Sponsor a Client

Suzanne is a mother, writer, youth coach, and Protestant ordained minister. Suzanne is interested in the myriad ways ministry happens outside church walls, and is eager to embark on a new partnership of pastoral care with a NEADS Service Dog for Therapy.

Rev. Debbie Clark is pastor of Edwards United Church of Christ in Framingham, Massachusetts.  The congregation has welcomed Jeannie, a beautiful standard poodle, as a "service dog for ministry."  Jeannie provides a warm, gentle, caring presence for the congregation and the wider community.

When I first applied to get an assistance dog from NEADS, I knew that I would receive a special dog. I didn't know that I would receive a dog that has had such a huge impact on my professional and personal life. Rev accompanies me to work everyday, which is the Nevins Nursing and Rehab Centre in Methuen Massachusetts.

Words cannot express how excited I am in being selected to receive a therapy dog. As a Special Education Teacher at Longridge Elementary School in Greece, NY, I work with students with disabilities such as aspergers, autism, speech/language impaired, learning disabled, and other health impairments.

Several years ago, I walked into a room at the Tippet Home in Needham, MA to visit a member of the church I was serving. She was there for hospice care. As soon as I entered the room, she gave me a distressed look and asked, “Where’s your dog?” She had met me and my senior lab, Copper, earlier during her illness. I told her, “I didn’t even think to bring him.” I checked with the Tippett Home and asked if I could bring Copper for the next visit and they said, “Of course!” I brought Copper and as soon as she saw Copper, there was a look of peace, contentment, and even joy on the dying woman’s face. She was ready to talk.

I am a pastor of two small churches in northern NH (Trinity UMC in Whitefield and Durrell Memorial UMC in Bethlehem). Thanks to NEADS, I have found Benny, my four-legged partner in ministry.

My name is Kelly Heller and I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with a therapy dog. I am a District Behavior Specialist for Lebanon School District in Lebanon, PA. As part of my job, I service our Autistic Support and Emotional Support classrooms on a daily basis. As a district, we are excited for all of the ways that a therapy dog will support our students’ social and emotional needs. As a district and community, we are excited for the chance to work with a therapy dog to further bring us together in supporting our students with special needs.

Hi Everyone, My name is Rylie and I have been matched to become a therapy dog at Boston Medical Center (BMC). I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. In this role, I will visit patients, families and staff at the hospital and bring with me compassion, caring and a pleasant diversion from hospital life.

I am excited to be joining the NEADS family and developing a partnership with a ministry dog. As a minister and an animal-lover, I cannot think of a more ideal way to “do” ministry. My canine partner and I will serve our congregation, community, and region in many ways: through congregational and interfaith worship and events; pastoral care visits to nursing homes and hospitals; and crisis response to recovery and reunification centers in Petersham and the wider region. We will respond to requests by local clergy of any faith as well as regional fire, police, and other emergency responders.

I began my partnership with Daisy, a young Golden Retriever "Service Dog for Ministry" in October. She has become a favorite in the various ministry settings in which I am involved. In churches, she opens up conversations with people who might be reluctant otherwise. She is particularly good with kids, even the most hesitant.

I am a counselor at the Cushing House which is a part of the Gavin Foundation and located in South Boston. The Cushing House is a 6-month program for girls ages 16-20 in early recovery from addiction. Working with me from 3-11 pm, Rowan brightens everyone's day- from greeting girls at the door when they come back from school/work to giving them a kiss before they go to sleep.

Hello, my name is Jennifer O’Rourke, I am a special education teacher at Salisbury Elementary School in the town of Salisbury, Massachusetts. The students in my program have significant social and emotional needs and some have experienced trauma and lived in poverty during their young lives. Students with Autism, a history of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and various other social emotional challenges are in need of the comfort and reassurance that a therapy dog can provide.

Scooter helps engage my many clients who suffer from severe and persistent mental illness. My role as Residential Registered Nurse allows me to visit with these individuals, provide physical assessments and advocate for the services they may need. Scooter provides them with tactile stimulation and unconditional love they deserve. Scooter also encourages these individuals to increase their activity level through hikes and trips to the local dog park. In addition I will am able to share this amazing animal with my family. My clients are truly excited about Scooter being an addition to our clinical team. Thank you in advance for considering a donation.

Hi! I’m Ritamarie Theiler and have long known about the benefit animals bring to our lives. As a teen, I had surgery to correct scoliosis followed by nine months in a body cast. During this time I had many dogs, cats and horses who loved me and helped guide me through the recovery. Without my animals around me, I’m sure this would have been a very depressing and difficult time in my life.