Deaf Dog in Texas Shelter Finds Forever Home After More Than 240 Days

Xyla, a dog that is hearing-impaired, found her forever home after being in shelter for 240 days.
Austin Human Society

Xyla’s new owner, Gianna Luciano, described her new best friend as the “one for her,” whether she could hear or not.

A dog that had been in a Texas shelter for more than 240 days and came close to being euthanized has finally found its forever home soon after she was discovered to be deaf. 

The pup, whose name is Xyla, previously named Aspen, has been living at the Bastrop County Animal Services shelter. Once the Austin Humane Society (AHS) in Texas stepped in, they determined why it was so difficult for Xyla to communicate. 

"Determining whether a dog is deaf isn't as easy as you might think," Katie Kennedy, Austin Humane Society's director of communications told Newsweek. "Dogs are really smart at figuring out what a human is asking from them even without a verbal cue. Our friends at Bastrop and our intake team at AHS strongly suspected Aspen was deaf based on initial interactions, but she responded to our commands when she was being initially evaluated by our vets.”

Once the caring staff at the Austin Humane Society learned that Xyla was deaf they started to teach her sign language, and soon enough she was placed in a loving home. It happened, the AHS said, during their #EmptytheShelters event.

“The special pup spent seven months at AHS. During that time, our staff members and our incredible volunteers worked with Xyla to teach her sign language,” the AHS wrote on their Facebook page, "Last month, Xyla found her perfect match.” 

Xyla’s new owner, Gianna Luciano, described her new best friend as the “one for her,” whether she could hear or not.

Luciano said she is new to the Austin area, and she and her roommate have the time and patience to give Xyla. She said she is practicing ‘wait’ and ‘lay down,’ with her. 

"We do use hand commands with her! It works well,” Luciano said. “We also admittedly talk to her a lot even though she can't hear us. She's great with 'sit' and she knows when we're tapping to get her attention vs just petting her,” she said.

Luciano said, in part:  “She really is the sweetest, most loving animal I've met. We are extremely lucky to have her, and I'm thankful that the Humane Society was able to take her and care for her as long as they did until she found her forever home.” 

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