...Merlin's KIDS saves two lives at a time. They rescue and rehabilitate shelter dogs transforming them into individually trained service dogs for children with autism and special needs, as well as our disabled Veterans.
Merlin’s KIDS transform the lives of dogs by rescuing them from a shelter situation, training them and giving them a very special and meaningful purpose to their lives...
Merlin's KIDS: Animals and Children Helping Each Other
July 1, 2016 - Animal Wellness Magazine
Merlin’s Kids is an amazing non-profit organization founded by Canine Expert Janice Wolfe and her doggie partner “Wyatt” a Westminster “Ace” award winner and top service dog...
Animal Wellness Magazine has always been at the forefront when it comes to natural pet health. Our decades of experience led us to the creation of the Four Pillars of Animal Wellness.
At Animal Wellness Magazine, we believe the foundation of optimal wellness and happiness is built upon FOUR PILLARS — Natural Health, Natural Nutrition, Positive Training, and Active Lifestyle. Each of these Pillars plays a supporting role in providing your animal companion with the longest, best quality of life possible.
..."The dogs can hit on cortisol, cancer, seizures, blood sugar up or down and a host of other things, “ canine behaviorist Janice Wolfe said.
Wyatt has been trained for years to detect health issues -- a groundbreaking technology on four legs...
They have a second smelling device in the backs of their noses that humans don't have. It's called Jacobson's organ which gives them 300 million sensors in their nose compared to a measly 5 million in humans.
These dogs can detect bladder, kidney, prostate, breast and skin cancer with 95 percent accuracy..."
Rutgers companion animal club trains assistants for humans in need
April 5, 2016 - The Daily Targum
...“The dogs are ... trained for calming people down,” she said. “We have dogs for PTSD specifically, if the person is having night terrors their, cortisol levels will increase, so a dog will smell it and wake the person up before they have the attack.”
“You can have other types of service dogs. People are used to seeing the seeing-eye dogs on campus and everyone just assumes that’s only type of service dog you can have," she said. "There are so many different people with plenty of disabilities that service dogs can all help.”
Wyckoff's Wyatt heads to Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
February 11, 2016 - The Record
...The 7-year-old Ridgeback is more than a well-bred pretty face. He is a service dog to his owner, Janice Wolfe, who has a seizure disorder, works with special-needs children and is a disease-detection dog. Specifically, Wyatt sniffs for cancer, screening thousands of people each year. He detected cancer in his owner twice....
Nala calmly walked into the unused office at the Lackawanna County district attorney’s office. For a puppy, she seemed low-key.
That’s a good sign. The prosecutors and detectives who plan to use the Rhodesian Ridgeback to calm witnesses who testify in a courtroom need the dog to be even-keeled.
“Her role is to not be noticed,” First Assistant District Attorney Gene Talerico said. “Her role is to integrate into the world around her.”
County officials are steadily moving forward with an initiative they announced in April to have a service dog in courtrooms to comfort witnesses, who are often the victims of physical or sexual harm.
Nala’s keen sense of smell is trained to detect cortisol, a chemical people secrete when under stress. In a courtroom, Nala would smell the witness’s cortisol and her handler, county Detective Michelle Mancuso, would command Nala to comfort the witness at the judge’s discretion. That’s what they hope. Nala, who is about 8 months old, is still in training...
Stress-Seeking Dog Headed to Lackawanna County Court
November 17, 2015
SCRANTON -- We all know that dogs like to sniff, but that sense of smell is being used in some surprising ways.
Prosecutors in Lackawanna County hope to make their court the first in the country to use a special type of service dog that seeks out stress.
Wyatt the Rhodesian ridgeback was sniffing prosecutors and staff from the Lackawanna County district attorney's office. The service dog has been specially trained to seek out stress and help people feel better.
After working the room, Wyatt homes in on Jennifer Davis and settles next to her leg.
"So out of this group, you are probably the most stressed, for whatever reason."
