Deaf Dogs Rock

This online adoption resource helps deaf dogs find forever homes.

By | Posted: Dec 27, 2013, 8 a.m. EST

When Christina Lee of Salem, Virg., received an urgent phone call from the City of Salem Animal Shelter about a malnourished, fully deaf  white Boxer puppy in need of help, she knew only one choice existed: to adopt him.
But she didn't know that by making Nitro, this special-needs pup, her own, she would open up her world to the joys of deaf dogs and create one of the most well-known and successful deaf-dog rescue resources in the nation.
In August 2011, Lee and her husband Chris founded It's difficult to classify this multi-faceted website as purely a database or even a rescue source. It's so much more. It's a constantly updated website, a learning resource for all things deaf dogs, an orphan-dog databank, a networking tool for deaf dogs needing homes.
Upwards of 500 homeless deaf dogs—from all over the nation—are listed on the website at any given time. The group works closely with shelters, breeders and private individuals across the United States to locate these dogs and find them great homes.
"I get emails daily from rescues and shelters saying 'we have tried for months to find this deaf dog a home with no interest at all, and the day it was featured on, we got 20 emails and five adoption applications'," says Lee.
She also tirelessly updates's Facebook page, where the simple act of sharing photos and information can often lead to quick action by adopters and rescuers. Lee reaches upwards of 115,000 viewers through social media alone.
"If I get photos of a cute puppy, I know everyone on Facebook will share them," says Lee. "We can [usually] find a home or a rescue within a 12 to 24 hours."
After Lee adopted Nitro as a 10-week-old puppy, she felt overwhelmed with the amount of information she didn't know about raising a deaf dog, despite her experience as a seasoned dog owner and rescuer. But she learned. The night before bringing Nitro home, Lee and her husband stayed up until the early hours of the day, studying websites about sign language and how to train deaf dogs. And the studying never stopped. When it came time to create, Lee wanted to put as much information as possible on the website, enabling others to have a one-stop-shop of knowledge at their fingertips.
Lee and her team of two others work tirelessly on Lee herself responds to nearly 50 emails a day and works eight hours on the site's content, taking photos, networking the dogs and publicizing others.

"The main goal is to always keep our mission of saving deaf dogs and educating people," says Lee. "[We] never lose sight of why we are here." 

" is so inspired by the work is doing, that they donated 5,000 meals of Halo Spot's Stew to them." 

Read more dog rescue and adoption stories>>


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Leslie - 233329   Lakeside, AZ

1/7/2014 9:54:00 PM

What a wonderful mission this organization has.

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Danomyte   Avon, Connecticut

12/29/2013 3:43:49 AM

Back in October we were given a deaf pup from our breeder. Like many we were unsure of what we were in for taking in a deaf dog. We did lots of reading and watched YouTube videos to prepare ourselves for the new experience. We thought it was going to be a ton of work and we would face issues. Let me tell you it was the complete opposite. It is a privilege to be the owners of this amazing animal. The training was not difficult at all. She is very in tune with people at is not distracted by everything like a hearing dog, very focused on the person she is with and picks up sign, understands hand signals quite easily. I was able to flash light/porch light recall train her in 2 days. She will even see the small LED light in daylight. Our pup doesn't bark or whine so we trained her to go outside with bells in a short week. If you are considering a deaf dog, don't be afraid, you are possibly missing out on a dog that will be so loving, so attentive, and so in tune with you it will melt your heart. Truly a rewarding experience is all I can say. We are the lucky ones here, this pup was a gift you can't even put a price tag on. A special thanks to our breeder for giving us such an amazing opportunity and dog.

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Joe   Blairsville, Georgia

12/28/2013 6:09:31 PM

We rescued a deaf Aussie eight years ago when she was only 1 1/2. She is a great dog, smart, attentive and loving. She is a therapy dog who loves to visit our local nursing home and assisted living facility. Gracie has also won Best Trick at our local Bark in the Park. Deaf dogs really do rock.

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

12/28/2013 11:34:50 AM

I have 2 friends that have deaf dogs and it is amazing working with them and how it is different but similar to doing agility with only hand and body signals and no words. My little pup is way ahead of me communicating with these pups. Thank goodness their are people who see these dogs with value and need a forever home just like any pup.

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