BENTLEY, Mich. – Deaf Michigan Teen Who Rescued Deaf Dog From Shelter Wants Others To Know The Importance Of pet adoption.
Walker Cousineau, 14, and his family adopted Dave, a 6-year-old pit bull mix, just over a month ago.
The couple have been “inseparable” ever since, her mother Mindy Cousineau of Bentley, Michigan, told Fox News Digital.
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“Walker wanted Dave because he knows the animals in the shelter [with] special needs are usually overlooked,” Cousineau said.
“He could be her boyfriend and know what he’s going through — and figure it out,” she said.
“I think Walker needed someone too,” she added. “It worked perfectly.”
Walker was not born with hearing loss. When he was 10, however, doctors discovered he had a kidney disorder called Alport syndrome, which affected his hearing, Cousineau said.
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“And now his hearing is going gradually,” she added.
“He doesn’t use sign language much. He reads lips and wears bilateral hearing aids, so they help.”
Cousineau said that at the end of July, Walker was browsing Facebook when he came across a photo of Dave the dog. The animal shelter of the Humane Society of Midland County in Midland, Michigan, had released the photos.
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She said her son told her, “There is a deaf dog over there. I have to go get it.
Dave, by then, had spent several weeks at the shelter — and no one had shown interest in adopting him, according to the Humane Society of Midland County.
Shelter manager Beth Wellman told Fox News Digital that Dave had several “strikes” against him in the shelter world, including his age and race.
However, Dave was a favorite among shelter volunteers, she noted, adding that Dave was “comical when he was walking, affectionate [and] soft.”
“When the Cousineau family came especially to meet him, everyone at the shelter was hopeful that it was finally his turn,” Wellman told Fox News Digital via email.
“It ended up being a perfect match and we’re thrilled for the family and Dave.”
“We did not find out about the son’s hearing impairments or the reasons [they chose] to meet Dave until they decided to adopt,” she added of the family.
“It was one of those moments where you get a thrill, that it was the family the dog was waiting for.”
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Dave had attended an “Empty the Shelter” event hosted by the BISSELL Pet Foundation in Grand Rapids.
The event was organized to encourage the adoption of pets. Dave was one of 22,165 adopted pets, according to the BISSELL Pet Foundation, which helps find homes for animals Across the country.
“During this event, approximately 12,104 cats and 10,061 dogs were adopted from participating shelters,” a BISSELL representative told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“An additional 7,215 pets were also rescued through ‘Empty Shelters’ – transported through a new open space – bringing the total number of animals affected to 29,380!”
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Walker and Dave’s story caught some media attention after the BISSELL Pet Foundation shared the news of the adoption, Cousineau said, adding that Walker is getting all the attention “in the wake.”
“Walker is very kind and generous, while other people notice him for his kindness – it’s very strange for us because that’s just who he is,” she said of her son.
“When someone needs help, he is the first person to help.”
Walker and Dave quickly became friends – and Dave settled in well with the Cousineau family. In addition to mother and son, the family includes father Jim, sister Lauren, 22, brother Chase, 12 – and two other rescue dogs.
Dave, a pit bull mix, is the third dog the Cousineau family has rescued. (Mindy Cousineau)
One is an Australian Cattle Dog Mastiff mix named Doug, while the other, named Darry, is an American Bully.
Cousineau said Walker’s message to everyone is that instead of buying dogs from pet stores or other places, aspiring pet owners should consider adopting pets.
Older dogs and dogs with special conditions or issues, he said, “need love too, not just puppies.”
“And go out there knowing they’re like kids,” Cousineau added, referencing his son Walker’s advice on dogs.
“There are dogs that need a couch to sleep on. They just need a home.”
Read updates at FOXNews.com.