Long-time Pigeon Advocate Talks Pigeon Shoots and our “Smidgey Pidgey” Book

smidgeycover-series18loSmidgey Pidgey’s Predicament, now out in paperback, kindle, and audio from WCY Books and author Tamira Thayne, is dedicated in part to long-time pigeon advocate Johnna Seeton, who has worked for many years in Pennsylvania to put an end to their horribly cruel pigeon shoots.

Who Chains You caught up to Johnna, and asked her some questions about this abusive practice and her efforts on behalf of the pigeons.

To make sure our audience is on the same page with us, what exactly are pigeon shoots?

Pigeon shoots are barbaric contests in which live pigeons are stuffed into small traps on the ground. These nine traps, which are electronically controlled by an operator, are situated within a scoring ring on a field. The shooter stands in a certain spot with his or her double barreled shotgun and yells, “Pull!”

The operator pushes a button which releases a single pigeon from the trap. The shooter gets two shots at the bird, as the pigeon desperately tries to escape. The scoring occurs if the pigeon lands within the balloon-shaped ring. It doesn’t matter if the bird is wounded or dead, as long as he/she falls within the ring.

This continues until the shooter has had the opportunity to blow away five pigeons, one at a time. Then the “Trapper Boys and Girls” run onto the field to gather up the dead and wounded birds, throwing them into nets they are carrying. As they are doing this, another trapper loads more pigeons into the traps.

Many of the wounded birds fly beyond the scoring ring. Hours may go by before the trappers conduct a “perimeter check”. Of course, they can’t possibly find all the wounded birds; they fly too far a distance. The trappers who collected the wounded birds from the scoring ring bring the birds back to a partially enclosed area where they kill the pigeons.

We have seen this done many times by various methods, such as pulling off their heads, using scissors to cut off their heads, and slamming them against a barrel.

We understand from reliable sources that large-scale gambling takes place at these cruel events. We have returned one day, two days, as many as five days after a pigeon shoot, and we have found live, wounded pigeons.

How did you first get involved with advocating for the pigeons?

johnnamiddle

Johnna Seeton, middle, in her work as a humane society police officer

I first learned about what was happening to the pigeons in 1986, through my attendance at a Trans-Species meeting in Grantville, PA. A woman named Judith Black, along with Doris Gitman, told the attendees about the Hegins Pigeon Shoot, which they’d attended in 1985. We were all horrified at the stories they relayed!

Trans-Species organized a huge protest at the Hegins, PA pigeon shoot on Labor Day, 1986. They also began to lobby bills to prevent pigeon shoots in PA at our State Capitol. That was the start of my dedication to ending pigeon shoots.

Have you ever rescued wounded birds after pigeon shoots, and if so, were any of them able to be saved and set free?

pigeoninjured

Pigeon with a broken wing, who was later able to be set free

I have rescued many, many pigeons from various shoots in PA throughout the years. Having attended over 100 shoots from 1986-2012, I transported the wounded birds to various veterinarians and rehabilitators in the state. Even though some of the birds died, or were so badly injured they had to be euthanized, there were a large number of pigeons who were able to be saved. These beautiful birds were eventually set free!

How many years have you worked on bills against pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania, and where does that effort stand now?

I have worked on bills against pigeon shoots for 32 years! Heidi Prescott, from HSUS, now leads the lobbying effort to stop these cruel events. She lets me know when there is a chance a bill will be voted upon, and I run right to the Capitol (only two blocks from my house) to help her. The bill to prevent pigeon shoots has been introduced almost every legislative session since 1986.

The current pigeon shoot legislation is Senate Bill 612, introduced by Senator Pat Browne. It currently has 16 co-sponsors, and sits in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It would be helpful if readers who live in PA would contact their own State Senator and State Representative and encourage them to ask for the bill to receive a vote. Also, please ask our PA Governor Wolf to support and sign the bill when it gets to his desk.

What did you think of our new children’s book, Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament? Would other pigeon lovers enjoy it as well?

smidgey1loI absolutely LOVED this book! Not only was the story well-written, but the vocabulary words are a perfect teaching tool. I appreciated the entire concept, and you gave proper direction how to get involved in protecting “pidgies”. The illustrations added a beautiful visualization. I am placing copies in the offices of my doctors, dentist, and local library, as well as giving the book to my friends’ children and grandchildren.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle
|
Buy Audiobook

pigeons

The author, Tamira Thayne, regularly feeds pigeons, aka doves, in her yard, and has always felt soothed by their calls. It breaks her heart to know they are treated so badly.

