Sunday, July 29, 2007

Deaf Dog and Visual Cues

A good advice by Cathy M. Rosenthal

Cathy M. Rosenthal: Teach deaf dog to react to visual cues

Web Posted: 07/28/2007 04:14 PM CDT

San Antonio Express-News

Dear Cathy: My husband and I recently adopted a dog from the Animal Defense League. After we got her home, we discovered she was deaf. We are trying to house-train her but are not having great success. She goes very well when we take her out, but we are having trouble trying to get her to tell us when she wants to go out. She is 5 months old now. She is very smart, and we have become very attached to her. She is still having accidents in the house. Do you know of any local training for deaf dogs?
— Sharon Melville

Dear Sharon: Sometimes shelters don't notice when a dog is deaf because the dog is reacting to so much visual stimuli in the shelter. And that's your No. 1 training tip here: Develop and rely on hand signals and visual cues to help her learn.

Just like with a hearing dog, take her outside when she gets up from a nap, finishes a meal or starts sniffing. When you teach a hearing dog to go out, you may also say, "Do you have to go out?" The dog learns that means go outside only because you follow those words with that action. In the case of a deaf dog, you have to connect going outside with a visual cue. For example, you could put a bell on the inside door handle and paw at it yourself every time you let her out. Visually, she will make the connection between pawing the handle and going outside. Give her a treat when she begins pawing at it herself. Of course, she won't hear the bell, only see the bell moving, but you will hear it and know she needs to go outside.

I don't know any local dog trainers who work specifically with deaf dogs, but much of dog training is based on visual cues, so most experienced trainers should be able to help you. I recommend reading the book "Living with a Deaf Dog" by Susan Cope-Becker and visiting for more tips on how to live with and train a deaf dog.

Dear Cathy: Every summer, my granddaughter, Rachel, wants to come to my house to sew kitty comforters. We have done this for the past three years and donated them to the Humane Society. Rachel has passed along her passion for animals to her younger sister, Rheanna, who just turned 5 years old. What a wonderful role model Rachel has turned out to be. Rachel and Rheanna are so excited about sewing the comforters, and as a grandmother I'm excited for them to spend time with me doing the things they love. Because of them, the Humane Society will be getting an abundant supply of comforters by the end of summer.

— Cheryl Jones

Dear Cheryl: Let's give you some credit for their altruism, grandma. Your grandkids are interested in helping animals because they saw you as a role model. It's important that children learn at a young age to think and care about the welfare of animals, even if there are no pets in the home. It gets them thinking about things other than themselves, which hopefully leads to compassionate, charitable adults.

Tell Rachel and Rheanna that I am proud of them and have seen how much the cats love curling up on those special comforters.

If you can't sew kitty quilts, but want to help animals, check out San Antonio's Rock n Rescue — a battle of the bands that chooses opening acts to play for headliners, like "Grand Funk Railroad" and "Rare Earth," at the AT&T Summer Concert Series. Visit for details.

Senior Deaf Dog Subjected to Violence

Guilty as charged!

Postman kicked deaf dog then fought owner
By Gina Bebbington

A POSTMAN has been sentenced for kicking a dog and fighting with its owner.

Michael Crowley, of New Road, in Anderton, faces a curfew after being found guilty of assault by beating and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

The 33-year-old appeared at Vale Royal Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after the incident, which happened in December last year, and was convicted after an earlier trial.

Catherine Whincup, prosecuting, said: "The defendant attended an address to deliver mail when he seemed to turn and deliver a savage kick to the 14-year-old dog of Mr Andrew Town who was angry, confronted the defendant and was grabbed and punched repeatedly around his head."

Ms. Whincup said the dog was nearly deaf and slow to respond.

Crowley, a father-of-two, told police in interview that the animal was aggressive and growling at him so he kicked it in self defence.

He also told police that he hit Mr Town in self defence.

Karina Champion, defending, said Crowley was initially suspended by Royal Mail but later reinstated despite his conviction. He showed remorse for the incident from the outset.

"He notified his employers of the incident immediately after it happened and acknowledges that in relation to the assault that matters did become heated.

