Those who are lucky enough to know Mason England as he navigates life with autism and epilepsy can testify that he has made enormous strides since his diagnosis over seven years ago. This is in no small part attributed to the determination of his parents, Jamie and Rich, to pursue any avenue that has the potential to benefit Mason in any way. The England family has over the years toyed with the idea of getting Mason a dog, but finding the time in their jam-packed schedules to properly train a puppy always seemed like an overwhelming task. However, it was on a short trip to visit family when Mason formed an immediate and overwhelming bond with a puppy named Brody. It was then that everyone knew .... Mason was getting a dog.
An incredible nonprofit organization called Merlin's KIDS was selected to find Mason his match based on their ability to tailor a service dog to his individual needs. They will be able to not only provide the England family with a loving, obedient companion, but individually pre-train Mason's service dog to:
- Ease anxiety
- Provide sensory input
- Alert Jamie/Rich to seizure activity
- Track Mason in the case he leaves unsupervised
As the needs of someone with ASD typically change as they grow older, Merlin's KIDS will provide continuous training to keep Mason's service dog in tune with his requirements. As an added bonus, his selected dog will be raised and trained locally, allowing the pair to begin forging their special bond before they become his service companion.
We need your help! The average cost to raise and provide continuous training for a Merlin's KIDS service dog is between $25,000-30,000. While Merlin's KIDS has fantastic donors to help cover some of this cost, our goal is to raise $17,000.
We know that times are uncertain, but please consider helping in any way, little or big, to help provide Mason with a life changing constant in his life.
Merlin's KIDS is a 501c3 nonprofit based in NJ, with a GuideStar gold seal of transparency. Their EIN # is 263493804 and their website is www.merlinskids.org