Success Stories

NEADS brings together a community of puppy raisers, prison inmates, on-staff trainers, and others to produce a highly trained Service Dog who is then matched with someone to mitigate a specific disability.

There is nothing more telling about the successful and lasting human-animal partnerships this community creates than the stories of the lives these World Class Service Dogs change.

John and Service Dog DJ

When I was in my mid-20s, I met someone with a Service Dog, and the more time I spent with her, the more I knew that some day a dog…

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Why Mutti is My Hero

For children with autism or other developmental disabilities, a NEADS Service Dog can make all the difference These dogs are trained in a variety of tasks that can address a…

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Jason and Service Dog Ernie

Jason was diagnosed with PTSD in 2006, three years after returning from a difficult tour of duty with the Marine Corps in Iraq. He was in a very dark place,…

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What It Is Like Having A Service Dog

I have always been a dog person.

When I was injured in 2011, I briefly entertained the idea of having a dog, but felt I needed to take care of myself more and didn’t want to put extra responsibility on the caregivers who help me. You see, after my spinal cord injury, my life became a constant battle between different therapies, doctors’ appointments, home exercise, and just getting my life back to some normalcy. This took me a little over a year, but even then, I didn’t feel as though I could comfortably take care of a dog. Now that I have Oliver, I somewhat regret not getting a dog sooner.… but then, if I had gotten a dog sooner, it wouldn’t have been Oliver.

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NEADS Graduates 22 New Service Dog Teams

NEADS held its 76th Graduation Ceremony on November 4 at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School (“Monty Tech”) in Fitchburg, MA. Supported by family, friends, and NEADS staff, volunteer puppy raisers,…

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Stephanie and Assistance Dog Tootsie

Tootsie, an Assistance Dog for the Ministry, was matched with Pastor Stephanie Smith of Cathedral in the Night in October 2017. Since that time, she’s made quite an impact on…

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Jocelyn and Service Dog Sammie

Jocelyn, an Air Force veteran and NEADS first female TAD client, was matched with Service Dog Sammie in 2017. Here’s her story:

I now know why there is a sign in the NEADS client house that says, “Every once in a while a dog enters your life and changes everything.” Little did I know just how quickly everything would change for the better when Sammie entered my life.

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Will and Hearing Dog Digby

I first met a Hearing Dog when I was in my 50s and thought it was truly amazing, even more so when I learned that just a month later this…

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Thekla and Social Dog Keely

We could never have begun to imagine the wonderful, strong bond that Thekla and Keely would forge. Thekla was matched with Keely about a year and a half ago. Keely…

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Patricia and Courthouse Facility Dog Willis

Willis has helped tremendously since he came onboard. I can tell countless stories, but one in particular stands out. Willis was on the stand with a 13-year-old girl who had…

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Christine and Courthouse Facility Dog Ann

The excellent training of a NEADS dog becomes the most valuable thing in a handler’s life. I know this whole experience has changed my life, and the lives of those…

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In Their Words: I Once Sat in That Chair

I once sat in that chair and I watched,
People around me freely going to and fro,
Parents playing with their children,
As I once sat in that chair and watched.

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