Posts By Katrina McGinnis

A bio of Katrina (and contact info) can be found in the Board area of our website (under "About Us"). See the links at right for posts by other Board members, or to read by date or topic.

Letter to our Membership

October 4th, 2010 by Katrina McGinnis

To D2Care Membership,

I owe everyone a HUGE apology. Life caught up with me and I have not updated the Membership recently. So, here is our current update and May Members Meeting (in lieu of chat room).

Almost the entire BOD was on vacation or had other obligations for a large part of May, which caused problems for both the Board and Membership Meetings for that month. The Board Meeting (May 6) was completed via email. The May 20 Membership Meeting did not occur at all, as only two Board members would have been able to attend. That was a first for the D2Care Board and Membership. However, it does raise the question on how to handle this should it occur in the future. The Bylaws do not provide much leeway in regards to the Members Meetings, so the Board is out of compliance in regards to this item. We did discuss among ourselves whether allowing a newsletter type email with opportunity to ask questions and vote on items could stand as a Members meeting. Ideas? Discussion? Opinions?

In March, 2010, the Board and Membership voted to support Rhonda Champion in providing “Courtesy Adoption” pages on the Spirit of Deaf Dogs website. This was done for two reasons: 1) Rhonda already has the pages up and running and we wanted to minimize duplication and 2) we have not been able to maintain a consistent group of people to beta test and maintain the D2Care adoption pages. After polling members, we made the switch. You can find deaf dogs in need posted on the Adopt page of the Spirit of Deaf Dogs Website.

There are many myths regarding deaf dogs. And as a Board group we decided to write articles to refute or to show the humor in many of these myths. I am in the process of writing something up on the “all deaf dogs will turn aggressive and/or startle bite after years of being startled”. This is a favorite myth of the Dalmatian Club of America for justifying their Bylaw that mandates that their members kill bilaterally deaf pups. Are there any budding or wan’na be authors out there with a favorite myth?

At the beginning of this year, the AKC (American Kennel Club) decided for the first time to seriously consider allowing deaf dogs into sports competitions. But being the cautious organization that they are, they wanted research information to show that deaf dogs would not prove to be dangerous or increase liability at the events. Since such research does not exist, they took letters from AKC Members and other breed or Breed organizations (UKC) that have experience with deaf dogs (positive and non positive). The vote was held in September, and the decision was made NOT to allow deaf dogs into sports events, but it is the first time that AKC Board Members have seriously considered this possibility, and in fact had Board members vote in favor. D2Care did respond and sent a letter in support of allowing deaf dogs into sports events. We will post a copy of the letter in the News Blog, so look for a copy there.

Melissa McDaniel has been working hard on her two Photo books: one of deaf dogs, and one of rescue dogs. They are due out this month. D2Care has been in support of this project almost from the beginning. We have voted to “sponsor” her project and for $250 we gained a spot on her blog for 6 months. We also have added our name to the list of charities that can benefit from the sales of her books. We received our first donation from Melissa at the end of 2009 for $200. Please continue to support her project by purchasing one or both of her books. Her website is

D2Care Committees are in desperate need of new members. Due to the economy and lack of “free money” we lost many of our members last year. We are slowly seeing an increase in membership, but we also lost many committee members when we lost D2Care members. We need members for the following committees

1) Aid Chair-Lori:
Reviews requests for D2Care Aid monies for emergency transport and vet are of deaf dogs in need)

2) Bylaws Chair-Jennifer:
Reviews the Bylaws for needed changes and makes recommendations for change. Has not been activated yet

3) Community Outreach Chair-open:
Develops and manages outreach materials for events

4) Grants/Affiliates Chair-Lori:
Reviews and applies to internet organization sponsorships and grants that affiliate with 501c3. Such sponsorships usually provide a % return to the

5) Membership Development Chair- Katie:
Responsible for bi yearly elections of Board membership, and development programs for recruitment and retention of D2Care Members

6) Merchandise Chair-Open:
Development and warehousing of merchandise for D2Care

7) Web Chair- Jennifer:
Development and maintenance of the D2Care website
Any volunteers out there?

Go to to see the full report that details revenue and expenses. You must have set up a membership login in order to access. Any questions? Any ideas for increasing membership in these tough economic times? Any ideas for increasing our exposure so more people know to come to us for emergent medical or transport help for deaf dogs (not member dependent)?

And finally, I want to apologize for another “ooops” on my part. Renewal notices for membership should have gone out the first part of June. But again, life got in the way and I did not send them out. However, it is time for the 2010 membership renewals. If you last paid dues prior to March 2010, your membership renewal is due. We hope all of you are able to renew. Your membership is important to us and to the dogs that we can help.

President, D2Care

Letter to the AKC BOD

October 4th, 2010 by Katrina McGinnis

“Connecting Deaf Dogs with Caring People”
P.O. Box 2345
Woodland, CA 95776


AKC BOD member
Email Addie

D2Care (Deaf Dog Connections, Advocacy, Resources & Education Position Statement: We support the inclusion of deaf dogs into AKC-sponsored Companion Events

Dear ,

We, the Board of Directors of D2Care ( ) have been watching with great interest the discussion concerning deaf dogs being admitted into AKC-sponsored events. We would like to take this opportunity to share our thoughts on this very important topic.

