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NEADS: 12 Who Made a Difference in Central Mass in 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

 

The National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS) based in West Boylston partners with correctional facilities to provide training for dogs to become partners for blind, deaf, or otherwise disabled persons.

As part of the Prison Pup Partnership, inmates at 13 correctional facilities volunteer to give their time and effort over a 12-18 month period to extensively train dogs to accomplish the tasks necessary to provide needed services to their eventual disabled partners.

This unique partnership between prison and non-profit has been a blessing for NEADS since the partnership's inception at the North Central Correctional Institution in Gardner in 1998.

NEADS provides a vital service that helps a wide-range of persons with different disabilities from the hearing impaired, to those relegated to wheelchairs, to veterans who may have lost limbs in combat.

There are usually six to eight, and sometimes as many as 12, puppies in every facility at a given time. Eleven of 13 correctional facilities in Massachusetts are part of the program.

 

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