"Unadoptable" Rescue Dog Makes History As The First Deaf Member Of Washington's K-9 Unit

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Ghost, the first deaf K-9 dog (Photo Credit: Washington State Department of Corrections)

Ghost, a pit bull mix with honey brown eyes and gorgeous white fur, is making headlines for becoming the first deaf dog to join the K-9 team in Washington state’s and, possibly, even the country’s history. What makes the achievement even more remarkable is that, just a few years ago, the narcotics detection dog, was deemed “unadoptable” and scheduled to be euthanized.

The canine’s incredible journey began in September 2015, when the then three-month-old stray puppy was brought to the Swamp Haven Rescue Center in St. Augustine, Florida. Thanks to his high energy, occasional indifference to humans, and deafness, which would require adopters to learn a different way to communicate, animal control officials placed him on the “unadoptable” list. This meant the puppy would soon have to be put down. However, Swamp Haven volunteers were not ready to give up on Ghost and reached out to animal shelters across the country for help. To their delight and relief, the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society in Port Angeles, Washington agreed to take in the puppy, giving Ghost a new lease on life.

K-9 trainer Barb Davenport and Ghost (Photo Credit: Washington State Department of Corrections)

After the puppy missed out on several adoption opportunities, the shelter reached out to Barb Davenport, a K-9 program manager for Washington State Department of Corrections, who is well-known for selecting canine recruits from animal shelters around the country. The expert, who has trained over 450 rescue dogs to search for drugs since the 1980s, thought Ghost was the perfect candidate for the job. Davenport said, "He was very focused and determined to locate his ball when thrown or hidden. This makes for a more trainable dog.” And while his high energy may have been a deterrent for a home life, it was an important asset for his new career.

Following a multi-year training stint, Ghost began his job, which entails sniffing for drugs in state prisons and other facilities, in January 2018. Even more heartening is that the once “unadoptable” dog now has a stable and happy home with handler Joe Henderson, who, like Ghost, works for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services.

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  1. Why is Ghost making headlines?
  2. What makes Ghost’s achievement even more remarkable?

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“After the puppy missed out on several adoption opportunities, the shelter reached out to Barb Davenport, a K-9 program manager for Washington State Department of Corrections, who is...

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  • the log ladyMonday, March 5, 2018 at 8:43 pm
    tree man you could train your dog to do that it just takes time
    • sugarplumfairyMonday, March 5, 2018 at 7:56 pm
      • treemanMonday, March 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm
        i love dogs they do there jobs vary good i wish my dog is as good as that dog
        • rachel108
          rachel108Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7:57 pm
          My dogs really well trained. Just like this dog. ( Mines a bit better in my opinion)
        • treemanMonday, March 5, 2018 at 6:54 pm
          dog are so good a there jobs i wish my dog can be that dog.
          • tylerplays28
            tylerplays28Monday, March 5, 2018 at 6:48 pm
            Dogs should be welcomed no matter what. People don't leave deaf people on the curb to die. Dogs are living things just like us.They should receive care,not left to die. Me,I would never hurt my dog Mollie. Anyone who agrees or not , please reply! #IFollowYouAndYouFollowMe Thanx, Tyler
            • xxpuglordxxx
              xxpuglordxxxTuesday, March 6, 2018 at 7:19 am
              i think your right we all are living things and so are they
              • hyperspeedgamer
                hyperspeedgamerTuesday, March 6, 2018 at 6:42 am
                I Srly Agree with you.
                • oceankitty
                  oceankittyTuesday, March 6, 2018 at 5:45 am
                  Lol I really do agree with you Tyler. I have a dog named Izzy and she means a lot to me. I treat her like my sister.
                  • rachel108
                    rachel108Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7:59 pm
                    I totally agree. Who would want a dog to die anyway? My dogs name is latte, she's a schouzer. My names's Rachel nice to meet you.
                  • ZeldaistheGirlMonday, March 5, 2018 at 6:41 pm
                    Some stories really turn your being into mush
                    • Cheryl RMonday, March 5, 2018 at 6:38 pm
                      Dogs don’t need sight to give what dogs give - they give love without judging, or conditions & they want love returned the same. Every kid should have a dog in their life. When life seems like it is falling apart. Your dog still loves u just the same
                      • HiMonday, March 5, 2018 at 6:19 pm
                        This dog made history
                        • Jan NeiblingMonday, March 5, 2018 at 6:15 pm
                          This is a great story, I'm so happy for Ghost. He really is a handsome dog
                          • savage dudeMonday, March 5, 2018 at 6:08 pm
                            i agree cool dude

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