On October 30, 2005, Especially for Pets had the honor of sponsoring the NEADS Fall Assistance Dog Team Graduation held at Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Leominster, MA. We were able to do this thanks to the generosity of our customers who donated money in exchange for their pets’ nail clippings during the second quarter of last year.


Joyce Schmitt, director of resource development explains “Graduation is a very special event at NEADS because it is the culmination of so many people’s (and dogs’) efforts to accomplish a successful match.  It is the celebration of the involvement of the hundreds of individuals and organizations who in a very kind and large way play an important role in these special unions…..breeders who donate puppies, puppy raisers and socializers, who offer their homes and hearts, veterinarians who donate their medical services, dog officers and animal shelter staff who rescue future assistance dogs, volunteers who exercise and groom the dogs during their stay at NEADS, or speak to groups about their work, state coordinators, who in their  home states interview potential clients and spread the word for NEADS, and the individuals, service organizations, small businesses, corporations, foundations and communities who come together to underwrite the cost of training these teams.   Of course, we celebrate the graduates who, after spending two weeks living at NEADS and working with the instructors, are matched with their canine helper to begin a new and effective working relationship. “

Schmitt went on to say “These have been some demanding months on humanity and many philanthropic resources. That is why we are so touched by your important support of our work this past year. Thankfully, we’ve had another notable year including opening our eighth Prison PUP Partnership. Yet, at the end of the day, it is the forty-nine new assistance dog teams trained- these remarkable partnerships-that continue to motivate our board, volunteers and donors like you who give so generously of their time, talent and important dollars.”

A woman who was partnered with her service dog in June, best describes the real way our support is at work: ‘Despite the relatively short time we’ve been together, I just cannot imagine life without her (dog, Cece).  She’s a tremendous help and has become my best pal and helper, all in one. More often than not, when I drop something (especially my walking stick or reachers), she picks it up and hands it to me before I have a chance to utter a command.  Sometime shortly after graduation, I fell. Like clockwork, she retrieved the phone and brought it to me so I could call for help. (Of course, with all that emotional praise of the moment, for days after, I’d turn around to find her wagging her tail, phone in mouth!”)…I couldn’t have asked for a better trained dog!”

If you would like to learn more about obtaining an assistance dog, the puppy raising program, other volunteer opportunities, visiting the campus or donation programs, please contact NEADS at 978-422-9064 or visit their website at www.neads.org

Thank you again to our customers who helped us to help NEADS!