Autism Awareness Month - Service Dogs Can Aid Special Needs Children

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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.

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Janice Wolfe, founder of Merlin's Kids with her service dog, Wyatt.

Pet therapy and service dogs are very beneficial to children with special needs because they provide comfort, safety, and companionship.

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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in six children in the U.S. has a developmental disability, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.

Janice Wolfe, a cancer survivor, searched for a reason why she survived while so many others did not. As a result, she has dedicated herself to helping to provide and train service animals for special needs individuals. Janice is known as “The Lady” Dog Whisperer and “New Jersey’s Dog Whisperer” for her unique abilities with dogs with behavioral issues. Janice has rehabilitated over 25,000 dogs. She has also been featured by media outlets across the country. To watch a video on her work click here

She travels around the country with Wyatt, evaluating children and prospective dogs, rehabilitating and training service dogs, training families and school staff, family members, and often the children, then placing the dogs in their final home. Janice is co-author of “There’s Hope! The Four Essentials to a Stable Dog” and is currently authoring two book series with good friend Dr. Temple Grandin, the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.

“National Autism Month is a great time to bring people together and raise awareness for children with special needs. Anyone who knows me, knows that children and dogs hold a special place in my heart so I consider it an honor to be a part of The Calais Foundation’s Touchdown for Success campaign, stated Janice Wolfe, founder of Merlin’s Kids. “Pet therapy and service dogs are very beneficial to children with special needs because they provide comfort, safety, and companionship. The work that Calais is doing in special needs education and with pet therapy is exemplary and truly impacting families in a positive way.”

The Calais Foundation's Touchdown for Success will be hosted by former NY Giant and Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Roman Oben and Miss New Jersey USA Libell Duran, who will meet and greet attendees during the event’s Gala Reception. Karma for a Cure will also unveil a new fashion forward tee and Pop-Up Store with a design inspired by children with special needs. 5% total sales of the tee will be donated to The Calais Foundation for family programming. Last year’s Touchdown for Success, was a huge hit spreading awareness throughout the tri-state area and generating over $100,000 for children with special needs. A full press release on the event is attached.

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About The Calais Foundation
Since its founding in 2006, The Calais Foundation, a New Jersey based 501c3, has raised over $500,000 to benefit special needs children and their families. The Calais Foundation’s mission is to help children with serious learning and behavioral problems overcome their disabilities so they can lead responsible, productive lives. The Calais Foundation accomplishes its mission by providing grants, programs, and volunteer support to individual families and organizations that serve the special needs community. The Calais Foundation also helps to support the esteemed Calais School, a not for profit school for special needs children, grades PreK-12, located in Whippany, NJ. For more info visit http://www.calaisfoundation.org. Visit us on Facebook.

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Shakira Johnson
Johnson PR & Events
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