The RPD has a profile of Major Crimes Detective Mac Adams:
1-How long have you been with Richmond Police?
2-How did you get involved with the rescue of deaf dogs?
I adopted Pickles from Richmond Animal Care and Control in November 2010 about a year after my Mastiff died. Then we adopted four more over the past three years. We got involved with rescue and networking deaf dogs because a lot of them go un-adopted and end up in shelters for a long time and may be euthanized.
I’m proud to say that I have just been named as a board member to the nonprofit organization Deaf Dogs Rocks so I can further assist with helping deaf dogs.
3-How many do you have now and what are their names?
I have five: Pickles, Nea, Piglet, Opal and Mortimer.
4-What would surprise most people to know about deaf dogs?
There are 56 breeds of dog that are prone to deafness because the color white is in their standard. Some of these include the Dalmatian, the American Pit Bull Terrier and even the Boxer. The same gene that causes the white coat has a chance to cause deafness by not allowing the auditory nerves not to myelinate so the nerves die at about two weeks old. Deaf dogs don’t know they’re supposed to hear. Once you figure out a way to communicate with them you’re good to go. We use sign language and to get their attention, we either touch them or stomp on the floor.
5-What’s the best lesson(s) you’ve learned from them?
Deaf dogs are “Velcro dogs” meaning that they always have to touch you. No matter what I’m doing at least one, if not all, of the dogs are right there. They are very affectionate and love just to cuddle. The best lesson I have learned is that their disability (as some call it) is no disability at all and I think it makes them a better dog. They pay a lot more attention to you and, I think, are easier to train because there is no auditory stimulation.
6-What’s the funniest experience you’ve had with them?
We got Pickles a week before Thanksgiving and she was just a puppy. The kids were cleaning up from dinner while my wife and I were watching football and from the dining room we heard, “Pickles is on the table! Pickles get off the table!”
It appears that Pickles jumped onto the table and was just sitting there. So I called to the kids, “Hey! She’s deaf, remember?!” “Oh, yea!” was the reply and we got Pickles off the table but not before taking an all too cute picture of her just looking around.
6-How does having them in your life affect you as a police officer?
I’m much more aware of how Pit Bulls (which four of the five of ours are Pit Bull type) are portrayed in the media as horrible dogs that should be destroyed but the opposite is true. I have met many gentle, calm, good natured Pit Bull type dogs since getting my guys. They are truly a great breed that has been used by an portion of the population for nefarious purposes and the breed, not the people, have suffered for it. I try to correct peoples’ perception about Pit Bull type dogs whenever I can.