STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Deaf dog helps owner win grant for Cleveland shelter

The adventures of a Cuyahoga County pup have changed several lives, all while teaching others it's okay to be differe...

Posted: Dec 21, 2017 11:09 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2017 11:09 PM

The adventures of a Cuyahoga County pup have changed several lives, all while teaching others it's okay to be different.

Acorn, a one-year-old mixed breed dog, is one good boy but his initial bad behavior almost cost him a happy home.

"He was struggling at the kennel," said Michelle Harvanek, the Shelter Operations Manager at Cleveland Care and Control. "He was throwing his bowl around making a racket."

In the hopes of finding some relief, volunteer Mary Motley, was asked if she would be willing to take him home.

"I thought, 'Oh it will be so much fun to have a puppy for the weekend,'" Motley said. "Well he was wild, he was out of control and he didn't listen."

What everyone did not know is Acorn's world is silent, he was born deaf. Instead of putting limits on his life, Motley decided to learn a new way to communicate.

"I thought about learning American Sign Language but by the time I learned that he would be about ten years old...that's not going to work," Motley said.

So Motley made up her own, each signal a command unlocking new keys to Acorn's heart. Her devotion to Acorn drew national attention from the Petco Foundation.

Wednesday the shelter that helped make their bond permanent, City Dogs Cleveland, received a surprise $5,000 dollar check to help create more forever homes. Shelter employees say the grant came at the perfect time.

"We do have 87 dogs up for adoption right now which is pretty high," said Harvanek.

A new shelter is currently under construction at Detroit and West 93rd and planned to open next December. In the meantime, adoption fees have dropped from $61 dollars to $40 dollars through Christmas Eve.

For Motley used to show dogs, her shelter pup taught her how to listen with her eyes and hear with her heart.

"He can do anything a regular dog can do and go beyond," said Motley.

When Acorn grows into adulthood, Motley hopes to have him work with children that are hearing impaired to show there are no limitations to being deaf.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 76°
Albert Lea
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Austin
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 80°
Charles City
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Rochester
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Today kicks off somewhat of an active pattern with low severe weather risks for the work week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

The ongoing need for blood donors

Image

Rochester Salvation Army store to close

${article.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Tracking returning rain

Image

KoMet volleyball sweeps Byron 3-0

Image

Latest Iowa AP football poll

Image

Dover-Eyota gets past St. Charles

Image

Talking about homelessness

Image

Getting to see the new electric bus

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 9/17

Image

Float therapy to reset your brain

Community Events