Quick Facts

  • In the past decade, over 700 shelter dogs have been rescued, rehabilitated, trained and placed as Merlin’s KIDS (MK) service dogs to special needs children and families, “Saving 2 Lives at a Time.” That is over 1,400 lives saved!

  • Over 1,000 shelter dogs have been saved and trained as therapy and companion animals through Merlin’s KIDS.

  • The average cost to rescue, evaluate, rehabilitate, train, transport, feed, and place an MK service dog specifically taught to manage the needs of each individual candidate is between $10,000-25,000. (a low price comparably to what they are trained to do, and other agencies charge families up to $30,000 or more!)

  • After placement of their MK service dog, children with tantrums show results of lowered/stabilized cortisol levels and therefore a reduction in behavioral issues by up to 90% (the dog helps by alerting the child or an adult that cortisol levels are rising, allowing triggers to be avoided)

  • After only a few days or months, self-confidence and communication skills greatly improve among the children receiving the care and guidance of an MK service dog.

  • Merlin’s KIDS does not discriminate against any disabilities, and is renowned for the ability to extensively evaluate and specially train service dogs to meet the specific need or unique combination of needs that each client has, and that often the duties of an MK service dog is multi-faceted.

  • It can cost up to $5,000 just for rescue and veterinary care for a shelter dog with temporary health issues prior to even beginning the behavioral modification to become an MK service dog.

  • Every MK service dog receives full veterinary care, nutritional support, and high quality supplements to build a strong foundation for their career of helping others.

  • An average of 600-1200 hours of training and behavior modification goes into completing the protocols required for each MK service dog.

  • All service dogs are not created equally.

  • All MK service dogs are monitored and offered regular follow-up training once placed for their lifetime. (at first weekly, then monthly and then quarterly)

Did You Know That It Costs Merlin’s KIDS:

  •  $25/week to feed one dog. There are over 60 dogs in our foster and rescue program.

  • $500-$3,000 for initial veterinary care.

  •  $500-$800/year/dog for maintenance veterinary care. This includes exams, bloodwork, vaccines, parasite preventatives, and other routine procedures. 

  • $3000-$5000+ for emergency or specialty veterinary care. 

  • $300-$500 for customized service vest and accessories to fit specific needs of the service dog recipient. 

  • $500-$1500 to transport a dog. We rescue dogs all across the country. Depending on travel mode and location of rescue and placement, this price varies. If you are a transporter and would like to volunteer your time, please contact us

  • $8000-$12000 for rehabilitation and training. This process may take 6 months to 2 years depending on the dog’s initial behavioral status and job they are trained for.

 The average service dog costs us $10,000-$25,000. Help us save 2 lives at a time.