Have you heard - Deaf Dogs Rescue Australia has opened a dog daycare and training centre in Port Kembla.
The rescue group, and registered charity, rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes deaf or other special needs dogs.
Heather Engel is part of the management committee for the charity, and said while deaf dogs might take a little extra initial time to train, they make wonderful family members.
"I have a deaf Great Dane mix and a deaf Bull Mastiff mix," she said.
"Other than raising my kids, having them is the most rewarding thing I have done."
Sadly, sometimes families may not know how to train or care for a deaf dog, or their circumstances change, leading to surrender.
That's where Deaf Dogs Rescue Australia steps in.
"We put the dogs in foster homes so we get to know them," Ms Engel said.
"They're dogs first and deaf or special needs second.
"Then we train them in sign - sometimes it takes a little longer, but it's so worth it."
The dogs also need food, bedding, tick and worming treatment, and often need to be vaccinated and desexed.
"It's rare for a dog with up-to-date vaccinations that has already been desexed to be surrendered," Ms Engel said.
All that work comes at a cost - a pup that arrived recently with parvovirus cost $4000 to treat. On average Ms Engels estimated each dog costs about $1500 to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome.
"We had one last year beaten so badly his eye had to be removed," she said.
"We also have Olaf at the moment, who has a neurological disorder - when he gets over tired he loses the use of his back legs."
The Dog Lounge Co had a soft opening in October 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions but has now extended their retail facility to include dog training and play and train day care services.
The purpose of the training and train and play day care is two-fold.
Train and play day care sessions aim to send dogs home with a new skill each day. The money earnt through the program will go back into covering overheads and the cost of helping deaf or special needs dogs.
They also hope to keep deaf dogs with their families.
"We are here to help - we would much rather work with a deaf dog and their family than have them surrendered," Ms Engel said.
Training for deaf and hearing dogs is on each Sunday, and classes cover everything from puppy preschool to training for therapy work.
All dogs are welcome to book a place - special needs, deaf or able-bodied, as long as they are desexed, vaccinated and not aggressive or reactive. To take part, go to the Deaf Dogs Australia facebook page and fill out an application form.
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