HealthyHearing.com is thankful for the holiday season. Because the holiday season is the time of year to give thanks and remember those in need, every Thursday for the next two months we will dedicate an article to feature different charities which provide assistance for those suffering from hearing loss or deafness.
To kick-off our charity feature, we decided to highlight a charity that not only provides companionship and assistance for individuals with severe hearing loss or deafness, but takes in man’s best friend as well.
Founded 35 years ago, the Oregon-based charity Dogs for the Deaf is a non-profit founded by the late Roy G. Kabat. After dedicating his life to assuring the needs and rights of all animals were being respected on television and film sets, Kabat was contacted by the American Humane Association to help in their trial training of assistance animals.
After spending two weeks with AHA, Kabat returned to Oregon and founded Dogs for the Deaf as a way to provide help for individuals with hearing loss, but also to rescue dogs that may not be awarded a second chance.
Dogs for the Deaf provides professional training to rescued animals and then matches them with people suffering from a wide array of disabilities, from hearing loss or deafness, to children on the autism spectrum. In certain instances, the charity also provides dogs to professionals who frequently work with hearing-impaired individuals, such as teachers, physicians, counselors and caregivers.
Hearing dogs help provide their owners with a broader sense of their public environment. While dogs aren’t trained to alert to every sound, they will help make their owner more aware of the surroundings by paying attention to what the animal is reacting to.
Hearing dogs are trained to work for toys and affection and respond to seven sounds: fire and smoke detectors, the telephone, an oven timer, alarm clock, and doorbell or knock and a name call. In family circumstances, some hearing dogs will be trained to react to an infant’s cry as well.
Want to help this great organization? There are several ways to donate and provide assistance to Dogs for the deaf, including: a donation for the holidays , in the honor of a loved one or to commemorate a special occasion, an online or mail monetary donation, a donation through your estate, a donation of an automobile, boat or mobile home, workplace giving and the sponsorship of a dog.
With an organization like Dogs for the Deaf, giving the gift of hearing and companionship is easy this holiday season.