What can you do?

If you live in PA, get active against these cruel shoots! There were two that blatantly took place in the state June 3-4, 2018, and it’s well past time folks raised their voices in opposition to the cruelty. Learn more and get involved at this Humane PA Pac link.

Some recent articles:

This recent article features quotes from Johnna

Maryland bans pigeon shoots: Animal welfare groups push to end ‘incredibly cruel’ tradition in Pennsylvania

Biggest pigeon shoot in years follows PA cruelty law exemption

About the book

smidgeycover-series18loIt was a gorgeous summer day in Central Park, and Smidge and her brother Ridge had time to share one last adventure before it was time to grow up, as Mama Pidgey primly informed them. Yuk, where was the fun in that?!

Smidge slapped Ridge’s wing with hers. “Hey, you hungry? Wanna be real birds, and scavenge the park for seeds, or go see if Mrs. Laney is providing Pidgey Take-Out today?”

Ridge rubbed his belly. “Yum, Mrs. Laney’s for sure! Maybe she put out french fries again,” he grinned mischievously.

The two were so intent on their scramble for treats that when they heard the first squawks of protest, they assumed it was just a squabble over a savory morsel. Soon the cries became louder and more frantic, and more birds joined the chorus.

Finally realizing something wasn’t right, Smidge and Ridge looked up from their breakfast.

But it was too late—a black sack came down over their heads, engulfing them both and turning their world to darkness…

Who was stealing the city’s pigeons, and what’s to become of Smidge, Ridge, and the others? Find out in Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament, excellent for ages 8 and up, and perfect for humane education in today’s classrooms. Includes Vocab Builders, as well as information about the very real threat to pigeons, and what you can do to help these wonderful birds.

$12.97 Paperback$3.97 Kindle • Kindle Unlimited

This book is available for wholesale pricing on sales of ten or more copies
for nonprofits and humane educators. Check out the links to learn more.

Online sales of the book donate $1 each to Showing Animals Respect
and Kindness through 2018 for their efforts to end the shoots.

About the Author

tamijewelonyxloTamira Thayne is an animal activist, and the founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit organization seeking an end to dog chaining.

She is also the founder of Who Chains You Books, publishing titles for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. She is the author of Happy Dog Coloring Book, Capitol in Chains, Foster Doggie Insanity, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, The Knights Chain, The Curse of Cur, (upcoming) and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Tamira lives by a river in the woods of northern Virginia, with her husband, daughter, one dog, six cats, and hundreds of outside birds and critters she adores from afar.

About the Illustrator

abstract-meloC. A. Wulff has been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-four years, volunteering with Ohio humane group Valley Save-a-Pet. An author, artist, and animal advocate, Wulff uses her art and writing to spread the joy of the human/canine bond.

Her books, Born Without a Tail: the Making of an Animal Advocate and Circling the Waggins; How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness, chronicle her personal journey of animal rescue. Her books How to Change the World in 30 Seconds and Finding Fido. are guides for animal advocates and pet parents. You can follow her on her blog “Up on the Woof”, where she shares biscuits of dog-related info. [thewoof.wordpress.com]

Wulff currently resides in one of our nation’s National Forests with her lifemate and five dogs. She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.

Advertisements

“Slow Moe” Asks Folks to Just Say NO to Escargot

slowmoecover18lo-dropWho Chains You Publishing welcomes April Pedersen to our author family with the release of her first book, Slow Moe: A Snail Tale.

April pulls double duty on the book, both writing and illustrating this engaging tale of a little guy who escapes the snail farm in order to seek a better life for himself.

About the Book:

Slow Moe was born into a place no snail wanted to be.

Nobody noticed the egg hatching; the youngster stretched and looked around, feeling small and all alone. He was greeted by row upon row of snails just like him, as far as the tiny eye could see.

Soon upward movement caught his gaze: a group of snails was creeping up a nearby pipe towards the ceiling! “Crawl onto my shell and we’ll get you out of here,” a young snail in the rear shouted.

notoescargotMoe decided he wanted life to be an adventure, so he latched on for parts unknown…and ended up on a journey much bigger than one little snail could imagine.

