Boston Marathon Fund

Pawsitively Strong

NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans announced on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, that survivors of the Boston marathon bombing who have sustained a permanent physical disability are being offered Assistance Dogs through the creation of a new fund.

The funds raised are restricted to cover the costs involved with supplying Assistance Dogs to survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings. A NEADS Assistance Dog will bring these survivors renewed independence and connection.

"For many years now, our office has partnered with NEADS by hosting young service dogs in training. We are grateful to those donors who have agreed to fund service dogs for victims of the marathon bombings and look forward to working with NEADS to identify appropriate homes for these incredible animals."
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley

NEADS worked in collaboration with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Victim Assistance Program and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance to distribute information and identify potential recipients of Assistance Dogs. In the future, the fund will be opened to include all survivors of violent crime in Massachusetts who have sustained a physical disability and who feel that they would benefit from an Assistance Dog.

"The value and impact that our service dogs provide to those in need is immeasurable. We are happy to offer our help, and hope that by establishing this fund, Marathon bombing survivors receive the independence, comfort and companionship our dogs provide." 
Gerry DeRoche, Chief Executive Officer of NEADS

If you would like to know more about this fund, please contact Cathy Zemaitis, at czemaitis@neads.org or 978-422-9064 ext. 36.

Survivor Liaison
Jessica Kensky, RN

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Select "Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors' Fund" in the "Program Area" dropdown menu.

Download a PDF of this press release

Details for Pawsitively Strong Fund applicants


NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans trains assistance dogs for men, women and children with a permanent physical disability. Our dogs meet the criteria described under the Americans with Disabilities Act and are certified by Assistance Dogs International. NEADS does not train psychiatric service, emotional support, or post-traumatic stress (PTS) dogs (with the exception of a small, targeted program for United States military combat veterans). Within the Pawsitively Strong Fund we are pleased to offer assistance dogs to survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings who have sustained a physical injury that will cause lasting, permanent disability as determined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and who require the services of an assistance dog that can perform task work to aid them with physical actions on a daily basis. Please fill out an application for a service dog or a hearing dog and contact Cathy Zemaitis at the number/email above.