonprofit, funds are delivered to us quickly without extra processing fees.  It's a great way to put your donations to work right away!  

Be assured that 100% of your gift, no matter how small, will make a difference in the life of someone who needs help to live a more independent life.   All donations go directly to rescue, care, training and placement of a service dog. Our founder and executive director Janice Wolfe, volunteers her time and resources.  She hopes that you also can experience the heartwarming feeling she gets when she sees children and veterans making their way in a world that seems overwhelming to them at times.  Help us do more and join us by giving what you can and knowing that this is a gift that will truly make a difference. 

Thank you! 
Merlin's Kids| 1-855-Hi-Wyatt | |