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Photo of Richmond officer and deaf dogs goes viral

The Mac Adams clan.

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.