Hero Dog Awards - Cole The Deaf Dog

Cole The Deaf Dog

Millville, New Jersey

I may be deaf, but I am helping people hear my message: a disability is not an inability, it’s a superpower! As a certified therapy dog, I work alongside my music teacher dad each day in a NJ elementary school, where I teach acceptance to students and how it’s OK to be different. No one wanted to adopt me because I was labeled special needs and I have even been called broken because my ears don’t work. I’ve made it my life’s mission to change people’s minds about seeing the ability within special needs.
I have started my own non-profit organization this year; the Cole the Deaf Dog & Friends Foundation, where I perform free school and community assembly programs across our region. I take my life journey, including special needs and breed discrimination, and turn them into life lessons that inspire others to change the way the world thinks of those with disabilities.
Outside of my daily work at school, I am the mascot of the NJ Veterans Memorial Home where I have earned the Presidential Silver Service Award for over 600 volunteer hours. Believe it or not, I’m even an avid bowler with the residents! I am a hospice therapy dog companion and look forward to my third annual Kindness Tour, where I spend a week in the summer visiting multiple facilities across the state each day. I’d like to dedicate this step of my journey to all those pups and people who have been overlooked because they were born a little different. I will help the world see the able rather than the label.