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‘Unadoptable’ Dog Becomes Washington’s First Deaf Drug Detection Dog

A Florida animal control official had deemed him unadoptable, but a dog trainer for Washington state’s Department of Corrections saw something special in Ghost.

Ghost, a hearing-impaired pitbull mix was deemed unadoptable by officials at the Florida shelter where he found himself homeless and alone.

Thankfully, Swamp Haven Rescue, a non-profit out of Saint Augustine, pulled Ghost from the shelter and transferred him to Port Angeles, Washington where he caught the eye of dog trainer Barb Davenport, K-9 Program Manager for Washington state’s Department of Corrections.

For many deaf dogs, there’s the worry that they’ll react or become startled by touch or unexpected movement, but in Ghost’s case, not only does he seem unaffected or fearful, his hearing impairment seems to keep him more focused on the task at hand.

After training the special boy, he began searching for drugs inside state prisons and other secure facilities in January, where he’s already successfully located and alerted to illegal drugs on recent searches.

Davenport has been training drug detection dogs for the state of Washington since the 1980’s and says Ghost is the state’s first deaf dog. She thinks he may even be the first in the country.


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