Sunday, January 11, 2009

Photography Work to Benefit Deaf Dogs!

I am a photographer, writer and long-time animal lover who has lived in the Philadelphia area for the last 7 years. I currently live in Manayunk with my beautiful deaf dog, Sadie, who is a border collie/lab mix. I rescued her from the Bucks County SPCA in Lahaska, where she was dumped off along with all of her littermates. Sadie's mother was deaf, her owner neglected to have her spayed, and she passed on her genetic deafness to all of her puppies (all but one who could hear slightly). Sadie was at the shelter for a month and a half before I found her and adopted her. Sadie knows about 20 signs, but most of the time chooses to look away from me when she knows I'm signing something that she doesn't want to "listen" to! ;)

I'm travelling around the United States and Canada, visiting and photographing families with their deaf dogs. The end result will be a deaf-dog photo book, which will be for sale as a fundraiser for groups that educate the public about deaf dogs and/or specifically rescue deaf dogs. I will also be visiting and photographing rescues that work specifically with deaf dogs, as well as visiting city shelters to find out how they treat/deal with the deaf dogs who are surrendered to them. I hope this book will not only raise money for these groups, but also educate the public about deaf dogs, and even be an inspiration for people trying to overcome any obstacles in their lives.


Melissa McDaniel
Melissa McDaniel Photography
[the photo book projects]


  1. Awesome!!! I have signed up for my deaf dogs and look forward to it!

  2. This is wonderful. I a have a deaf dog, recently adopted from my local SPCA, she is beautiful inside as well as outside. I work and volunteer @ the Cumberland County SPCA in Southern New Jersey (Vineland). We receive the most loving and beautiful deaf dogs & cats from time to time through out the year. The fact is many people may be fearful to adopt such an animal. I hope to be able to let them know how fulfilling and extra smart these special needs pets can be to their owners. I am sure your book will help make a difference!!! Thank You, Michelle B

  3. now i wish i had a deaf dog so i could sign up for this!!! ha. i'll tell my friend who has a deaf dog :)

  4. Hi Michelle!

    Yes, what Melissa is doing is beyond wonderful!Contact her if you want your deaf dog to be in her photography book.

    Thank you for giving your deaf dog a chance and helping others realize what they are missing out.

  5. Something for you to consider adopting a deaf dog one day, Raychelle! :) I'm sure Melissa will do another one in the future.

    It's a great idea to share with your friend who has a deaf dog. Everyone, spread the word to as many people and that will benefit the dogs in the long run.

  6. I've had a great response from your readers and am happy to say a number of them will be appearing in my photo book. Thanks so much for offering to post my story here. I hope all of you will follow along as I post photos and stories about the dogs and their rescuers on my blog. Thanks everyone for wanting to participate!