Will Moe find a safe, loving—and most of all—fun place to call his own? Find out in Slow Moe: A Snail Tale, written and illustrated by April Pedersen. This small book full of big heart is perfect for the classroom, humane education work, and family reading time for children 6 and up.

Sloe Moe is available in paperback and kindle, and coming soon in audiobook, too!

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

About the Author and Illustrator

aprilpedersenApril Pedersen is a freelancer illustrator and author based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, snails, video poker, science fiction, geocaching, and chess.

April is the author and illustrator of Slow Moe, and the illustrator of Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, Bravo’s Freedom, Happy Dog Coloring Book, and Courageous Conner.

Did you know we offer wholesale pricing to nonprofits and humane educators, as well as independent bookstores? Learn more at the below links.

humaneed-lo

nonprofitlogolo

Last Chance to Get Your Animal Rescue Tale into our Upcoming “More Rescue Smiles” Book!

MoreRScover18loOur FIRM deadline for story submissions for More Rescue Smiles is upon us, and it’s June 15th! Get us your rescue tale of ANY animal (except for dogs, we have plenty of those!) ASAP for a chance to get your story in the book.

Folks have loved the first book in our animal rescue series—the award-winning Rescue Smiles—so don’t miss your chance to have YOUR story touch hearts and lives through our second book—More Rescue Smiles, edited once again by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne.

Got a particularly-winning photo of your baby, too? Maybe you can even claim the cover photo spot!

The heart of the animal rescue world lies in its stories—of freedom, of love, and of sacrifice by those who not only acknowledge but embrace the human-animal bond and its wondrous gifts.

In our first rescue story compilation, Who Chains You Books was pleased to offer a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Readers joined us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon stole Spice’s puppies, Alice stole everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspired to steal our hearts.

You got a behind-the-scenes peek into the relationships between rescuers and not only dogs and cats, but horses, goats, pigs, rats, mice, and birds, in this delightful first installment of Rescue Smiles, available in audio, paperback, and kindle.

Now we’re following up that success with More Rescue Smiles, and we want to include your stories! Every animal is invited inside our pages, from dogs to cats to chickens to rats—and of course every wild animal who calls our fields and woods home.

Stories between 1000-3000 words will be accepted, and we are taking submissions through June 15, 2018. So what are you waiting for? Send us along your entry today.

Submit your stories through our form here: http://whochainsyou.com/mystoryform.html

Got more than one story? Up to three submissions will be considered.

Got more questions? Drop us a line at info@whochainsyou.com, and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Happy Writing! We can’t wait to meet your rescue friends.

Dog Mom v. Human Mom: Who’s “Got it Easier”?

By Tamira Thayne

mothersday18

 

It’s that sacred day of the year. You know the one—the one where we moms get to do whatever it is WE want to do. We get to be completely selfish, laze around in bed, and make inordinate demands on our family, like “Clean up your own mess”, or “Run out to the liquor store and bring Mommy a half gallon of whatever’s on sale, there’s a good lad.”

That kinda thing.

Except for some reason I’m already on my second load of laundry and contemplating whether I really DO want to vacuum the floor on Mother’s Day. [Pretty sure the answer is NO…Yes, it’s NO.]

As I was peeling away the hair-covered sheets from the dog and cat beds—and trying to contain the runoff within said sheets so it didn’t further hairify the floor—I contemplated how much of said fur was about to be deposited into my washing machine.

I acknowledged to the person I talk to in my head who is also me that I’m gonna have to make sure the washing machine is thoroughly sanitized before the hubby notices. [He likes to pretend the animal laundry gets magically poofed to the laudromat so our own machines don’t get sullied—we maintain this fantasy as part of our peaceful household.]

brynnan and bridgelo

The author’s daughter with a blind foster dog

Which got me to pondering…is it easier being a Mom to dogs and/or cats or to those of the human persuasion?

 

Let’s compare, getting right into the thick of it. The, ooey, gooey thickness of it…

Wretching. Horking. Vomiting.

Dog & Cat: OH, THE HORROR! The puke…the sound of which can strike fear into the hearts of many an intrepid dog or cat mom. You know that wretched wretching noise of which I speak….there you are, dreaming about Timothy Olyphant (Justified, not Santa Clarita Diet, although he is a very supportive husband in that role), when suddenly there it is. Yak…yak…YAKKKKK!

But where is it? Is it in your bed? On the floor? Between you and the bathroom? Can it wait until morning, or will you forget about it and definitely step in it then?

