The mission of International Hearing Dog, Inc. is to rescue shelter dogs and train them to assist persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, with and without multiple disabilities, at no cost to the recipient.
Today, IHDI staff and volunteers have trained more than 1,300 shelter dogs to assist individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. These dogs have found homes in all 50 states of the United States and Canada with over 400 life changing Hearing Dog having been placed locally in the state of Colorado.
International Hearing Dog, Inc. (IHDI) was the first organized group to explore the idea of training dogs to assist persons with hearing loss. A four-year pilot study conducted in 1975-79 by the founders of International Hearing Dog proved that dogs could indeed be trained in sound response and that the deaf community could greatly benefit from this service. Based on the positive results of the pilot study, International Hearing Dog, Inc. was incorporated as a Colorado non-profit organization in 1979.
Known worldwide as an authority on Hearing Dog training, International Hearing Dog, Inc. has worked with individuals from Japan, Norway and Australia to establish similar programs. Today, after nearly 40 years and more than 1,300 hearing dog placements in all 50 states and Canada, IHDI's mission remains unchanged: "To train dogs to assist persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, with and without multiple disabilities, at no cost to recipients."
Hearing Dogs provide sound awareness, independence, safety, security, loyal companionship and many other benefits for their humans with hearing loss. All dogs that are selected for the program are rescued from local animal rescue shelters and trained at the facility in Colorado. By selecting shelter dogs for this specialized training, IHDI saves 30 to 50 dogs every year who might otherwise be euthanized.
"It has only been 3 days and I know my life has been changed forever. This little guy is unbelievable. He is tossing the ball up in the air and chasing it as I write this. I wasn't sure what to expect this week and I am so impressed by how well behaved he is and now I know what you were referring to when you said what a "character" he is. He is my little shadow and surprises me more each day.
Now to your trainers - Karissa and CeCe are absolutely wonderful . They are so professional and had a reassuring answer to all of my "many" questions. I have read what I now refer to as the Hearing Dog Bible numerous times and will be referring to it and my notes for the next 3 months. It is so obvious that they have such a passion for what they do and they do it with ease. I will be bringing Remi to work with me next Thursday and Karissa and CeCe told me to let them know if I have any questions or need additional assistance at work.
I hope you know what a huge impact your services provide to those of us who are fortunate enough to have one of your remarkable dogs placed with them. My friends that I have met during walks this week are so impressed and wish their dogs were as well behaved. I tell them about the time, effort and money you devote to this cause and everyone is so impressed." - Donna & Hearing Dog Remi
"Hearing Dog Sadie possibly saved me again last week. At 2:16 AM I woke up with Sadie jumping and pawing at my back. I opened my eyes and asked her, "What's wrong?" Just at that time my phone alert went off with a "take shelter immediately" tornado warning. I would never have heard the alarm had I not been already awake. She woke me up before it went off and the storm was getting bad. I grabbed her leash and we went to the bathroom for the duration of the storm. This is the 2nd time that she alerted me before an alarm went off. The first time was only 3 weeks after I received her. She woke me up and I had no idea why. When I opened the bedroom door, the hall was filled with smoke from a down draft of our wood burner. Not enough to set off the smoke alarm but enough to wake her up and for her to let me know something wasn't right. I couldn't live alone without her to alert me to dangers. Thank you for allowing me to have Sadie." -Pat and Hearing Dog, Sadie
"I have almost no hearing in my left ear and have given up trying to correct it with a hearing aid. We were on vacation and out walking when a car appeared out of nowhere on the left. Before I could cross the street, Gracie stopped quickly, keeping us both safe. I did not hear the car and had Gracie not stopped like she did, I would have been hit." -Laurie and Hearing Dog, Gracie