NEADS in the News

Read our archive of selected media coverage about NEADS World Class Service Dogs. If you would like to write or film a story about NEADS, please contact us.

Wealth Beyond Riches: An Interview with Cathy Zemaitis

This week on Wealth Beyond Riches, Abaris Financial Group LLC CEO Abbey Henderson, CFP® spoke with Cathy Zemaitis, Chief Development and Programs Officer at NEADS, about its mission, how you can contribute, and much more.

Listen on Apple Podcasts here.

Cape & Islands NPR: Service Dogs

Mindy Todd, The Point

WOODS HOLE, MA (WCAI) — Service Dogs are essential in the day to day life of many people- individuals who are blind or low vision, those who have difficulty hearing, or remembering to take medication. Service Dogs can even alert people before they have seizure or if their blood sugar is getting too low. Not only are the dogs trained to perform tasks for their handlers, they create opportunity for independence, and provide companionship. Today we talk about service dogs, how they’re different from therapy or emotional support animals, and what it takes to train and pair a dog with an individual.

Kara Milotte, Client Services Manager for NEADS, joins the conversation along with Lynn Stas, Region Coordinator for Guiding Eyes for the Blind Eastern Massachusetts, Doe Zottoli, a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and Amy Bower, Senior Scientist and physical oceanographer at WHOI, who has used service dogs for 20 years to assist as she has lost most of her vision due to retinal degeneration.

Listen to the interview here.

NEADS Service Dogs Hop On A Boston Duck Tour For Training

Suzanne Sausville, WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Service dogs from NEADS World Class Service Dogs took a duck boat tour around Boston on Sunday as part of their public transportation training.

NEADS is a non-profit established in 1976 to train service dogs for people with a variety of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities.

“They’re highly trained service dogs who can perform up to 50 or 60 different tasks and commands,” said Cathy Zemaitis, who is the chief development and programs officer at NEADS. Continue reading... or listen below.

Service dogs take Duck Tour through Boston

Rob Pelaez, Boston Herald.

NEADS World Class Service Dogs celebrated Boston Duck Tours’ philanthropic initiative, ‘Quack-Quack, Give Back!” on Sunday with ambassadors and partners taking a private tour ride through the city.

The two organizations celebrated their 12-year partnership a week after Duck Tours’ 2024 season kicked off with the tour ride for service dogs and their handlers. For pooches too young for the tour, there was and a training course that included basic obedience, good manners and socialization, NEADS officials said.

Read the full story here.

Meet Kona, the Service Dog for Hearing

From GBH News: This service dog changed a woman's life after losing her hearing.

After Kate Weaver lost much of her hearing, she turned to a service dog to bridge the gap between the hearing world and the deaf world. Service Dogs for Hearing can identify everyday sounds and alert their handler. Getting matched with hearing dog Kona changed her life.

Applications for Service Dogs for Hearing at NEADS are open now.

Editor's note: It costs NEADS about $45,000 to breed, raise and train a service dog. Clients matched with dogs are asked to fundraise $8,000 as a donation to NEADS.

NightSide with Dan Rea: NEADS Assistance Dog JD

WBZ Radio's Dan Rea talks with Beth Johnson, Tantasqua Regional Senior High School Assistant Principal and handler of NEADS Assistance Dog “J.D.”


Telegram & Gazette: Assistance Dog J.D. brightens every day at this Central Mass. high school

Jeff A. Chamer, Worcester Telegram & Gazette: One of Tantasqua Regional Senior High School's most popular staff members is known for his ability to provide a comforting pres­ence in times of distress - and for tak­ing treats when he's a good boy.

It's J.D., a 5-year-old black lab who regularly walks around the school building and visits classrooms with assistant principal Beth Johnson, his owner and handler.

"It has been a giant love affair be­tween every staff member and student that J.D. has ever met," Johnson said. "He makes a world of difference for some kids - he really turns their day around and, for a lot of kids, he is the reason that they come to school or can get through the whole school day."

Whether it's the first thing in the morning as students arrive, a random walk through the building or lunchroom, or popping into counseling ses­sions to help students, Johnson has been sure to make J.D. as accessible to students as possible throughout the day.

One of J.D.'s most frequent visitors -and, Johnson said, the president of his fan club - is Alexis Buteau, a senior. Buteau said she typically makes it a point to see J.D. at least once per school day.

"He's very comforting and he knows all of these adorable tricks," Buteau said. Continue reading...

NBC Boston: Assistance dog helps students build social-emotional skills in Framingham High School

As students return to classrooms in Massachusetts, one Framingham school is showing success in a program that helps build academic and social-emotional skills for students. Framingham High School offers a program called Resiliency For Life. The program helps about 60 students in ninth through 12th grade through emotional challenges to achieve academic success. Watch the video here.

NBC Boston: Full-time puppy raisers needed

NEADS visits NBC Boston to talk about its needs for puppy raisers.


Fox61: Spring Update with Mystic

Fox61's Keith McGilvery has been following Service Dog in Training Mystic since last year, and today he shared an update as part of the station's Morning Bright Spot. There was a hint about an upcoming visit for Mystic to Mystic Pizza.

Boston Herald: Anything is paw-sible

Boston Herald Staff: A pawsitively fun event all for a good cause returned on Sunday, as NEADS World Class Service Dogs hosted its Pulling 4 Paws Truck Pull to support its array of Service Dog programs.

The Pulling 4 Paws Truck Pull at Worcester’s Polar Park was back after a three-year hiatus. See photos here.

Spectrum News: NEADS welcomes back Pulling 4 Paws fundraiser

by Cam Jandrow: Instead of baseball, a unique fundraiser filled up Polar Park Sunday afternoon.

Nonprofit NEADS World Class Service Dogs hosted a truck pull, "Pulling 4 Paws."

Teams of 15 played tug-of-war with an 18-wheeler to see who could get the truck over the finish line the fastest.

NEADS is a Princeton-based nonprofit providing service dogs for people with a physical disability, veterans, hearing, as well as children with autism or other developmental disabilities.

Even in the pouring rain, the nonprofit had a full slate of 16 teams for the fundraiser, which they say will go toward the organization and an array of different service dog programs. Watch the segment here.

Worcester Pulse Magazine: NEADS

LuAnn Thibodeau: Perhaps you have heard of NEADS before, or have driven by their location in Princeton and seen the sign and wondered what NEADS is. Well, this will help you to learn a bit more about NEADS and their mission...  I got to see it first hand and I am nothing but completely amazed. These folks and the dogs are awesome, delightful, wonderful, and so much more.

Read the full story here.

Fox61: Checking in on NEADS service dog in training Mystic

with Keith McGilvery. NEADS Service Dog in Training Mystic, along with her Puppy Raiser and NEADS staff visited the Fox61 studio. The process of searching for a home and training a service dog takes time. Mystic's trainers say she is growing up fast.

Wicked Local: Travels with a service dog: Massachusetts residents share their stories, challenges

Margaret Smith: Whether going by train, plane or bus, Ellen Leigh of Arlington has covered many miles with Ricky, her affable black Labrador retriever, at her side. "I've had him for over eight years. He's extremely well trained," said Leigh. Leigh and Ricky teamed up through NEADS, a Princeton-based nonprofit organization that provides and trains service dogs.

"He is trained to do things to help me cope with my disability," said Leigh. "He opens doors. He picks things up that drop. He retrieves things I need, and brings them to me, takes off my jacket. He can bark to get attention. He can fetch the phone, all kinds of things."

Read the full article here.