[Ponder the problem. If you’re one of those lucky moms, you roll over, go back to sleep, and vow to investigate at the break of dawn.]

Kid: “Mommy! I don’t feel so good.” Rubs belly. “I think I’m gonna frow up.” Rushes for the bathroom…

Odds are about 80/20 they won’t make it. At least when they miss you know exactly where it is, and sometimes it’s even on the bathroom floor, which means there’s not even carpeting. Score.

Plus, you’re telling me there’s a CHANCE.

Point=Kid

Grocery Shopping

Dog & Cat: “You’re leaving us here? At home? While you go to the place with all the delicacies, and the smells, and the beautiful decisions over what to bring home to this prison?”

You, ruefully: “I’m so sorry, my sweethearts. I will miss you incessantly, but alas, there are laws against bringing you with me into the grocery store, which we are of course greatly offended by and will make plans to protest another day.”

Kid: “I hate the grocery store. Why do I have to go? Ooh, can I have that? Mom!!!! But I want it! I need it. All the other kids have it.” [Slips said item into cart while you compare green beans.]

You, harried. “Why is it a big fight every time we come here? We have a LIST.” You clutch the list and thrust it emphatically and victoriously into the air.

[Kid is umimpressed. Throws him/herself onto the floor when you remove the item from the cart and screams that you’re the worst parent EVER. Repeat.]

Point=Dog & Cat

Play Dates at the Park

Dog [If you have any living gray matter, you won’t be taking your cat to the park—EVER]: You briefly ponder on the way to the park why you have a death wish. Rufus is pacing the back seat with excitement, spittle and fur swishing throughout the vehicle because you just had to open your sun roof, and even your iced tea has now sprouted.

Yeah, there was that one time you took the dog to the park and there was just the two other nice dogs and everyone got along and the other dog dad was actually hot and nice. 

But that was only one time. The other 3,098 times your dog peed on the sexy guy’s leg, fought with two dobermans and a rottweiler, and ended up with a $3098 vet bill and the cone of shame. You’re now facing two civil lawsuits because your dog’s an asshole, and you’ve had to move cities three times to find new dog parks.

Kid: You briefly ponder the weather, and hope this beautiful spring day will hold up. Did I forget my book? Darn it. Well, I’m sure I can find something on Kindle Unlimited to read.

I hope Betty Sue is there with that delightful Kenny. He’s such a good influence on Ralphie. I sure hope that Damian isn’t there, he tugged on little Kate’s hair braids the last time and made her cry. What a kerfuffle. I’m so glad I remembered some healthy snacks for Ralphie to share with his friends.

Point=Kid

Swearing

Dog and cat: You’re in your first real home, a young married couple, and fresh out of the military. You have a mouth like a sailor, but it’s all good, because Mom and Dad are five states away, and they aren’t technologically savvy enough to plant bugs in your house to monitor you from afar. You’re FREE!

You rush to the local rescue group to adopt Fluffy and Kirby, because you know you’re mature enough now, and Mom taught you how to care for your best friends. You pass the home visit with flying colors, and get that exciting call to come pick up your babies.

While driving home with your precious cargo, one of THOSE drivers cuts you off, and then stops right in front of you. “Why, you sonuvabeeyotch! You crazy mothereffer! I’m gonna shove this car so far up your rectum you’ll be spitting steel by suppertime!” you scream, really warming up to your topic.

Then, guiltily, you remember Fluffy and Kirby sitting patiently in the back, hoping this will be their FUREVER home this time—not like that last one.

You give them a tentative smile, and they look back at you with eyes full of hope and love, saying only two words: “Ruff” and “meow.”

Your secret is safe.

Kid: You’ve been in your new home for three years now, and, Thank Dog for your good genes, have managed to pop out a two-fer, TWIN boys! Waahoo! You love spending time with your sons, and regularly take the two year olds with you on jaunts about town.

While driving home with your precious cargo, one of THOSE drivers cuts you off, and then stops right in front of you. “Why, you sonuvabeeyotch! You crazy mothereffer! I’m gonna shove this car so far up your rectum you’ll be spitting steel by suppertime!” you scream, really warming up to your topic.

Then, guiltily, you remember Keenan and Keefer in the back seat, soaking up the atmosphere like the little sponges they are.

You give them a tentative smile, and they look back at you with eyes full of vinegar, and and then at each other, before screaming: “Sumbish! Mavaeffa! Sumbish! Mavaeffa!”

