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Lauren and Cosette

Fundraising global stats: 98% left

Amount raised: $120

Amount left: $5,880

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! 

My 17 year old daughter Lauren has PTSD, severe anxiety, OCD, ADD, clinical depression and high functioning autism. She is on many prescriptions to address her mental illness and was hospitalized at age 15. Her psychiatrist and the family determined that a service dog would be the best option to help her function in public and assist her at school. We started on this journey without much knowledge and had a very dangerous and terrible experience with another agency.  But now, working with Merlin’s KIDS, we have a wonderful success story and want to help raise funds to help other families benefit from this dedicated and experienced organization. 

The service dog industry is unregulated.  We didn’t realize what could go wrong, and we spent a lot of time and money with a local organization only to experience injury and heartbreak.  We raised money and bonded with our dog, travelling back and forth for a year.  We had a few concerns because the dog would chase our cats, and relied on the trainer to address this.  Unfortunately, one day after being placed in our home, he attacked our cat.  I intervened and was severely bitten multiple times by the dog.  We returned the dog but the trainer would not refund our money, and actually placed the dog with another little girl to be her service dog. 

We were heartbroken.  We lost money, had new medical bills, but most importantly our daughter did not have the service dog she needed. We had to start over.  We purchased a new dog, and started looking for a trainer.  Thankfully, I found Merlin’s KIDS and was impressed with their success.  After long discussions with their founder, our dog went to the ranch and completed extensive training.  I learned what real trainers can do.  We were in awe of the background and expertise of these trainers. Merlin’s KIDS behavioral trainers taught Cosette many positions of deep pressure therapy, safe spot, mobility, Cortisol detection, extensive public access, and much more. Our dog was very puppyish and out of control before she was accepted into the Merlin's KIDS program, but she returned a confident, happy, and skilled service dog. We have gained not only a very well trained service dog, but also a wonderful family of people who truly care about us and the dog. My daughter continues the training nightly with the executive director to make sure things go smoothly. 

Please note, it is best to talk to Merlin’s KIDS before acquiring a dog to be trained.  Not all dogs are accepted into the program, and they have many dogs already in the extensive training program that may be a good match. Thank you for your support of this wonderful organization!

   Recent Activity
CD donated $100 on 11/14/2021
Happy to Help Any Way I Can!
Kimberly P donated $20 on 11/13/2021