Dog to soon be in Courtroom to Help Calm Witnesses
April 16, 2015 The Times-Tribune
The Lackawanna County district attorney’s office plans to acquire a specially trained dog to comfort children and victims of trauma who must testify in court. The dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, is still a puppy and likely will not be in the county until at least autumn, said Janice Wolfe, who is training the dog.
“This is something we have been talking about and exploring,” First Assistant District Attorney Gene Talerico said at an announcement Wednesday in the district attorney’s office. “This can be such a decompression tool for people that have to come to court."...
Ruff day at school: Meet the lovable dog who moonlights as a substitute teacher
April 16, 2015 NJ.com
Most students don't especially welcome substitute teachers into their classrooms. Routines get interrupted. Lessons get short-circuited. For special needs students, for whom consistency is so important, the stakes are even higher.
Yet for students atThe Calais School, a state-approved school in Whippany for special needs kids, the sight of a substitute waiting for them outside the building usually inspires a smile. That's because her name is Savannah, and she's a Rhodesian ridgeback who subs for Cali and Cleo -- two full-time, four-legged staffers who work at the school five days a week, seven hours each day...
A four-legged weapon to help sniff out cancer among firefighters was trotted out Tuesday at a conference of the New York State Professional Firefighters Association at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Wyatt, a 103-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, was brought to the health and safety conference by the International Firefighter Cancer Foundation to demonstrate his ability to detect early stage cancer by smelling people.
Each morning, Cali, an 18-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, patiently waits for the K-12 students to pass through the doors of the Calais School in Whippany, N.J. As they walk by, Cali sniffs each one. The students, about 85 in all, smile at the short-haired dog but know not to pet or distract her while she is working. Cali is a cortisol detection dog, trained to detect the stress hormone our adrenal glands secrete when we become anxious or stressed...
...a noted New Jersey dog trainer is preparing canines to sniff out cancers. The program is so successful that fire unions and fire departments across the nation are using its dogs because firefighters have higher incidents of cancer than the general public...Gary Baumgarten talks with trainer Janice Wolfe...
Wyatt has saved hundreds of lives, whether he is screening firefighters for cancer and other health issues, or teaching special needs children how to walk, talk, learn, or trust. In 2011, Wyatt detected a microscopic adenocarcinoma tumor in his owner, and solely due to Wyatt's persistent alert over a three-week period, his owner is alive and healthy after her second bout with cancer. In fact, the surgeon could not even locate the mass without removing the exact area Wyatt had alerted on...
While we have had pet therapy visitors in the past, our animal-assisted therapy program expanded significantly when we began an ongoing collaboration with Janice Wolfe and her organization Merlin’s Kids. Janice, founder of Merlin’s KIDS and co founder of United K9 Professionals, is known as the NJ Dog Whisperer. She introduced us to Merlin’s Kids poster dog and Cali’s grandfather, Wyatt
Trained Dog has the Special Ability to Detect Early Stages of Cancer
November 21, 2013 WXYZ
As soon as Wyatt strutted into Detroit Fire Department Engine 40 in Detroit, he captivated all of the firefighters inside.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has the special ability to detect if you have very early stages of cancer.
"What we have learned in the past two years is that all of these diseases that take place in your body start with inflammation first. Those cells have an odor. Those odors… the dogs can detect," said Cindy Ell, founder of Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation...
Janice Wolfe, Founder and CEO of Merlin’s Kids and David Leitner, Executive Director of The Calais School are collaborating with autism and animal assisted therapy activist Dr. Temple Grandin to create a series of videos and books on animal assisted therapeutic interventions for children with special needs. The ground work for this innovative and exciting project has already begun with the placement of a Merlin’s Kids trained service dog and handler at The Calais School.
Specific therapeutic interventions are being developed for both autistic and mood related disorders. This will include reduction of anxiety and depression, increased social and communication skills, increased motivation for learning and assistance with sensory input challenges
New Dog Park Opens in River Edge Section of Van Saun
September 23, 2013 NorthJersey.com
Van Saun County Park rolled out the red carpet for man's best friend on Sept. 21.
Park officials held a grand opening for a new dog park, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a slew of presentations.