Horrified, you rush home to put on Clifford The Big Red Dog before they memorize the gutter talk you’ve inadvertently taught them, and realize your word salad freedom has come to an end.

Point=Dog & Cat

It’s a Tie!

Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

Truth be told: I could go on all day with this…and I’m sure you too can think of lots of fun comparisons. For some moms, there will be a definite pro/con list that lands to one side or the other of the pet/kid argument.

Having been lucky enough to birth two humans and become a mom or foster mom for hundreds of dogs and cats during my years of active rescue, I can tell you that, despite my jokes and lamentations, I’ve loved them all.

Now that my daughter is an adult, and I am down to life with one dog and six cats, I can say with some degree of certainty that the human child has become easier.

For example: Today’s Mother’s Day, and I still had to get up and take care of our companions and feed the outside critters, birds and squirrels. My old cat Una still yapped incessantly until he got his morning treats, and the dog still refused to do his business in the rain.

But Bryn got up at five, went to her job at the bakery, then brought me home two cookies and is taking me to dinner. I can drink wine with dinner and know I have a driver to cart my buttocks safely home afterward.

Yet, a cat is snuggled on my lap as I type, and the dog lays contentedly at my feet. And therefore I acknowledge—to the voice in my head that is also me—that I am, indeed, ONE LUCKY MOTHER.

Happy Mother’s Day, from myself and the rest of the authors at Who Chains You Publishing. Whether you’re a mom to humans or to the fur-covered variety, we wish you a little time to sit back, put your feet up, and read a good book today. Here’s to you! http://www.whochainsyou.com.

About the Author

mommybanmanlo3Tamira Thayne is an author, animal activist, and the founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit organization seeking an end to dog chaining.

She is also the founder of Who Chains You Books, publishing titles for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity, Happy Dog Coloring Book, Capitol in Chains, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Tamira lives by a river in the woods of northern Virginia, with her husband, daughter, one dog, six cats, and hundreds of outside birds and critters she adores from afar.

Need a Teacher Gift? 26 Books for Classroom Use in Animal, Family, and Environmental Education

teachergiftlo

It’s that time of year when students love to bring a beloved teacher an end of year gift. With budget crunches and classroom cuts, many teachers across the U.S. find themselves spending way too much out of pocket for books and other materials to educate the students.

humaneed-lo

That’s why books always make a great teacher gift, and Who Chains You Publishing and our Crescent Renewal Imprint offer 26 books perfect for classroom reading, reaching students from pre-school through middle school.

Pre-K teachers will love titles like Nana’s Banana, Happy Dog Coloring Book, What’s in the Corner, and Went Out to Get A Donut, Came Home with a Muffin.

Browse all our great titles for animal lovers on our book page here: http://www.whochainsyou.com/books.html

Browse all our excellent Crescent Renewal Imprint titles here: http://www.whochainsyou.com/crescentrenewal.html

Grade school teachers could share all of the above PLUS so many more—with a plethora of books that advocate for the animals, the environment, anti-bullying, and education!

Browse all our great titles for animal lovers on our book page here: http://www.whochainsyou.com/books.html

Browse all our excellent Crescent Renewal Imprint titles here: http://www.whochainsyou.com/crescentrenewal.html

Middle school teachers can share many of the above, plus more, such as Rescue Smiles, The Listener’s Tale, and The Shapeshifter’s Tale. And finally, high school teachers will love the YA Paranormal offerings of The Chained Gods Series.

Know that your teacher’s an animal lover and an avid reader? She/he would love one of our adult books in both fiction and non-fiction encompassing animals and society issues surrounding the care and treatment of animals.

Browse all our great titles for animal lovers on our book page here: http://www.whochainsyou.com/books.html

Browse all our excellent Crescent Renewal Imprint titles here: http://www.whochainsyou.com/crescentrenewal.html

Who Chains You Publishing would like to thank the teachers for another great year of giving the gift of education to your students. We know the work can be heartbreaking, but the effort you put in is appreciated by so many. Thank you!

hergert

“Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament” Shines a Spotlight on Pigeon Shoots

smidgeycover18lo-dropNew Release, from Who Chains You Books:

Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament

by Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by C.A. Wulff

smidgey1loIt was a gorgeous summer day in Central Park, and Smidge and her brother Ridge had time to share one last adventure before it was time to grow up, as Mama Pidgey primly informed them. Yuk, where was the fun in that?!

