Cole may be deaf, but he is helping people hear his message: a disability is not an inability, it’s a superpower! As a certified therapy dog, Cole works alongside his music teacher dad each day in a New Jersey elementary school, where he teaches students that it’s OK to be different. No one wanted to adopt Cole because he was labeled special needs, and he has even been called broken because his ears don’t work as they should. Now, Cole has made it his life’s mission to teach compassion and acceptance.
Cole, lavished with love and affection by the person who finally gave him a chance, has paid it forward with a life of public service and now has his own foundation – the Deaf Dog & Friends Foundation. Cole attends school and community assembly programs across the region, taking his life journey, including special needs and breed discrimination, and turning them into life lessons that inspire others to change the way they look at disabilities. He promotes acceptance, advocacy and inclusion.
Outside of his daily work at school, Cole is the mascot of the New Jersey Veterans Memorial, where he is not only an avid bowler, but also earned the Presidential Silver Service Award for more than 600 volunteer hours.
Cole was named the 2022 Therapy Hero Dog in the American Humane Hero Dog Awards®, and he is dedicating his journey to all those pups and people who have been overlooked because they were born a little different. He urges the world see the able rather than the label. You can vote for Cole to be named the 2022 American Hero Dog at www.HeroDogAwards.org! Show your support for Cole on social media using #HeroDogAwards.