He genuinely felt he was in some danger and accepts what he did was wrong.

He said it was two people in the wrong place at the wrong time and has said he wishes he could turn back time."

She added: This is not a man who is going to trouble these courts again.

"He lost his temper and in the circumstances, although it doesn't make it justifiable, it does make it easier to understand."

Crowley was given a three-month 8pm to 4.30am curfew for each of the charges, to run concurrently, and was ordered to pay costs of £455 and compensation of £50.

12:00pm Sunday 15th July 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Alliance of Deaf Ferret and Hearing Cat!

Half way through, you'll find the deaf ferret noticing the camera and stares directly at it for a while before resuming his activity with the cat. Being visual attuned, it doesn't surprise me how he acts. I find my deaf dogs and others' deaf animals to be detail oriented with their own sight. Also, touching is very important for them, the animal-deafies.

Clickable link

P.S. On a side note, please spay and/or neuter your pets to help control overpopulation and encourage others to adopt from the shelters.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Deaf Pup In Alabama...


Can anyone help place this baby girl? Female 8-9 months old. Catahoula(double merle). Solid white with Catahula markings on a few spots. Sweet and loving a little hyper. May not be suited for small children as she does jump. Loves everyone. Very easy going and fun loving still very much a puppy. Please contact me.

Janie Thomas
BJC Animal Control
Birmingham, Al 35212

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Addition to Our World: Deaf Ferrets!

They, like some groups of animals and even humans, have deafness run in their gene. American Sign Language (ASL) and visual access continue to be one of their primary
needs. Here is an interesting website about deaf ferrets by their owner.

Here's several links on deaf ferrets:

Deaf Behavior

Deaf Ferrets

Deafness in Ferrets

Raising a Deaf Ferret

There was a documentary today on PBS about ferrets and deaf ferrets were mentioned briefly. One of the things said on the documentary was that one woman's deaf ferrets understand "outside" in sign language. Because these deaf ferrets love to go outside, the deaf ferrets know what she means. From what someone told me is that this woman was not a good signer because the way she signed "OUTSIDE," she made it look like "STORY." He said, "So, the deaf ferrets are learning bad ASL!" Oh my! Hurry and send an ASL therapist! :)

Last but not the least, here's FAQs on Ferrets for those of you who already have or want to adopt ferrets, be it deaf or hearing.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Video of Deaf Dalmatian On The News

Deaf Dalmatian Learns Sign Language

The article is good, but I am disheartened by this statement, "Deafness in dogs can lead to significant emotional problems and often deaf puppies are euthanized." It would be nice for them to point out that it's human's failure to accomodate their needs, in order to put them on equal footing as hearing dogs, by providing them visual access and communication at a young age as opposed to auditory. This reminds me of how some deaf children have emotional/behavioral problems because of lack of communication/visual access.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

2 Deaf Boxers Put to Sleep by July 20, 2007 in TX!


Canton Animal shelter received two boxers that are deaf and are needing special homes. Please cross post and contact Misty if you can help! One male one female 14 and 15 months old NOT ALTERED!!!!!!!!!! They are very sweet and were turned in because the owners were living in a hotel and could not care for them.. Please post and contact Misty if you can help! Time is URGENT!

Canton is less than an hour drive east of Dallas, just south of I-20. Canton is requesting ANY HELP rescue can give.

CALL MISTY AT THE SHELTER: 903-567-4880 or email at Number (Kelli) if for any reason you can't reach shelter: 214-734-9041.

Need to be 501c3 to tag or pull. Shelter will ask you to fax in your 501c3 - please CALL FIRST. The fax posted on petfinder previously is not in their immediate location. They now have a fax at the the same number as the shelter number, but just need to know before you fax so they can flip it to receive. That's all it takes! If they don't answer, PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE or call the back-up number. For anyone wanting to adopt, it's only a $25 adoption fee (plus you will need to get rabies shot and spay/neuter within appropriate time period).

Newborn Sibling Pups Dumped in a Kill Shelter!

UPDATE: EUTHANIZED! Both pups contracted parvovirus from being at the shelter too long and it is contagious. One died and the other was put down. Vaccinations would have protected them from parvovirus. What is upsetting is that the breeder who dumped them didn't even bother to vaccinate these innocent pups first!