Smidge slapped Ridge’s wing with hers. “Hey, you hungry? Wanna be real birds, and scavenge the park for seeds, or go see if Mrs. Laney is providing Pidgey Take-Out today?”

Ridge rubbed his belly. “Yum, Mrs. Laney’s for sure! Maybe she put out french fries again,” he grinned mischievously.

The two were so intent on their scramble for treats that when they heard the first squawks of protest, they assumed it was just a squabble over a savory morsel. Soon the cries became louder and more frantic, and more birds joined the chorus.

Finally realizing something wasn’t right, Smidge and Ridge looked up from their breakfast.

smidgey5-1But it was too late—a black sack came down over their heads, engulfing them both and turning their world to darkness…

Who was stealing the city’s pigeons, and what’s to become of Smidge, Ridge, and the others? Find out in Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament, excellent for ages 8 and up, and perfect for humane education in today’s classrooms. Includes Vocab Builders, as well as information about the very real threat to pigeons, and what you can do to help these wonderful birds.

$12.97 Paperback$3.97 Kindle • Kindle Unlimited

$1.00 from each Paperback and $.50 from each Kindle
sale will benefit the nonprofit Showing Animals Respect and Kindness through the end of the year.

What are pigeon shoots? Well, they’re as bad as you can imagine. From a June 5, 2017 article in the Philly Voice by John Kopp, titled “Pennsylvania clings to pigeon shoots that have nearly vanished nationwide”:

“During such shoots, live pigeons are placed into spring-loaded boxes and propelled into the air at the shooter’s command. The shooter then fires at them from a distance of about 30 yards. Hundreds of birds are wounded or killed.”

From that same article: “One group, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) has protested the Philadelphia Gun Club shoots by posting videos of wounded pigeons and aerial videos of the shoots.

“We’ve really been pressing them hard and exposing the people who have been participating in it,” SHARK activist Stuart Chaifetz said. “We treat it the same way as if you saw someone dogfighting – it’s inexcusable.”

About the Author

tamijewelonyxloTamira Thayne is an animal activist, and the founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit organization seeking an end to dog chaining.

She is also the founder of Who Chains You Books, publishing titles for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. She is the author of Happy Dog Coloring Book, Capitol in Chains, Foster Doggie Insanity, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, The Knights Chain, The Curse of Cur, (upcoming) and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Tamira lives by a river in the woods of northern Virginia, with her husband, daughter, one dog, six cats, and hundreds of outside birds and critters she adores from afar.

About the Illustrator

abstract-meloC. A. Wulff has been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-four years, volunteering with Ohio humane group Valley Save-a-Pet. An author, artist, and animal advocate, Wulff uses her art and writing to spread the joy of the human/canine bond.

Her books, Born Without a Tail: the Making of an Animal Advocate and Circling the Waggins; How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness, chronicle her personal journey of animal rescue. Her books How to Change the World in 30 Seconds and Finding Fido. are guides for animal advocates and pet parents. You can follow her on her blog “Up on the Woof”, where she shares biscuits of dog-related info. [thewoof.wordpress.com]

Wulff currently resides in one of our nation’s National Forests with her lifemate and five dogs. She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.

Celebrate Earth Day: 5 Questions with “Life of Bud” Book Narrator Rob Izenberg

budcover-audio18loHappy Earth Day, fellow humans! We’re celebrating with a look at our earthiest book, The Life by Bud, by author Laura W. Eckroat.

For us, part of the fun of taking our Who Chains You and Crescent Renewal Books into audio is the search for the narrator that can really bring the book’s spark to life.

So when we put “The Life of Bud”—a children’s tale of the life cycle of a special leaf named Bud—Rob Izenberg’s audition brought an immediate “YES”. His voice hit just the right note we sought for the book, and would be engaging to children as well as a pleasure for any parents who are listening.

Henry Winkler (Yes, THAT Henry Winkler) had this to say about Rob: “It has been my pleasure to work with and know Rob Izenberg for the past 10 years. He is dependable, funny, hardworking, funny, and plays well with others.”

Now that The Life of Bud is available in audiobook, as well as in paperback and kindle, we asked Rob a few questions so our audience could get to know him better.

