Athol Daily News – Bed bug detection dogs get loan


Posted: 02/19/2022 13:18:32

Modified: 02/19/2022 13:18:11

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $15,000 loan to Pawsitive Identity K9 Services in Hubbardston. Owned by Thomas and Nina Welch, Pawsitive Identity K9 Services works directly with hotels and apartment complexes to identify bedbugs and partners with pest control companies for sanitation. The loan will support the purchase, certification and training of dogs to detect bedbugs and support local pest control businesses.

Tom Welch was a K9 officer for 21 years with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, where he trained and worked with several dogs during his career. When Tom retired from his K9 duties, a local pest control company recruited him to work with the company’s bed bug detection dog. At the start of the pandemic, the company eliminated the bedbug detecting part of the business but offered Tom the pet dog. Soon after, Tom started his own business during the pandemic with the help of his wife, Nina, and together they steadily expanded their customer base.

“Nina and I started Pawsitive Identity K9 Services during the pandemic and this loan made it easier to purchase a new dog, Charlie, to complement the work of current K9 Kirby,” said Tom Welch. “Kirby is aging and Charlie was recently acquired with funds from the loan, which will also be used to train and certify Charlie and allow us to prepare for Kirby’s eventual retirement.”

“With financial assistance and support from the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, we have realized a dream of opening our own business and providing an important service to our local community,” said Welch. For more information, visit

As a microcredit lender, NCMDC can provide small business loans up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and work with our banking partners to provide gap funding for the last part of a project.

For more information about NCMDC loan programs, call 978-353-7607 or visit or


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