There are 2 ten week old pups now that a breeder brought to the shelter, Hattiesburg, MS, because they were deaf and blind. Both are males. The breeder had just brought them in when we got out there and they were bathing them so these pups are new even to the shelter. The one is definitely blind and deaf and the other they are questioning that he MAY see some but they are not sure at all!!!!!!! They are doing well in their run and know where their dishes and bed is!! They REALLY need to be kept together!!! They are very bonded and rely on each other. I am the contact person for these pups!!

Sally Roberts
United Yorkie Rescue
MS State Director
Visit us at
Do you know that 85% of all dogs in shelters are euthanized? PLEASE spay and neuter your pet.

Chloe, Deaf Dog: From Unruly To Disciplined In An Hour!

When I first learned about Chloe, check the earlier post who has been in the shelter for 3 months (3 months is the limit at that shelter), and I posted her on Deaf Animal Row. I called the shelter, Michelle – the volunteer in particular, to express my concern about the Deaf community not being made aware the entire 3 months to help increase the chance she was there until now. Michelle joined the 3rd month as a volunteer Chloe was there and it is the reason why we found out about Chloe. She has been great and is on our side.

I am currently not in a situation where fostering is possible as much as I want to even though I have done a lot of animals rescue in the past. Judy Gough (owned by deaf dogs/cats), Ella Mae Lentz (owned by deaf dogs/cats) and Hetty Rothenberg (all in California) were kind to offer to foster Chloe even if Chloe is on the Northeast side! It is no wonder that 4 or 5 cities in California tops as the most humane cities. Ella Mae and Judy decided to let Hetty experience being a foster mom as they have had ample opportunities, but they agreed dogsit Chloe for Hetty when Hetty goes on vacation. I explained to them I hope someone from Northeast will step up to foster or adopt and Hetty can be a back up if all else fails. Raychelle Harris’s friend told her about NJ-L and did her a favor by posting about Chloe for us. Meghan Rainone, who lives in New Jersey with a deaf dog whom I alerted her about 2 years ago when her dog was on deathrow, would like to foster her but where she’s staying wouldn’t allow 2nd dog. They asked me to go to the shelter to observe the dog – two hours drive – and Ella, Hetty and Judy would help reimburse me for the cost of gas and tolls.

Off I went. Almost 2 hours passed and it was easy to get there, I went into the shelter. I informed someone at the desk that I’m looking for Michelle and as I waited, I saw Chloe, through the glass window, in her kennel being visual to the commotion around her. Michelle leaned over and mouthed, “Are you Katherine?” I said yes and off we went to Chloe’s kennel to put leash on her before going to the outdoor pen. As we walked towards to the outdoor pen, a few things I noticed about Chloe. Lack of eye contact, no sense of boundaries and touching is foreign to her.

We got into the pen. I gave her one slice of cheese to help establish bonding. Because I read about why Chloe was given up due to her tendency to jump on people and play rough, I decided to work on that one and knew it’ll be a piece of cake. What I did was, I ran around the pen with Chloe and she got excited. When she got excited, she jumped on me and I squirted her with the water spray. I did on purpose and instructed her to jump on me by using this gesture – hands banging on my chest – and when she jumped on me, I squirted at her. When I do that gesture again, she ignored me. She learned to stop doing any of jumping on me or Michelle. Chloe seems to understand that water spray is for unacceptable behavior. One time she was using her leash as a tug of war to play with me. When I tried to get her to let go the leash, she wouldn't. I told Michelle to get the water spray and all she did was show the water spray, Chloe let it go and ran while squinting her eyes in case she’s being sprayed at.

Before I taught Chloe the commands, I had to work on developing her eye contact and get her used to my touching when I tried to get her attention. First, I played with her where it involved touching on her body. She would run away when I touch her but it slowly got better the more she is used to it. Her attention span is all over places and I would move her head in my direction and have her look at me. After a while, I began teaching her ASL commands for sit, lay down, friend and stay with cheese in my hand, of course! When her yummy meal arrived, this other volunteer plans to give it to her. I asked her to give the dish to me. I made Chloe sit and stay until I put the dish on the ground before she can eat it. Chloe did. Michelle was impressed and in awe how quickly Chloe learned what I have taught her.

