If you have been lucky enough to meet the City of Salem Animal Shelter’s new ambassador, you already know that he is the strong and silent type. Captain Jack is a mixed breed dog originally rescued in Texas by Green Dogs Unleashed.  As is too often the case, the dog’s owner did not want him any longer once he realized the animal was deaf.  

Captain Jack’s Gotcha Day! 

Photo above: (L to R) Erika Proctor – Green Dogs Unleashed, Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock, Captain Jack and Rebecca Gentry-City of Salem Animal Shelter

Deaf Dogs Rock, the Salem-based nationwide rescue organization for deaf canines, sponsored his transport and medical care and helped facilitate his trip to Salem.

Photo above: Captain Jack arriving  to his new life in Salem with Rebecca and Christina in the Deaf Dogs Rock Transport vehicle. 

“I went to Staunton to meet him in March and put him through a deaf dog training class,” says Rebecca Gentry, Salem Animal Shelter Manager. “I immediately knew he would be perfect for the shelter, and he helps us with adoptions, evaluations, training, educational outreach and he is the perfect stress reliever.”

Photo above: Rebecca and Captain Jack in their very first vibration collar training class hosted by Green Dogs Unleashed. 

Photo above: Rebecca and Captain Jack at one of the local Salem schools. 

Captain Jack has been spreading the word about adoptions all over the city making appearances at the Salem Senior Center, the Salem Farmers Market and in our schools.  In just a few months, he has managed to not only boost morale, but bring attention to special needs.


“Not only does Captain Jack show us the many ways a shelter dog can enrich your life, we believe he has made people consider adopting special needs animals,” says Custer.  “Even with his deafness, Captain Jack is not the exception; rather he is just another example of the many great shelter dogs that are available and in need of forever homes.”


Story was written by Mike Stevens the Communications Director for the City of Salem, Virginia for the Fall 2016 Issue. Click here to view the magazine.