By Aidan Collins
Kara Milotte joins NEADS World Class Service Dogs, as the new Manager of Client Services. With
over 15 years of experience in the field of behavioral healthcare, Kara brings to NEADS a deep
understanding of disabilities and individual patient needs. As the primary link between NEADS and its
clients, Kara will occupy a critical role in both further developing NEADS as an organization, and
ensuring that its clients receive life-changing benefits from their service dogs.
Milotte’s passion for making a difference in the lives of others has led her to a long and successful
career. Kara’s professional and educational background in behavioral healthcare, makes her perfectly
suited for success in this new role. After receiving a degree in Sociology at Brown University, Kara
went on to receive an MBA from Northeastern University, and a Masters of Social Work at Boston
College. Prior to joining NEADS, she was previously a psychiatric social worker at UMass Memorial
Medical Center in Worcester. Throughout her many years as a social worker, Kara worked closely with
children and adolescents. She became well versed in many different types of disabilities and individual
patient needs, an expertise that will be vital to her success at NEADS.
Kara is responsible for overseeing the entire client services team, a team whose most critical
responsibility is matching the right clients with the right service dog. Kara’s primary responsibilities are
to speak with people interested in service dogs, assess their individual needs and goals, and to help
match them with the right animals. Milotte, along with the rest of the client services team, reviews
applications and interviews viable candidates. “We have many different programs that ensure our
clients are matched with the right dog for their disability. We have a service dog for the hearing
program, a program for people with physical disabilities, for children with autism, those suffering from
PTSD, and for service to veterans.” she says. “We also have assistance dogs, which are different from
service dogs. They work with professionals in classrooms, hospitals, and first responders.” she says.
A critical part of the matching process is on-campus training. On NEADS’ campus there is a residential
house where recipients who are matched with a dog live together for a few weeks, as they become
accustomed to each other. Kara and the Client Services team are responsible for preparing clients for
this experience, ensuring that the initial bonding period goes as well as possible. Additionally, the team
stays in regular contact with their clients for the entire working life of their dogs.
Another core aspect of Kara’s role in Client Services is community outreach and fundraising.
The ability to operate at a high level and provide the services that NEADS provides, requires
significant resources. And as a non-profit organization, fundraising and development are
critical functions for the organization. “One of our big goals this year is to increase our donor
base. We are run by very generous donors, and we will need their continued support.” she
says. Kara understands the importance of community involvement in allowing NEADS to
continue providing excellent services, and she will continue to dedicate herself to cultivating
partnerships with businesses, and foundations. “Overall, we are looking to place more
importance on donors and volunteers. They really help to make our organization what it is.”
she says. “We are also in great need of puppy raisers and volunteers in the Kennel Center.”
she says. “NEADS is currently seeking applicants for the hearing dog program, and we
encourage people who are DEAF to apply through our website. We are also encouraging
people to check out information in regards to raising puppies.”