Raise a Puppy

NEADS is always seeking Puppy Raisers, families who open their homes to one of our amazing puppies in training. We seek three types of puppy raisers:

1. Weekend Puppy Raisers, who make a 12- to 18-month-long commitment to raising a puppy on weekends only
2. Full-Time Puppy Raisers, who raise our puppies full time (this is a more limited program)
3. Weekend Puppy Sitters. Interested in becoming a Weekend Puppy Sitter? Sitters enjoy the company of a puppy in their home for at least one weekend a month. Note, Weekend Puppy Sitters are matched with a puppy from the Early Learning Center but will not likely take the same puppy home for multiple weekends. Learn more on our Volunteer page

Weekend Puppy Sitters vs Weekend Puppy Raisers

Which Role is Right for Me?

Volunteer Position:Weekend Puppy SittersWeekend Puppy Raisers
Pick up/Drop off:NEADS Campus, PrincetonPrison
Commitment:1 weekend per month3 weekends/month for 12-18 months
Dog:Different puppy each weekend you volunteerSame dog every weekend from same prison
More Information:For more information about Weekend Puppy Sitters, including FAQs, click here.Scroll down for more information about Weekend Puppy Raisers.

The Weekend Puppy Sitter application process starts with a pre-qualifying questionnaire:

Weekend Puppy Sitter
Pre-Qualifying Questionnaire

Pleas fill out the Puppy Raiser Online application by clicking on this button.

Please note: Weekend Puppy Raising for Framingham, Norfolk, and Concord is currently full. If you would like to be considered when slots are open, please, fill out the application and we will keep it on file. If openings occur, we will reach out to you to see if you are still interested in Weekend Puppy Raising.  

 Puppy Raiser Online Application

Download the Weekend Puppy Raiser application here


Weekend Puppy Raisers

Most of our puppies are raised in correctional facilities through our Prison PUP Program. Our dogs live with inmates in Massachusetts and Rhode Island prisons Monday through Friday, but our puppies get weekend furloughs! Volunteer weekend puppy raisers take the puppies out of prison each weekend for about a year to work on house manners, socialization, and training. These weekends in a home environment ensure that our dogs get the socialization they need, like visits to the grocery store, movie theaters, the mall, restaurants, and other typical household activities. Before you apply to become a weekend puppy raiser for one of our adorable, energetic puppies you may want to consider what NEADS needs from you.


  • Attending training sessions at least once a month
  • Submitting weekly online progress reports in a timely manner
  • Taking the pup out of the correctional facility at least three weekends a month for about one year
  • Practicing training and socialization exercises as directed by your NEADS trainer
  • Providing adequate daily exercise as recommended by your NEADS trainer
  • Providing a safe, healthy and loving environment for the puppy

Please note: We currently only accept weekend puppy raiser applications from people who live in MA and RI. Puppy raisers will travel to the correctional facility nearest to their home to pick up the puppy each weekend (not to the NEADS Princeton, MA campus).

Current Correctional Facilities with Prison PUP Program partnerships:

For more information on Weekend Puppy Raising, including FAQs, click here.

Click here for the Landlord Consent Form.

For more information, please contact NEADS Volunteer Manager, Kate Sullivan: [email protected]