How often do you use your sense of hearing on a day-to-day basis? From being alerted to the doorbell’s ring to waking up in the middle of the night to attend to a crying infant, our sense of hearing is a little part of how we say for late navigate our environment.
Yet, according to Starkey.com, 1 in 5 American adults suffer from some degree of hearing loss (over 36 million people). The statistics are worse for senior citizens, as 1 in 3 Americans over the age of 65 are hearing-challenged.
That’s where Dogs for the Deaf steps in to help both people and animals in need. It's an organization that rescues dogs, trains them to serve people with hearing impairment (or autism), and therefore enhances the quality of life of both dogs and their owners.
According to the Dogs for the Deaf Mission Statement:
Every dog has value, and all people should have the opportunity to feel safe and independent regardless of their physical or sensory challenges. To that end, each dog that comes to Dogs for the Deaf meets basic characteristics needed for helping people with a variety of needs. Dogs for the Deaf is responsive to the changing needs and challenges of both the clients and their dogs and commits on-going support for the life of every dog/person partnership they form. The needs and abilities of applicants and dogs are carefully matched and tracked to assure they receive maximum benefit from each other.
Robin Dixon, Vaughn Maurice, and Kelly Gonzalez (Dogs for the Deaf President/CEO, General Manager and Development Director, respectively) traveled all the way from Oregon (the company’s headquarters) to Los Angeles to oversee all the goings on at the event. A few of their prime canine specimens were also on-hand so attendees could learn about the service dog-training process on a first-hand basis.
Animal-loving celebrities came out in droves support the Dogs for the Deaf Hollywoof 2 event. The event was emceed by the hilarious Elaine Hendrix, who kept the guest entertained with her humorous tales. Lori Wheeler, founder of Patrick’s Movement (which I profiled in the following articles for PetMD: Patrick’s Will to Survive Part 1 and Part 2), motivated attendees to open up their pocketbooks and contribute to the live action (see David Faustino below).
Of course, the event’s headliner was someone who has battled for animal causes for her entire career, the fabulous and legendary Betty White.
Other notable guests included:
Kristin Bauer (who also graciously lends her time to Los Angeles-area rescue organizations. See: Profile on True Blood’s Kristin Bauer van Straten and Her Role with Best Friends Animals Society and NKLA)
Abri Van Straten (who provided an amazing musical set to start off the evening)
David Faustino (who helped put “fun” in fundraising by bidding $1400 for a luxury vacation to Mexico. Humorously, he joked that his lady friend could outbid him.)
Joanna Krupa (a Real Housewife of Miami who I got to meet on the red carpet and would provide my veterinary services to her 501C-3 Angels for Animal Rescue)
Anderson Davis (the Zesty Italian model, who is as nice as he is good-looking and told me all about his canine companions)
Randall (a great Los Angeles-based guy who utilizes his Honey Badger celebrity for the greater good of animals)
Randall posted great video summary of the festivities on his czg123 YouTube page. See Honey Badger's Randall: HOLLYWOOF 2 Dogs for the Deaf, which features Betty’s White’s impassioned speech and Randall’s hilarious whale joke.
Randall also sent out the following tweet sharing the video coverage of Hollywoof 2 to his nearly 37,000 followers via @RandallsAnimals:
So many great entertainers and animal welfare champions came out for a good cause to help people in need. You can contribute to the efforts of Dogs for the Deaf in a variety of ways found on their Support Us webpage.
I hope to contribute to the Dogs for the Deaf cause for years to come. Big thanks go out to Tracie Hotchner (Radio Pet Lady Network) for arranging for my participation.