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Photo of Richmond officer and deaf dogs goes viral

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The Mac Adams clan.

The Mac Adams clan.

The Mac Adams clan.

You may have seen this picture on your Facebook page, it’s been shared more than 14,000 times.

The picture is of Richmond Police Major Crimes Detective, Mac Adams and his five dogs, all of which are deaf.

The photo of Adams was taken as part of a project called “RPD Loves Animals” intended to showcase some Richmond officers and how having different animals in their lives “makes them better people and subsequently better officers.”

Well, the reception Adams’ photo received was pawsitively amazing–record breaking even.

On Thursday, the department’s Facebook page posted that, “Within a week of its posting, this photo of Detective Adams became THE most liked, commented, shared and viewed post in the Richmond Police Department’s five-year Facebook history.”

It turns out the same gene that gives these dogs their white coat can cause deafness shortly after they’re born. Adams said there are 56 breeds of dog that are prone to deafness because the color white is in their standard; including the Dalmatian, the American Pit Bull Terrier and even the Boxer.

“Deaf dogs don’t know they’re supposed to hear,” Adams said. “Once you figure out a way to communicate with them you’re good to go.”

They use sign language, and to get their attention, touch them or stomp on the floor.

Adams said deaf dogs are more likely to go un-adopted or even get euthanized.

“They’re very intelligent, very smart dogs and taking the auditory stimulation out of their daily lives makes them better dogs,” Detective Adams said.

Adams, who has been with Richmond Police for 26 years, got involved with the rescue of deaf dogs once he adopted Pickles from Richmond Animal Care and Control in November 2010.

He said they then adopted four more over the past three years.

Their names are Pickles, Nea, Piglet, Opal and Mortimer.

Adams says since his dog picture has gone viral he's been named a board member of the "Deaf Dogs Rocks" nonprofit organization.


  • Ashley

    Did you know there is also breed specification legislation against this breed in Richmond, also legislation against having more than 2 dogs without a kennel license.
    I had to leave Richmond because of my white terrier but I’m glad this officer has found the loopholes to stay

    • Mac Adams

      Ashley, the Virginia Code section 3.2-6540 (C) specifically says: “No canine or canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog solely because it is a particular breed, nor is the ownership of a particular breed of canine or canine crossbreed prohibited” meaning the state or a locality in the state cannot pass a law or ordinance banning any breed of dog. Virginia is one of a handful of states that actually has this written into the code section.

      The Richmond City ordinance and Virginia State code require one to have a kennel license if one has five or more canines, felines, or hybrids of either are kept for the purpose of breeding, hunting, training, renting, buying, boarding, selling, or showing (Code of the City of Richmond, 10-1, definitions and 10-176, operation of a kennel) . Since these are all my privately owned dogs and since I do none of the above with them, that section does not apply. The limit on the number of dogs that can be owned by a city resident is five and I live in the City. Chesterfield County is three and Henrico County was two but I understand that it is now three.

      If someone told you your dog was illegal to be in the City of Richmond solely based on the breed then they distorted the truth. That being said, any privately owned space can participate in breed discrimination and say, something to the effect of, “no pit bulls allowed” but that opens up a whole new discussion as I defy someone to tell me exactly what a “pit bull” is since the term “pit bull” is a type of dog that encompasses some 25 or so breeds of dog.

  • Suzie

    Hi I was wondering do u know sign language ? Dose ur 5 deaf dogs undy u? I am just curious that all cuz I am deaf myself and I used to have deaf dog before

  • Mary

    I just adopted white pit bull who is deaf and she’s 3 months old. I’m teaching her sign languages. I myself are deaf too. She does have two sisters that are deaf ~ one got adopted day before I adopted mine. I don’t know if the other puppy adopt or not. I will not trade her for nothing. I love to spoil her.

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