NEADS in the News
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by Lisa Mullins, WBUR
There’s a celebrity at Ralph Wheelock School in Medfield. He has his own mailbox, he gets extra recess time, and he’s Mr. Popularity.
His name is Franklin. He’s a 3-year-old golden retriever-yellow lab mix.
You can read Franklin’s story here, or listen to it now:
Learn more about Assistance Dogs for the Classroom here.
by Torie Wells, CBS6, NY
NEADS Director of Development, Cathy Zemaitis, is interviewed for this news story about the issue of service dog fraud.
Service dogs make independence possible for many in the Capital Region. The law allows these highly-trained helpers to go just about everywhere a human can.
But a growing trend is posing a problem for both service dogs and their companions: Family pets being passed off by their owners as service dogs in order to take them shopping.
It’s a dangerous situation that’s left some service dogs seriously injured after being attacked.
By Christopher Mele, The New York Times
NEADS CEO, Gerry DeRoche, and Director of Development, Cathy Zemaitis, were quoted in this New York Times article about Service Dog Fraud.
Sharon L. Giovinazzo, president and chief executive of World Services for the Blind, was recently walking through an airport with her trained service dog Watson when a “pocket pooch” growled and then bit him, she said.
The owner apologized and said the dog was her service animal. Ms. Giovinazzo, an Army veteran who lost her sight to multiple sclerosis in 2001, was not having it.
“‘Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure, lady,’” she recalled telling the owner. “‘Then your animal should be secured and trained not to do that.’”
Ms. Giovinazzo said the dog was an untrained pet masquerading as a service animal in what advocates for people with disabilities said had become a growing problem in the last few years.
NEADS Director of Development, Cathy Zemaitis, is interviewed for this article on the important issue of Service Dog fraud.
More and more people are flying with pets they call necessary for emotional support.
Sharon Giovinazzo goes so far as to call them something else: four-legged terrorists.
That may seem harsh. But Giovinazzo, who is visually impaired and travels at least once a week in her job as president and CEO of World Services for the Blind, says she was recently walking through an airport with her service dog Watson when a small dog came running out of a gate waiting area and lunged at them, biting Watson under the chin.
Luckily, the bite wasn’t serious.
But Giovinazzo says she was horrified and rattled…
Boston Voyager writes about the hidden gems of Boston and the surrounding areas. NEADS CEO Gerry DeRoche was interviewed as part of a series of articles featuring interviews with Boston’s most inspiring businesses.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
For many years I was a banker in Boston, where mergers and downsizing were a large part of daily life as the industry underwent dramatic changes.
In 2007 I decided to change careers and do something with a social purpose. I consulted for a few years to not for profits. In 2010 I joined NEADS as its CEO. For me, it was a perfect fit: One of its programs provides dogs to individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired. My father was profoundly hard of hearing. They train dogs. As a family, we love dogs and have two golden retrievers. Finally, NEADS provides the opportunity to interact with clients while they live on campus during their training.
“Rescue, speak,” Jess Kensky said, clutching a treat in her hand as she prepared her service dog Thursday for his big moment at the ASPCA Humane Awards, where he was receiving 2017 Dog of the Year honors.