The Creator

The Creator

Lori and Harper from NEADS World Class Service Dogs with Lori wearing a Very American® black quote t-shirt.

Lori Barrett is a creator.  When she was laid off from her job in the insurance industry after over a decade, she found a new direction.   As an artist, Lori knew she wanted a job where she could work with her hands while her art created a positive impact.  Thus, Lori discovered NEADS World Class Service Dogs.  In addition to being a wife and mom to a 3-year-old and two cats (hence her choice in Very American® apparel!), her passion lies in creativity.  Whether it’s painting, sewing, or showing up to work as the Creative Media Specialist at NEADS, she’s always tackling a new project with fresh ideas.

Her subject matter? Labrador Retrievers! NEADS World Class Service Dogs was founded in 1976 and continues to expand to include the training of Service Dogs for people who are physically disabled, veterans with PTSD, and children with autism and developmental disabilities.  NEADS has raised, trained, and matched over 1,900 World Class Service Dogs. The team also trains Assistance Dogs who partner with professionals in the classroom, ministry, hospital, and courthouse settings.

To become a NEADS trainer, individuals must successfully complete a two-year
apprenticeship program. Upwards of 95% of NEADS Service Dogs are raised in correctional facilities through the NEADS Prison PUP Program. This program gives inmates the opportunity to serve those in need while the pups prepare for their lives of service and love.  Volunteer Weekend Puppy Raisers take the puppies out of prison each weekend to work on house manners, socialization, and maintaining obedience.
Applying for a Service Dog includes an online application and a personal interview.  Once accepted into the NEADS program, staff work on identifying the right dog for the client’s needs. When the pair is matched, the client spends 7-10 days on the NEADS campus in Massachusetts where they learn to work together.  Before long, client and pup are taking life by stride side by side.

Lori explained, “Working for a non-profit that made a positive impact in the lives of others was at the top of my list. Being around like-minded coworkers and seeing how these amazing dogs make a difference in the life of someone with a disability is very rewarding.” Her personal and professional artwork is heartwarming, and we couldn’t agree more with Lori's sentiment. 

To show our support, we’re donating 10% of all sales THROUGH THE MONTH OF APRIL to NEADS World Class Service Dogs.  You can also join the vast network of dedicated donors and volunteers by donating, hosting a fundraiser, contributing to the wish list, or visiting the NEADS Shop!

To learn more about Lori and NEADS check out the following links!

Lori's Amazing Artwork


NEADS World Class Service Dogs



Buy Lori's Key Phone Wallet Very American T-Shirt Button

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