First, by way of introduction, we are the foremost authority on deaf dogs and their capabilities, working very closely with rescues, veterinarians, shelters, breeders, and adoptive parents to further the education of the general public about deaf dogs. We are dedicated to promoting the health, welfare, and quality of life for deaf dogs through outreach, advocacy, education, and support. Collectively, we represent many breeds of dogs that are known to have an increased risk of deafness, such as English Pointers, American Pitbull Terriers, Border Collies, Dalmatians, Australian Shepherds, Bull Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Boxers, Great Danes, and Australian Cattle Dogs.

When approached by people who find themselves with a dog that is deaf, one of the very first lessons we provide is that a deaf dog is a dog first, a breed second, a personality third, and deaf last. Essentially, we are educating people that the deafness does not define the dog; rather, the dog is defined by his breed and personality. For example, Dalmatians are not a good fit for every family because of their high energy level and need for exercise. When queried, we will respond “You have a young dog who is a Dalmatian, with all the characteristics attributed to the breed. Your dog has his/her own personality and happens to have ears that function as hood ornaments.”

Currently, the AKC is the only professional canine organization that does not allow deaf dogs into flyball, agility, rally, obedience, and tracking. Other organizations such as the UKC, NADAC, APDT, and K9CPE permit deaf dogs to enter their events, and many deaf dogs have received awards and certificates under their auspices. Most of these venues do not even have a place on the entry form to identify that a dog is deaf or hearing.

We understand that a few arguments have been presented opposing the idea of deaf dogs entering AKC-sponsored events. These include but are not limited to:

“Deaf dogs are more likely to startle and perhaps startle bite.”
In fact, deaf dogs are no more likely to startle than any other dog, hearing or otherwise. Startle is a natural reflex. However, deaf dogs are less likely to startle in events with large crowds due to the inability to hear sudden crowd noises. IF a deaf or hearing dog does startle, a bite is not a guaranteed outcome. There have not been any rigorous, randomized, controlled trials (the highest level of evidence accepted in scientific research), indicating that deaf dogs are more likely to startle and bite. Suggestions have been made that this may be a possibility, however, for every anecdotal statement of a deaf dog that startles and bites, we can find an equal number of anecdotal statements of hearing dogs that startle and bite, or a greater number of stories of deaf dogs that don’t startle and bite. Due to the pervasive belief (emphasized by the Dalmatian Club of America (DCA)) that deaf dogs are capable of a startle and bite, we do teach new owners of deaf dogs to socialize their dog to touch so the dog will wake up or react calmly and uneventfully, regardless of the situation.

“Difficulty in training”
Deaf dogs are not any more difficult to train for Obedience, Agility, Flyball, or as Search and Rescue dogs since these are activities that rely on sight and smell as much as, if not more than, hearing. Deaf dogs do not require special modifications or accommodations to participate in these events. Most dogs are generally taught hand signals along with speech. In fact, dogs are very visual animals. They rely more on body language than oral language. It is the human that is difficult to train to hand signs, since hearing humans are so attuned to oral language, and not as much to body language. Deaf dogs are much more attuned to “watching” their person and for that reason they often excel in obedience classes.

The AKC is an organization that prides itself on being the authority for the advancement of the welfare of all dogs. Our organization is much smaller, but we pride ourselves in advancing the welfare of dogs that are deaf. We feel that the misperceptions about deaf dogs are prevalent among veterinarians, breed clubs, rescues, shelters, and individuals. Regardless of how these misperceptions originated, we are determined to educate the public to the strengths of deaf dogs and educate on the reality of these misperceptions. As a group, we have found no difference in training or liability with deaf dogs vs. hearing. As a group, we have deaf and hearing dogs, many of whom are simply family pets and others that have achieved many awards and certificates in sports and companion events such as those sponsored by the AKC. We feel strongly that the AKC has an opportunity to step forward and help us further improve the welfare of deaf dogs by allowing them into AKC-sponsored companion events. Such entry can only emphasize what all of us already know: Deaf dogs are no different or more difficult or dangerous to work with than hearing dogs.

Sincerely yours,

D2Care BOD

President’s Update: December 2009

December 1st, 2009 by Katrina McGinnis

D2Care Update
December, 2009

Ummm, well, I am very sorry. It has been awhile since y’all received a Presidents update. So here it is! Hope you enjoy it.

Our elections in April went smoothly. We are modifying the voting booth so that members who believe they have had a problem with voting will be able to get the issue resolved. Currently (and after this modification), there is no way for anyone to know that a vote came from any particular Member. With the modification, the Member is given a “Vote Code” that can be used to connect the two, but only the Member will have access to it. Voting will remain confidential unless the number is given to someone else. Stay tuned. This enhancement will be available for the 2011 vote.

