Eight Year Old Dog, Rocco, Learns Sign Language In Search of Fur-ever Home

Rocco, an eight year old staffordshire Bull Terrier has been given a new lease on life after losing his hearing from an ear infection. The staff at a Swansea rescue center detailed the situation as, “incredibly sad”. 

Rocco was taken to Llys Nini Animal Centre in February of 2020. When he was brought in, he was underweight and thought to be partially deaf. Luckily for him after only three months in the shelter, he was given a new home. 

Unfortunately, one of his owners passed away, and he was returned to the shelter. Kennel Leader, Sally Humphries, said, “His new owners were really lovely and Rocco took to them straight away”. She even remembered how, “he didn't want to come and say goodbye to me when I dropped him off. He stayed by their side like he'd known them all his life”. 

Once returned to the shelter, the staff discovered the ear infection and that it had left him completely deaf. To help Rocco continue a normal life, the staff began teaching him sign language. 

Sally explained, “He reads our hand signals and body language as a way of telling what we're asking for. For example, thumbs up means good boy. It's all about consistency and making sure you choose a simple sign for each behavior that you are trying to teach, so it's as clear as possible for them to understand.”

Rocco has succeeded in learning sign language and is continuing to exemplify the resilience of our furry friends. He is now onto his next journey of finding his fur-ever home with a loving family.

If you are interested in Rocco or any other wonderful pups from the Llys Nini Animal Centre, visit https://rspca-llysnini.org.uk/ or call 179-222-9435.

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