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24 March 2011, 06:00
A deaf dog has new owners after being dumped at a Thames Valley Animal Centre
The eight-week old puppy was left at an animal centre in Oxfordshire has now been saved by a deaf couple, who are now teaching her sign language.
Alice, a black and white springer spaniel, was abandoned by a breeder in Ireland because they did not want her when they found out she could not hear.
The Blue Cross adoption centre in Lewknor, Oxfordshire, took in the distinctive pup with one blue eye, who was dirty, sick and anxious last month (FEB).
Staff knew the affectionate puppy would need specialist training and care and they worried that noone would want to take on a dog who could not hear commands or respond to their owner’s shouts.
But when Marie Williams, 41, and her partner Mark Morgan, 43, who are both deaf, spotted Alice on The Blue Cross website they knew she would be the perfect pet for them.
Miss Williams, from West Mersea, Essex, said: “We were thinking about getting a dog but when we saw Alice was deaf we just couldn’t believe it.
“She was so beautiful and the fact that she was deaf just made us fall in love with her even more – we knew that she would fit right into our family.
“When we went to visit her at the centre I had tears in my eye, because she was so cute and we bonded straight away.”
Miss Williams and her partner, who have three sons Liam, 16, Lewis, 13, and Owen, five, have already started training Alice using sign language and she has learned to sit down, sit up, come and roll over.
She said: “I feel so angry that someone abandoned her because in their eyes she was not ‘perfect’. It goes to show with a little effort it is easy to cope with a deaf puppy – she has already learned the signs for several basic commands.
“I want everyone to see how well we have bonded to Alice and how well she is getting on – she is so special to us.”
Julie Stone, manager of The Blue Cross animal adoption centre in Lewknor, said: “Alice is such a loving and responsive dog and she proves that with a bit of time and effort, a deaf dog can be trained and become a wonderful pet.
“It was amazing to see how Marie, Mark and their children immediately bonded with Alice and how they knew just how to get her attention.
“They are a brilliant match and Alice has found the perfect home where I know she will get the love she deserves.”
The Blue Cross, which relies entirely on public donations, rehomes thousands of dogs, cats, horses, and small animals every year through its network of adoption centres every year. Click here for more information.