This deaf dog was considered 'unadoptable.' Now he's making K-9 history.

Erin Donnelly

Meet Ghost, the K-9 with a real Cinderella story.

As Seattle’s KIRO 7 reports, the 2 1/2-year-old dog has become the first deaf K-9 in Washington state history. He’s currently in training to be a narcotics detection dog.

It’s quite an achievement for an animal once deemed “unadoptable” and scheduled to be euthanized during his time as a pup in Florida. In addition to his hearing loss, Ghost, who was homeless when he was discovered as a 3-month-old puppy, had high energy and was considered to be indifferent to human beings.

A K-9 unit is giving a dog a second chance. (Photo: Csaba Esvg/EyeEm/Getty Images)
A K-9 unit is giving a dog a second chance. (Photo: Csaba Esvg/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Fortunately, Swamp Haven, an animal rescue organization in Florida, made the effort to find him a home, eventually placing him with the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society rescue group in Port Angeles, Wash. Ghost continued to miss out on adoption opportunities, leading his caregivers to consider an alternative: K-9 handler Barb Davenport.

Known for her skill in working with dogs who need extra care, Davenport told KIRO 7 that she was instantly drawn to Ghost.

“He was very focused and determined to locate his ball when thrown or hidden,” said Davenport, who has trained more than 450 rescue dogs and determined that Ghost had the potential to become a K-9.

Ghost is now living with a new handler, Joe Henderson, while he learns his new crime-fighting skills. And he’ll be in good company; all Washington State Department of Corrections K-9s hail from shelters.

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