5 Questions with Voice Narrator Rob Izenberg

1. How did you get into book narration, and how long have you been doing it?

rob-head-in-hand-headshotI’ve been a working voice actor and audio producer since the late 1990’s, with many TV and radio commercials, cartoons, and video games to my credit. I’m always looking for new ways to use my vocal talents. So I recently put up a profile on ACX, auditioned for some titles and was lucky enough to be chosen to narrate and produce them. This is pretty brand new to me, though.

2. How many books have you narrated?

So far I’ve narrated and produced three short children’s stories. I am hoping to do a lot more.

3. What made you choose The Life of Bud to narrate?

I have a distinctive voice, higher pitched but kind of sweet and soothing. I’ve been told I sound a lot like Sterling Holloway, the original voice of Winnie the Pooh in old Disney cartoons. Anyway, I used to love reading to low income grade school kids in Los Angeles through SAGAFTRA’s BookPals program. So I knew that children’s books would be a good fit for my voice. I found The Life of Bud on ACX, thought the message of teaching little kids the life cycle of birth to death was beautiful, and auditioned. Luckily, I was selected to read it.

4. What other fun projects have you taken on with your narration skills?

Thanks to my voice agent in Los Angeles, I’ve played an alien trying to kidnap the Earth in an episode of the cult Nickelodeon cartoon Invader Zim, a wise-cracking toucan in a national Chiquita Banana television commercial, and the lighting bolt-throwing villain Lob Goblin in the Activision game Skylanders: Trap Team, among others. I also write, sing, and produce custom parody songs for radio stations, TV specials, and individuals.

5. What do you do to cut loose and enjoy life, besides narration?

My wife and I love to hike. I play tennis when I can. Auditioning for voice acting gigs is always fun, and even more fun when you book one! Right now, I’m having a blast playing piano while teaching a singing class for visually impaired adults. Very rewarding.

About Rob Izenberg

Rob Izenberg is an innovative and prolific marketing copywriter and comedy writer/audio producer with proven success creating unique content for web sites, online retail, radio, television, film, social media and stage presentations. Skilled in Google keywords, writing and producing creative copy, product names and descriptions, urls, website development, meta-titles and descriptions, web content, voice acting, audio production, radio spots, client jingles, composing, piano, and musical/vocal arranging. Expert at hitting the right selling points in a clear, concise manner and adding the just the right touch humor when needed.

CREATIVE: http://robizenbergcreative.com

VOICE DEMOS: www.robizenberg.com

LINKED IN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robizenbergcreative

About The Life of Bud

Bud starts out as a tiny bud—small and insignificant—yet he arrives into this life with a feeling of purpose and hope.

Soon he grows into a beautiful, vibrant piece of the Mighty Oak Tree, taking his place in the circle of life, and thrives as he recognizes his part in something greater.

Those who have sought a children’s book that gently explains the topics of life and death need look no further. The Life of Bud teaches acceptance and celebration of a life well-lived. It is a valuable addition to the reading shelves of children eight and up, and a meaningful family bedtime tale.

The Life of Bud is from our Crescent Renewal Imprint, which publishes books that—although not animal-related—do no harm to animals and put forth a message of renewal and kindness.

Buy in Paperback | Buy in Kindle | Buy Audiobook

About the Author

Laura W. Eckroat is the author of A Simpler Time, Daisy: A Life Cycle Series, The Life of Bud, Went Out to Get a Donut, Came Home with a Muffin, What’s in the Corner? A Muffin “Tail”, Red Goes to Kindergerten, and The Lost Tooth.

Laura was born and raised in Whiting, Indiana. She has lived in Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Texas. She now resides in Wisconsin with her husband, Steven, and their two rescue dogs—Muffin and Shadow.

Mrs. Eckroat is an elementary school teacher, and a lifetime Chicago Bears football fan. She enjoys gardening, reading, writing and doing fundraisers for dogs.

Our Authors & Their Animal Families: Laura Koerber and Willie, aka Sponge Face

koerberPetslo

This series of blog posts introduces you to the animal families of our authors here at Who Chains You Books. As a company dedicated to animals, animal lovers, and their stories and missions, we thought you’d like to meet some of our animal friends, too. Enjoy!

laurakoerbercolorAuthor Laura Koerber recently lost her beloved dog Izzy (pictured left), so tells us the story of how she came about rescuing her new pup, Willie:

“From the moment I met Willie, he reminded me of a homely little gargoyle. He always has bed head—and bed body, I guess you could say, since the fur on the rest of him sticks out in random directions, too.

