Quota International is a non profit organization that works with deaf and hard of hearing, as well as disadvantaged women and children, by sponsoring hearing-ear dogs through fundraising efforts.
The dogs are capable of responding to seven different sounds in the home including doorbells, door knocking, telephones, names being said, alarm clocks, kitchen timers and fire alarms.
Most often, they will alert the person by pawing them and taking them to the source of the sound. For fire alarms the dogs spin in circles to alert their owners.
Hearing-ear dogs really can change the lives of the people they work with, giving many clients back their independence. For people experiencing gradual hearing loss over time, they are often less likely to go out in public because they don’t know whats happening around them and they are easily startled.
“But when they have that working dog, they know that dog will tell them about different sounds and their confidence increases,” says Hardie.
Some of the Lions club clients also express a lot of relief and comfort in knowing that their dog will alert them if the fire alarm goes off, or the phone or doorbell rings.
The group decided to make sponsorship of the dogs an ongoing project, after seeing the impact their first sponsored dog had on the hearing impaired person’s life. Dog sponsorship is $4,000 per dog, with the total cost of training a hearing dog at $25,000.
Over the years, Quota, Peterborough has managed to sponsor 5 dogs through they’re fundraising initiatives.
“We’re always working towards another dog, we do other things but we always budget for part of the money to go to a dog each year,” past club president Gail Pomeroy said.
Unity and Hardie showed how hearing-ear dogs work with their clients, during the clubs social meeting. The club wanted to show friends and family who support their fundraising efforts, what the dogs can do.