I explained to Michelle that it is the problem with many people who keep a deaf puppy because they’re cute without ever giving visual training or accommodations to a deaf dog needs. When they get older, they’re unmanageable, thus given up or get dumped at a shelter with euthanasia in sight. Chloe is about one year old and she knew nothing throughout her puppyhood until now. After two hours of stay, I thanked Michelle for everything and her time. I told her that we consider her an ally. It was hard leaving Chloe. Michelle was aware of a foster home available in California as a last resort.

The next day, all of us, Ella Mae, Hetty, Judy, Meghan, Raychelle and I got an email from Michelle with great news that Chloe has been adopted. Chloe was adopted by a guy who owned another deaf dog. They were introduced at the shelter and hit it off beautifully. I am grateful to people like Ella Mae, Hetty, Judy, Meghan and Raychelle for their commitment and support in helping deaf animals. Chloe was saved from euthanasia.

For years, deaf animals are deemed worthless and it still happens. It is high time that we, the signing community, put an end to turning the other cheek when it comes to the welfare of deaf animals and educate the public at large. If it doesn’t start with us, how else do we expect hearing people to value deaf animals? Stealing JFK’s quote: Ask what you can do for deaf animals on Deaf Animal Row, not what Deaf Animal Row can do for you :) Hope you will join us in this cause and develop a better network in every state to save deaf animals from deathrow. Let’s show everyone what the Deaf community is all about when it comes to the power of networking, given its close knitted nature.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

How Many Deaf Animals Out There Suffer?

Enclosed is a link of "A Cat with Cochlear Implants" found in Fookem and Bug's blog.

This is precisely why it is important for the Deaf community to adopt every deaf cat and/or deaf dog out there. There are not many of them and it shouldn't be hard for every single one of them to find a home. Unfortunately, instead, some of them go to the lab.

It is common practice that some breeders and people sell animals to the lab for money, so you can bet on it that deaf cats or dogs are sold to the lab for some money too. Someone could easily go in a shelter and say they want to adopt that deaf animal and turn around to sell it to the lab. Please don't have the attitude of, "I hope somebody will take that deaf cat or deaf dog." Why take a chance? If you can help in ANY way, don't be afraid foster or adopt or let someone you know who is interested. We need to act fast.

In one of DeafAnimalRow blogs that has an article, BoysTown was exposed for the suffering of the kittens and cats because of experimentation with the brain in relation to deafness. Now this, we don't know what happens behind the closed doors. Not only that but also, deaf animals have no voice to object to what is being done to them, so we need to do something by helping ensure there's no deaf animals available for them.

We need to show the world what Deaf community is capable of when it comes to deaf animals other than our few hearing allies who have done their small part for the deaf animals. We are them, they are us.

Here is what PETA said about how animals are not good models for humans when experimenting with them and how experimentation on any animals are not tolerated:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Help Needed: Deaf Aussie at Bastrop AC in Texas


Young, friendly, sweet, deaf white Aussie female, picture below:

For more information about foster or adoption, go to:

Thanks, Joann Starks -
Austin Aussie Rescue -

P.S. If you are interested to foster or adopt, contact Joann and see if she can also transport the dog to you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Deaf Pup Needs Help Immediately!


I have one that needs rescue in order to save her life. We had a 5 month old American Bulldog mix, Posey, surrendered by her owners because she is deaf and they didn't want her anymore. She is a doll. She loves other dogs and cats. She has passed a temperament test, but because she is considered special needs we are unable to place her. She has been vaccinated, dewormed, and advantaged (flea treatment). If anyone can help her, we would greatly appreciate it. The shelter is located in Lafayette, IN, about 2 1/2 south east of Chicago.

Wende McKinney

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Destruction of Blinds for Visual Access!

