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Deaf Dog Education Action Fund

Who We Are

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
 - Mohandas Gandhi

Our History

CollieIn 1996, members of the Deaf Dogs E-Mail List, founded by Canadian and future board member, Lindsay Patten, rallied twice to raise the funds needed to fly deaf dogs to loving homes and away from certain death. This inspired the list members to propose that a not-for-profit organization be founded "to speak on behalf of and assist in the betterment of life for deaf dogs everywhere." The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund (DDEAF) is the result of an idea that was long past due.

Holly Newstead and her husband, members of the list, incorporated DDEAF as an educational organization under California's Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for charitable organizations in 1997. The organization was dedicated to provide support and information to deaf dog owners around the world who, thanks in part to the Internet, were discovering that they were not alone. Over the years, thousands of people from countries around the globe have found free advice, support and companionship by joining the organization, its "deafdogs" e-mail list, or by visiting this website. Hundreds of deaf dogs have found new homes through either the list or our Adoption pages.

Holly is still with the organization and now serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Our Mission

Beagle drawingThousands of deaf dogs are born each year. Many more become deaf as a result of age, illness, trauma or chemical (drug) reactions. All over the world, deaf dogs are routinely destroyed because they are rumored to be brain damaged, aggressive and untrainable, or because their quality of life is believed to be somehow diminished.

These myths are perpetuated by many breed and kennel clubs, veterinarians, trainers and other so-called experts. The vast majority of these people have never allowed a deaf dog to live long enough to actually discover if their beliefs have any validity.

The mission of the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund is to provide education and funding for the purpose of improving and/or saving the lives of deaf dogs.

Our Committments

To accomplish our mission, we are dedicated to the following:

  • To provide educational and training information for everyone who is considering bringing a deaf dog into their family - as well as those already sharing their life with a deaf dog - so they can learn the facts of this choice and enjoy many happy years together.
  • To provide a central organization where deaf dog owners and supporters in every part of the world can create a unified voice to increase people's awareness and understanding about deaf dogs.
  • To gather and share the facts about canine deafness and deaf dog behaviors. Through the owners, breeders, rescuers and other organizations with firsthand experience, we hope to collect the statistical data necessary to document the realities of living with deaf dogs.
  • To lobby kennel clubs and other sanctioning bodies around the world to accept deaf dogs into obedience, agility, and other skill competitions under the same conditions as other competitors.
  • To provide a network between those seeking to place a deaf dog into a good home and those interested in bringing a deaf dog into their lives.
  • To establish and maintain a travel fund to assist in the transportation of deaf dogs to their new homes when it is needed.
  • To work toward ending the euthanization practices of the many breed clubs and breeders who treat deafness as a death sentence for the dogs.
  • To promote spaying and neutering of all pets and responsible breeding practices to reduce the number of dogs that cannot find their "forever" homes and must live out their limited days in shelters or on the streets as part of the pet overpopulation problem.

Our Future

DDEAF is a publicly (non-governmental) funded 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization. Our principal source of income is the generosity of our members and supporters. We can continue to fulfill our mission and keep our commitments only if you are willing to help.

All donations are greatly appreciated. We are volunteer-staffed so contributions are used to pay for outside services, including printing of educational materials and postage, web hosting, transport funding, and all the other expenses related to our mission. Please visit our Membership page to find out more about how you can help.

Contact Information

Please see our contact page for who to write via e-mail or traditional post-mail for additional information about the organization, its Board of Directors, Committees or other activities, and for questions about the website or its content.

© Copyright DDEAF, 1998-2024