History

Dogs for the Deaf, Inc. is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1977 by the late Roy G. Kabat. Roy worked with exotic and domestic animals for movies and television and had a small traveling circus. After retiring to the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon, he was contacted by the American Humane Association and their headquarters in Denver, Colorado.

          

[Above, paintings of each of Dogs for the Deaf’s first dogs (from left to right), Hearing Dog (Jeremiah), Program Assistance Dog (Nelson), and Autism Assistance Dog (Ian)]. Artist, Kaitlin Robinson, Kait’s Calling

A deaf woman in Minnesota had a dog that had trained itself to let her know when things were going on. As she lost more and more hearing, the dog alerted her to more and more things. After her dog died, the woman realized how much she had come to depend on the dog and began a search for someone to train a new dog for her.

The American Humane Association began some experimental work trying to train dogs to help people who were deaf, and they wanted Roy’s advice. After spending two weeks in Denver, Roy came back to Oregon and began Dogs for the Deaf.

Dogs for the Deaf first location was outside Jacksonville, Oregon, then moved in 1989 to our current 40-acre site at the base of lower Table Rock in Central Point, Oregon.

In 2017, Dogs for the Deaf is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary, recognizing the more than 1,400 dog placements that have occurred over the time that our doors have been open.

Dogs for the Deaf maintains a lifetime commitment to every dog rescued from the shelters and to every client helped.


DFD Founder Roy Kabat with Jeremiah
DFD Founder Roy Kabat with Jeremiah

The first DFD facility in Jacksonville, Oregon
The first DFD facility in Jacksonville, Oregon

The current DFD facility in Central Point, Oregon
The current DFD facility in Central Point, Oregon

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