This goes to show deaf animals are no different than deaf humans when it comes to demanding visual access. Unlike deaf animals, hearing dogs have the option of listening to the commotion that goes on outside of the home. This deaf dog, Tequila, owns Jennifer, who is from Indiana. After replacing several blinds, Jennifer has learned to roll up the blinds, so Tequila can enjoy the commotion outside. A few other people have said their deaf dog have ruined their blinds as well. Not mine yet as my dogs usually paw on me to let me know to pull up the blinds.

Here's one of Raychelle's deaf cat, Ava peeking out her own makeshift hole :)

Please Save This Deaf Boxer in Illinois!!!


Would you have room for this white boxer? She is an owner surrender and has cysts on both of her hind legs. The owner said she was around 5 years old. We suspect she is older than that.

We are doing a heartworm test on her today and will let you know the results. We can give her a dhlpp and rabies before she leaves. I don't believe she is spayed, but I will double check to make sure.

She is currently being held in animal control and unless we can find some place for her to go, she will be euthanized.

Please let me know if you can help her. Transportation is available if you can take her. Contact Sue at:


P.S. Foster her if you can!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Big Deaf Cat in New York Needs a Home!


My mother passed away leaving 6 cats including a deaf, white male. I have posted all of them on Petfinders and Craig's List and 5 have been adopted, but the deaf one with no success so far. He has been living alone in my late mother's house which must be sold soon. He is timid and shy since my mother's passing but would probably do ok with a patient cat saavy person. My mother was especially protective of him and I cannot in good consciense euthanize him or send him to a kill shelter. I live in the New York metro area. Here he is with his hearing sister who got a home already. The deaf cat was my mother's boy, he would let my mother know when it was bedtime and they'd play a blanket game before snuggling for the night. I am willing to drive to neighboring states to drop the deaf cat off.

Please contact me at:


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Deaf Border Collie Mix in Los Angeles Desperately Needs a Home


You could say that I am late deafened. You will understand when you read the story below.

When I came to this shelter my poor ears had such a bad infection that it made me deaf! I was in constant pain, just drinking water made my whole head hurt and eating was really tough. BUT! The good doctor here fixed me up and now I am a tail wagg'n woofer! I am about 8 years old not too big, around 35 lbs and would be a very gentle low maintenance buddy for a quiet home. Can't you picture me keeping you company? I don't ask for much but I'll give you lots in return!

Please see if you know the perfect home for me somewhere relatively close to Los Angeles.

I have been in boarding a long time. I am healthy and fine and sweet. It has been a long struggle for me but I have had some angels along the way.

I am listed at the Amanda Foundation - See on lefthand side where it says DOGS and go to my bio. Call me... 310.278.2935

Sophie in Los Angeles

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My Love: Annie -- A Deaf Dog

I was asked by my veterinarian to take a Jack Russell Terrier who is deaf. This was about 8 years ago. They asked because they knew I have experience with JRTs. I had not had a deaf dog before so I wondered what to do but said yes anyway. Annie was 6 months old and had been in 3 foster homes. For various reasons the fosters had to give her up so another foster took her. The fosters were all very good with her and she was very adaptable.

From the moment she stepped into the house she acted like she was at home and had no trouble adjusting. I purposely did not tell Richard just to see how long it would take to notice her. He was home for 2 hours before he realized there was another dog in the house! LOL!!!

She is nearly 9 years old now and never seems to stop! At this time she is the alpha dog and the smallest in our menagerie. As a result of having her, we have not thought twice about welcoming special needs dogs into our home. We now have 1 each epi, blind, and abandoned Border Collies (sisters Kate and Allie); a lame abused Jack Russell (Patrick); an abused rottweiler/german shepherd mix (TeddyBear); and a new deaf rescue girl, Lexy, a Border Collie, with little socialization in her life. (She is getting better slowly and is a sweet love.) Even our rabbits (Smudge and Chiquita) are rescues. They are our pets and our passion. They make us better people.

Olivia Bravo
Cross Lanes WV

Blue Eyed Zeke with Perky Ears Needs a Home.


He is a good lap dog. He likes to sit on your lap and likes most everyone. Warms up to strangers very quickly. Loves to wrestle with you using toys but needs strong toys because he chews them up quickly.

