No More Homeless Pets Spotlight: Anarchy Animal Rescue
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Check out one of our favorite recent lifesaving stories from Anarchy Animal Rescue in Staten Island, New York.
Adopting a deaf dog
Mika lost her first home because she can't hear. But now she's been adopted by a deaf woman who thinks she's just perfect, and she has even taught her the signs for "I love you" and "mommy."
Mika's first family told workers at a busy Arkansas shelter they were giving up the young dog because she's deaf.
That shelter reached out to volunteers with Anarchy Animal Rescue, a New York-based nonprofit. The three women who run the group have a soft spot for dogs like Mika ― those who are deaf, blind (sometimes both), or who have other special needs.
Jesie Stephenson, a placement supervisor for Anarchy Animal Rescue who also works as a sign language interpreter for people, says it took less than a 60-second conversation to decide that Mika would become part of the rescue group.
"The mission for us is that every dog really does deserve a chance," she says.
Jesie then set out to find a foster home for Mika. "I posted a plea on my personal page specifically targeting members of deaf and sign language interpreting communities," she says. Instead, her friend Amanda Geffen, who is deaf, contacted her to ask if she could adopt Mika, “The rest is history,”’’ Jesie says.
Amanda had always wanted to adopt a deaf dog and felt that she and a deaf dog would share a special bond. And indeed, she and Mika do.
Mika didn’t know sign language when she recently went home with Amanda. But in a short time, she's already learned a number of signs: “sit,” “stay” and “come,” as well as “I love you” and “mommy.”
"I love teaching her sign language, and see her learning and able to do it. It makes me so proud as a mother," says Amanda.
Deaf dogs, like other animals with special needs, often face especially tough odds of making it out of shelters and into homes. Jesie and Amanda both hope that sharing Mika's story will show how deaf dogs can thrive with training and love.
"I would love to see more dogs like Mika get a second chance. More so than that, I would like to see them get a first (chance)," Jesie says.
Anarchy Animal Rescue has several other special-needs dogs looking for families of their own. These include Braille and Lulu, who are both deaf and blind, and Clarice, a happy and affectionate eight-pound dog with diabetes.
"A dog's ability to see or hear has absolutely no effect on their ability to love," says Jesie, who then quotes Helen Keller: "Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much."
Photos courtesy of Amanda Geffen