After the opening ceremony, the Bergen County Sheriff's K-9 unit conducted a 30-minute demonstration. A free seminar for responsible dog ownership was presented by Janice Wolfe, founder of Merlin's Kids and United K9 Professionals.
Autism Awareness Month - Service Dogs Can Aid Special Needs Children
March 28, 2013 PRWeb
The Calais Foundation is pleased to present Janice Wolfe, founder of Merlin’s Kids, a national organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and trains dogs in danger of being euthanized to become service animals for children with autism and other special needs. Janice and her service dog Wyatt Ridgeback will be available during the month of April for interviews on parenting tips, special needs education, and the benefits of service dogs for children with special needs. Janice and Wyatt will also be honored on April 18, 2013 at The Calais Foundation's Touchdown for Success, a daylong event at MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ) that raises awareness for children with a variety of special needs...
A sprawling ranch where dogs roam in the fields. They’re cared for by a woman who trains them, so they may one day care for others themselves. Janice Wolfe is the founder of Merlin’s Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to training service dogs for children and young adults with special needs.
“A dog can do what no medicine, no pill bottle, no human can do. The dog gives everything and …. asks for nothing,” says Wolfe
Checkers, my service dog, arrived from New Jersey (Dec. 2011) and Fox News 13 in Tampa Bay was there to interview us! Checkers is the first autism (Asperger's) service dog in my school district (Pinellas Co.)!!! We made history!
The final recipient was Wyckoff resident Janice Wolfe, who founded Merlin's Kids, a not-for-profit organization that provides service animals to people with special needs. A cancer survivor, she spoke on her motivations for starting her work.
"It's not for what we get back of money or fame or acknowledgement," Wolfe said. "It's to see people who no one thought could do it, do it.
Janice Wolfe, founder of Merlin's KIDS, brought the dog to interact with Camp Shalom participants.
Many children light up when a dog enters the room and those attending Camp Shalom at the in Washington Township were no exception. Service dog Wyatt paid the children with special needs a visit last week...
Rhodesian Ridgeback Stands Tall as Autism Service Dog
February 15, 2011 USA Today
Janice Wolfe is waiting for her late lunch of lobster and scallop ravioli at the Affinia Hotel. Her Rhodesian ridgeback, Wyatt, is lying beside her.
He stands up, arches his back and rests his head on the linen tablecloth next to Wolfe's fork. His back is as high as the table. His head is larger than a dinner plate.
"He won't settle down until he knows I've had something to eat," says Wolfe, adding that she hasn't eaten all day. Wyatt, who is allowed in restaurants because he is a service dog, lies back down. Wolfe's meal arrives. Wyatt sleeps
Bergen County Dog's Unique Trick: Connecting with Autistic Children
October 31, 2010 NJ.com
Dogs have been helping the disabled for centuries, but only recently has there been a concerted movement to provide dogs as therapy for autistic children. A decade ago, there were few organizations offering trained companion or service dogs to autistic people. Now there are dozens.
With the popularity spike in autism service dogs, however, comes questions not only about the cost and the training of the dogs and their handlers, but the appropriateness of dog companions in every case for children with a spectrum disorder that can have a wide range of behaviors...
The AKC® Humane Fund announced the winners of the 11th annual AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE), which commemorates five loyal, hard-working dogs that have made significant contributions to their communities.
Congratulations to Ch. Rambo's Gunfight at the OK Corral, JC.........
WYATT "The Evaluator" for winning the AKC ACE for Service Dog. At age 2, Wyatt is amazing everyone with his work with autistic and special needs children. Wyatt is on his way to Texas to meet with Dr. Temple Grandin and then out to California for the Eukenuba Dog Show to receive another award from the AKC.
Janice Wolfe of Wyckoff, New Jersey, has a mission to “save two lives at a time.” Known as the New Jersey Dog Whisperer, Janice, through her organization Merlin’s Kids rescues dogs from shelters, rehabilitates them and then trains them to work as service dogs for children who have special needs, like those with autism spectrum disorder...