He knows the hand commands of thumbs down for no and thumbs up for yes or good. Understands sit, lay down and come. Pretty good on stay but only if he can see you in the room. He sleeps in a kennel at night and likes it. Sleeps through the night.

He is outside potty trained and no accidents in almost a year. He loves to forage outside and only a digger if encouraged by another dog. Zeke is in Brookshire, which is a suburb of Houston. Transport can be arranged.

Hope that helps. You know we have been struggling with having 2 dogs and now my husband has some health issues that prompted this final action of finding Zeke a good home. Thanks so much! If you're interested in Zeke, please contact Diane at Thank you!!!


Deaf Cat in Tennessee. Give Marlowe a Loving Home!


I am associated with Ark of Cleveland, TN and we have a 1 1/2 year old bi-eyed, deaf, polydactyl male kitty named Marlowe. He is very personable and never met a stranger, despite the fact that he is deaf. If you would like to meet Marlowe, the best time would be this Saturday from10 AM to 4 PM. Contact Bob Caylor (Ark President) at or me at

More info, go to the web site and use this link:

Ark of Cleveland and Marlowe will be available to you. It has been decided that it is their preference for Marlowe to be adopted locally in Georgia only.

Best Regards,
Bruce Wilson

Snowflake, Deaf Cat, in Georgia. Help!?!?


She is called Snow Flake or Flake for short. Flake is about 8/9 months old now. She is quite the character and very amusing. She still needs to put on weight. She has been spayed and some old injuries caused by a dog with the previous owner have healed and the hair has grown back.

She is fine. A wild and crazy girl! She is the happiest little cat. She gets along with other animals although she tends to play rough. She likes to charge, tackle and run. My other cats are older and have no sense of humor. The dogs ignore her, but she and my chihuahua dog even wrestle. It is amusing.

She is intimidated by more aggressive cats. I have a young neutered male that tends to pick on her. She is kept in the back of the house with my other timid cats. So she is the aggressor among those. It's a circus, but lots of fun!


Deaf Cat, Stella, Needs A Home in Maryland!


P.S. You can foster the cat if you want to help save its life until you find a good home.

Lucky the Deaf Bull Terrier gets in the Newspaper Again

Lucky was big news last January when this guy tossed his girlfriend's 2-4 months old Lucky down the garbage chute. The guy is awaiting to be trialed but likely it won't happen ebcause his girlfriend won't testify against him, unfortunately. Below is an article on the update of Lucky at 10 months old.

Cop miserable: Lucky the bull terrier must go
Monday, July 2nd 2007

Lucky - or Drew, as he's now known - has been given up by cop Andrew Dorsett. His name might be Lucky, but fortune has not been on his side.

First, the 10-month-old pit bull terrier was tossed down a seventh-floor garbage chute in a fit of rage by his owner. Now the NYPD officer who adopted, and named, the cute white pup has had to give him to a shelter because of an allergic reaction. "It was fine when he was small, but as he got bigger and his hair started going everywhere, I started having problems," said Officer Andrew Dorsett. "I got asthma and had to use my inhaler every day and eventually realized I could not keep him anymore."

Lucky captured the hearts of officers at the 20th Precinct in January after they battled for an hour to rescue him from the basement of an Amsterdam Ave. building on the upper West Side. They used heavy machinery to break into the trash compactor room where the dog, who is deaf, was encased in garbage, surrounded by food, bottles and the metal edges of cans. Dorsett took Lucky because he could not face seeing him go to a shelter but now hopes he can find a good new home.
"It was pretty tough," Dorsett said. "My wife was crying, I was standing there trying to hold the tears back and I gave him a couple of hugs.

"He's a great dog, he's a strong, healthy dog and I would love him to go to a nice home that had a big yard."
Lucky is now in the care of a no-kill animal charity called For Our Friends at the Great Neck Animal Hospital. He has also been renamed Drew. "We all love him. He's a really sweet, affectionate dog," said Bryan Lewis, who runs For Our Friends. "But we changed his name to Drew in honor of the cop who saved his life."

To adopt Lucky, call (718) 595-2161, or e-mail