Western Massachusetts-based NEADS, also known as National Education for Assistance Dog Services, is nationally known for its remarkable success training dogs to be service dogs for deaf and disabled Americans.
In the first of a series, Here & Now‘s Robin Young takes a look at how a dog becomes a NEADS service dog. The NEADS dogs are trained for about a year, on weekends by volunteer
“foster parents,” and during the week, they go to a prison where they live with and are trained by a a select group of qualifying inmates.
It’s a rigorous program at various prisons, including the Northeastern Correctional Facilities, a minimum security prison on a farm in Concord, Massachusetts. Robin speaks with two dog handlers, Bernard and Ryan, as they train their dogs Bailey and Griffin before the dogs head to a “forever family” several months down the road.