After the elections, one of our Board Members had to resign due to personal reasons. Kim Mehall has graciously accepted a Board position in her place. Your Board members are now:
Katrina McGinnis, President
Lori Skinner, Vice President
Sandi Liss, Treasurer
Monica Kaskey, Secretary
Katie Earle, Membership Officer
Jennifer Laus, Webmaster
Rhonda Champion
Kim Mehall
Mikki Razor

The website, , continues to experience enhancements and changes. For those that haven’t gone to the website lately, click on: These are dogs that your member’s dues and donations have helped. As our presence becomes better known, we expect help requests to increase, however we will always post aid awarded here.

While you are perusing the website, click on: and shop online through the links on this page. You pay the same price as listed on the site, but the companies we are affiliated with donate to us a percentage of all sales made through these links. We have received several hundred dollars through this program. You receive the pleasure of knowing you’ve done something great with your money. Make Holiday shopping easy and beneficial to our deaf dogs.

Kim and Mikki tell me that if you use goodsearch as your search engine, and click on D2Care, we will receive monetary awards every time you use the search engine. Goodsearch is used just like Google. Go to then type in D2Care below the question “who do you goodsearch for” and click the verify button. D2Care’s name will then remain on that line. Go up to the Search line and type in whatever you are interested in looking for and hit the Search button. Every time you utilize goodsearch, D2Care will benefit. It is very easy and every click benefits D2Care.

If you are looking for something a little more personal, go to to purchase your own D2Care t-shirt. Members of D2Care receive discount pricing for t-shirts, but you must log into the Members Only area of the website to receive the lower price. Get an early start on the spring. We know it’s out there, somewhere!

With all this good news also comes some bad, unfortunately. This year (2009), we lost almost half of our members when renewals came due. Times are hard and a lot of folks do not have free money. We certainly understand. However, as life circumstances change, we hope to see you all back. We definitely miss you. If you are able to renew now, go to , log in, and follow the directions for renewal. If you haven’t already created a log-in, you will still be able to do so (it only takes a few minutes) with your membership number. Just scroll down to the end of the page and follow the directions.

Whatever your membership status, you can keep up with all the D2Care news through either the Members Yahoo!Group at (if you are a current member) or (if you are not a current member). I promise to get updates posted in a timelier manner. The Secretary and I are discussing posting Board Meeting minutes in a timelier manner as well.

This update brought to you by
President, D2Care

D2Care Update-6/20/09

June 20th, 2009 by Katrina McGinnis

D2Care Update

I hope all of you are having a great day!

Well, we have gotten through the D2Care Board and Officer Elections for 2009.
Your new Board and Officers are:
Katrina -President
Lori – Vice President
Sandi – Treasurer
Monica -Secretary

Please congratulate and welcome your new Board members and Officers. That leaves us with one item of business to complete. And that is the Membership Officer. This position is the liaison between you and the Board. The Membership Officer, in conjunction with the Membership Development Committee, is responsible for seeing to it that the elections run smoothly, for notifying members of membership renewals, for setting up a plan and implementing Membership Recruitment and Retention, and acting as liaison between the Membership and the Board of D2Care. This is an extremely important position for you, the Members of D2Care.

Our Bylaws state that this position is to be voted on at the May Members meeting. But since we did not have a quorum, we were unable to cast that vote. So now we need to complete this part of the election process. Unfortunately due to family and personal issues, most of the Board Members that have not been elected into an Officers position are unable to take on this role. Katie feels she is capable of the responsibilities inherent in this position. However, we still need your blessing.

So, for those Members that are on the D2Care_Members group, I will be setting up a poll with a yes/no response. All you have to do is let us know if Katie is an acceptable choice for you. For those that do not belong to the Members group, please write to me at and let me know if you are ok with Katie being the Membership Officer. I will open the polls on June 21 and close them on July 4. If you have any questions for Katie, you may write to her at

President, D2Care

Members Meeting-May 2009

May 17th, 2009 by Katrina McGinnis

Members Meeting
May 17, 2009

We did not achieve a quorum tonight so were unable to conduct business. A chat room glitch may have contributed to this in that Members were unable to get into the chat room for at least an additional half hour. We do not know what caused this problem, but our webmaster is looking into it. This is the first problem we have experienced with this particular chat room.

Since we did not achieve a quorum we were not able to conduct business. So, I am going to summarize the pertinent items that we informally discussed.

A) Board Elections

The new Board Members are:
Lori Skinner
Mikki Razor
Sandi Liss
Monica Kaskey
Katie Earle

Congratulations to all of our new Board Members. Their tenure will begin on July 1. In the interim, the Board Members will be voting for the Officer Positions. The Officer positions will be announced as soon as we get those elections done, which should be the first of June.

B) Membership Development

As the outgoing President, I have charged the new Board with increasing Membership. We are currently at 63 members. So any ideas for increasing and retaining membership are definitely welcome.

C) Membership Officer

The Membership elects this position. It is the only Committee Chair that must be a Board Member. Since we did not have a quorum, we could not vote for this person tonight. So you will be receiving a post from me soon on how we intend to go about this.

D) Financial Report

A copy of our current finances is in the Members only area. If you have questions, please write to our current treasurer at

President, D2Care