Cole, a deaf dog from Millville, continues to advocate for the disabled of all species. Cole and his owner Chris Hanna are being noticed for their efforts.

Just weeks after competing in the finals for the 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, Cole has become a TV star.

Cole was featured this week on the Inspiring America segment on the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt as well as the Kid's Edition of NBC Nightly News.

In the NBC segment titled 'Therapy dog on a mission of compassion and acceptance', Lester Holt said, "Cole, a Pitbull mix, is a therapy dog who is making an impact with veterans and students by providing comfort and lessons about tolerance".

Cole's owner, Chris Hanna posted on Facebook...

"Another unbelievable step in our journey took place last night…we interviewed on NBC Nightly News-Kids Edition with host Lester Holt. Check out the episode this Saturday (12/10) morning at 9:30am est on NBC. From shelter to superhero, blessed and humbled.

Chris posts that Cole has also been given an award by the CW Network, named one of the CW Dogs of the Year.

Can you believe that I have more exciting news?! I’m humbled to be named one of The CW Dogs of the Year! Tune in Monday December 12th. I’m just a little deaf shelter pup that’s trying to make a difference by being different.

The story of Cole is intertwined with the story of his owner.

In 2017, Chris Hannah, an elementary music school teacher at Dr. William Mennies School in Vineland, went to the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter and was drawn to Cole, a deaf pitbull puppy.

According to, Chris immediately thought of his 9-year-old nephew Kevin, who is also deaf. Chris says that other families had come to visit Cole before, but they deemed him too “broken” to be adopted.

Chris didn't see Cole that way. He helped him become a certified therapy dog, even starting his own non-profit organization, the Cole the Deaf Dog & Friends Foundation, to perform free school and community assembly programs to inspire others to change the way the world thinks of those with disabilities.

Chris says the Team Cole Project "proves just how important dogs are in teaching empathy, as they don’t just open humans’ minds, they open humans’ hearts through their unconditional love."

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