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:

  • Weekend Puppy Raisers, who make a year-long commitment to raising a puppy on weekends only
  • Full-Time Puppy Raisers, who raise our puppies full time (this is a more limited program)

Puppy Raiser Online Application

Download PDF of Puppy Raiser Application

  • Weekend Puppy Sitters, who enjoy the company of a puppy in their home for several weekends, as needed

Puppy sitter application


Weekend Puppy Raisers

Most of our puppies are raised in correctional facilities through our Prison PUP Partnership. 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).

For more information on Weekend Puppy Raising, click here

For more information, please contact NEADS Volunteer Manager, Kate Sullivan: ksullivan@neads.org

Weekend Puppy Sitters

Weekend Puppy Sitters will take puppies out of the NEADS Early Learning Center during the weekends to expose them to life in a home. The Sitters will be matched with a puppy for the length of the puppy's stay at the ELC, usually 2-4 weeks. Due to the puppy's young stage of training and the very short comittment of the puppy sitters, the sitter will not be allowed to take the puppy into places of business like restaurants, stores, hospitals, etc.


  • Providing adequate daily exercise as recommended by your NEADS trainer
  • Providing a safe, healthy and loving environment for the puppy
  • Following NEADS guidelines and procedures as outlined by the puppy program

For more information, please contact the Early Learning Center