Sponsor Children Approved for a Merlin's KIDS Service Dog

Some names and photos have been changed to protect privacy of the children, but all stories represent kids who have been approved by our organization, and will be matched with a service dog pending funding. We rely on generous donors to make these dreams come true.

Please click on the links below each story to sponsor that child, or see more stories, join a child's team or make a donation at Merlin's KIDS Applicants.

Any amount helps! If you would like to discuss fundraising on behalf of any of these children, please contact us!

A boy and dog touching heads to comfort each other

Support Two Service Dogs for Two Boys with PTSD

Two very special b​oys need service dogs desperately; they suffered severe unconscionable abuse at the hands of their own father who is now incarcerated. One boy suffered additional abuse when he tried to save his little sister from the abuse.

These are two broken kids each needing his own service dog for severe trauma, and these two boys and their little sister and abused mom really deserve for the world to know that this is unacceptable for anyone to abuse anyone else, especially children. These boys need to know that the world loves them and cares and that there are kind people out there who will help them to get what they need.

Anything over the amount of the service dogs, will go directly towards this and other families who need help.

Support Two Boys in Need Here

Ava needs a service dog to keep her safe

Ava is on the autism spectrum. She's an amazing little girl who is usually happy go lucky and rolls with the punches. But as with any diagnosis, we have our ups and downs. Right now, Ava has issues with eloping. Basically this means that Ava likes to take off at any given time...and she's fast! And quiet! Very stealthy!

After hemming and hawing for quite some time, Brian and I decided a service dog would help Ava and our family. The dog would be trained to anchor/tether, to offer deep pressure, as well as help with overall communication and social skills.

Ava has been accepted into the Merlin's KIDS program, and we are working to get a service dog with the year!  We need your help to make this happen, and we appreciate every donation! Thank you!

Support Ava Here


feature eliana

Eliana needs a service dog right away!

Life can sometimes feel overwhelming for a teen, especially when you have learning and mental health challenges that are sometimes severe enough to warrant hospitalization. Hope is on the horizon as Eliana's doctors are recommending a service dog, and we have been accepted into the program by Merlin's KIDS! We appreciate any support as we pursue this to help our daughter be able to better navigate school and social situations, and to keep her out of the hospital. Once we raise 50% of our goal, we will be matched with a dog and start individual training, and with your help we can have the service dog placed within a year! Any amount will help us achieve that goal.

Support Eliana here.  Any amount truly helps!

From Zayn's parents; Zayn is an almost 3 year old with a heart full of energy, curiosity and joy. Zayn is one of the most beautiful people we have ever met! Zayn was diagnosed with Autism in October of 2021 and with epilepsy shortly after in March of 2022.

I ran across a post from another mother with a child very similar to Zayn who had recently applied and received a service pup for her son. The photos I saw of her son with his companion gave me so much hope. After reaching out to her I decided to put in a preliminary application to Merlin’s Kids Service Dogs. To my surprise, the company headquarters was only a few towns over from where we live!

We practiced tethering with Zayn and it was the FIRST TIME we have been able to go on a family walk (with Zayn actually walking) ever.

I never knew something as simple as walking outside with my child would bring about so much emotion. I knew from the moment Zayn met this service animal, he deserved the chance to be supported by a companion trained specifically for him.

We appreciate any support given!

Support Zayn Here

Chaize is a kind, caring, smart loving, fun, energetic teenage boy. With autism. Right now we are going non stop doctors appointments including therapy sessions. Chaize is severely affected by triggers, meltdown, social anxiety, and wandering. Unfortunately Chaizes cannot detect danger. and has put himself in dangerous positions. It is very hard for Chaize yo enjoy normal things like school, libraries, zoos, museum, a walk in the park, or a trip to the store. Chaize also has multiple loud outbursts an hour. At this time he is also battling severe depression. A service dog will help Chaize in so many areas. He needs a dog to keep him safe. Chaize needs a service dog for his everyday needs. Chaize is very happy thinking his dog is coming soon.
Thank you all so much for your support.
You are all amazing.
From The Chaize Family. ❤


Please help this local NY family - 7 year old Beatrice is a preemie twin who has autism that prevents her and her family from friendships, work and social outings.  She is the daughter of a former NYPD officer who now works for Homeland Security, and a part time professor who is unable to work full time due to Beatrice’s needs.  Beatrice has minimal verbal communication, and often uses screaming, loud vocal stimming or self injury to communicate frustration.  She has zero danger awareness and has run off.  Her sensory needs are overwhelming to her and she engages in unsafe behaviors such as climbing on counters or rocks, going upside down, and walking off during outings.  The family of five is unable to take Beatrice places she loves, such as aquariums, parks and grocery stores, because it’s just too difficult and dangerous.

Support Beatrice

Nakiyah suffers from CVS - Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome. A service dog will help her anticipate and recover more quickly and fully from vomiting episodes.  Support Nakiyah .


Klaire is a 21 year old autistic child who loves animals, babies, corny jokes, and superheroes. Her heart is so big that she wants to fix the world at the cost of her own self. Sadly, she has been subjected to bullying and exclusion and suffers from severe anxiety and depression.

Klaire has so much potential. She wants to be an art therapist so that she can help others who have suffered as she has. She has a future but is having difficulty seeing past her current life of pain.

Please help us raise funds for Merlin’s KIDS to help Klaire and others like her be matched with a service dog. Her future canine buddy will not only help her with calming the flair-ups of her anxiety attacks but will quell the loneliness and sense of unworthiness that she feels. Service dogs can detect cortisol (which indicates stress) and can provide calm through interventions such as deep pressure.

Klaire has been accepted for a service dog, and now we join Merlin’s KIDS, a 501c3 nonprofit, to raise funds.

Klaire has an inner flame that can light up the world. She, as an autistic child, can learn to live in a non-autistic world with the help of a service dog.  We appreciate any donations of any amount!

Support Klaire here

UPDATE: Christopher has been placed with a service dog! Christopher is four with multiple disabilities and needs a service dog to help with safety and support.

UPDATE: Annie has been paired with her service dog!

UPDATE: Seth has been received his new service dog!  Seth's first service dog Makana passed away suddenly on August 28th after only being with Seth for 4 1/2 years. Seth has decided he is ready to find his new best bud. We are once again partnering with Merlin's Kids to train his service dog. We appreciate any donations of any amount and look forward to making Seth's life whole again in the coming months. Thank you!


Lauren and Cosette - A Happy Ending

After a terrible service dog experience followed by a great one, we are dedicated to fundraising for Merlin’s KIDS so that more kids can be matched with life changing service dogs! Support Lauren's campaign

UPDATE: Ke’yair has been paired with his service dog!

Ke’yair has just had a leg amputation due to returning cancer, and needs a service dog to help with mobility and support for ongoing medical and therapy appointments. He was introduced to us by Campaign One At A Time, who has raised the initial $10,000 towards his service dog.

UPDATE: Kayla has been paired with her service dog! Kayla needs a service dog to alert her parent if she has a seizure, comfort her during and after a seizure and give her the confidence she needs to continue to live life to the fullest.

UPDATE: Halley has been paired with Diamond! Due to my Tourette's, I struggle to be independent and confident; my dad is afraid to let me go for walks and even cook by myself because of my ticks. My hope for a more normal life is a service dog named Diamond. There are days that I arrive at our training sessions when I have been ticking for days and even weeks at a time and my ticking stops within minutes of being in her presence.

UPDATE: Davey has been paired with his service dog! Davey needs a service dog due to a lack of safety awareness and a life threatening blood sugar disorder that has hospitalized him several times.