I call him Sponge Face, because his little furry mug is always wet; his face is completely flat, and he cannot drink without nearly drowning himself. His favorite way of sleeping is to mash his wet face against my thigh while we sit together on the couch. When not engaged in transferring dampness to me, he’s a menace to shoes and anything else he can pick up off the floor. He terrorizes anything that he can fit into his mouth.

pupyOh, and he eats poop, too.

He’s a shih tzu. I don’t know if this is normal for the breed or not, but I hope, for the sake of other shih tzus, that Willie’s attributes are not normal!

Willie’s former owner, a paranoid schizophrenic, died and no one noticed for six weeks except her crazy son. She lived in a cabin off in the woods. Her son’s response to her death was to kick a hole in her front door so her dogs could get out and that’s all he did. Just walked away and left the dogs alone. There were five dogs when the owner died.

Six weeks later, Willie was the only one left. He rescued himself by walking down the driveway to the dirt road and down the dirt road to the pavement—a distance of several miles through the woods.

A man driving along the paved road saw Willie in the ditch. He knew that no dog, especially not a little one, should be out there alone, with nothing for miles but commercial timberlands. So he scooped Willie up and took him to a friend of mine who has a reputation for rescuing dogs.

Willie stank. He was missing about half his hair and what he had left was full of fleas. He had eye, ear, nose, skin, and bladder infections. He was incontinent. He was old. No rescue wanted him.

My beloved Izzy had just died and I was not looking for another dog, but I took Willie in since no one else wanted him.

I confess that I didn’t love him at first. He wasn’t Willie to me. He was Not Izzy—the dog who was not my Izzy.

But time passes. I still love Izzy and grieve for him, but I love Willie too. He is over his numerous infections and has grown into a cheerful, affectionate, playful boy. It breaks my heart to think of him wandering down the dirt road through the woods, looking for help, after all those nights alone.

Now I’m so glad to have him here with us where he can live out his days, safe and happy.”

Laura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and dog Willie. Laura divides her retirement time between dog rescue, care for disabled people, political activism, and yes, she tells herself stories while driving.

Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories (written as Jill Kearney), was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s also the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, Limbo, and The Shapeshifter’s Tale.

“Courageous Conner” Tackles the Dairy and Veal Industries Through the Pages of a Children’s Book

courageousconnercover18lo-dropAuthor Heather Leughmyer has added another book to her Kindness to Animals series—this one tackling the not-so-hidden dirty secrets of the dairy and veal industries—and does it all through the pages of a rhyming children’s book.

In the story, Courageous Conner is torn from his mother and faces two challenges: can he be brave enough to find his way back to her side, and will they, together, escape the cruel conditions they find themselves in?

Unwanted calves from the dairy industry are routinely ripped from loving mothers, their flesh turned into the meal of an unthinking or uncaring consumer.

Heather, a long time vegan activist, excels at creating rhyming children’s stories, and is using her gift to create a series advocating for Kindness to Animals. Courageous Conner is the third book in the series, which so far features Adopting Adele and Brave Benny, too. Heather plans to work her way through the alphabet, creating children’s books featuring the many animals who need a little kindness in today’s society.

Courageous Conner is perfect for ages 6 and up, and excellent for both humane education and library and family story time. The book is currently available in both paperback and kindle, and coming soon in audio.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

Book Sample:

Little Conner was born on the 3rd day of June, to a proud mama cow, one warm afternoon. His mom gently cleaned him, as a good mother would, then he wiggled and wobbled, until finally he stood.

She gave him soft kisses on his velvety head, then faintly he mooed; Conner now needed fed. He found mama’s milk; it was pleasingly sweet. When his tummy was full, he took a nap at her feet.

But his dreams were cut short by the cries of another; someone was taking a calf from his mother! Conner stayed silent as he cowered in fear; he looked up at his mom as the human drew near…

About the Author:

Heather Leughmyer graduated from Indiana-Purdue University with a B.A. in English Writing and Linguistics. She is a dedicated vegan, animal rights activist and animal rescuer.

Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she has advocated for animals. By telling their stories and illustrating their pain she hopes to touch a few hearts and change a few minds with her words.

Heather is the author of If Your Tears Were Human, Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, Courageous Conner, and co-editor of Rescue Smiles. She lives in Columbia City, Indiana, with her husband, daughter and several animal companions.

About the Illustrator:

Our whimsical artist, April Pedersen, is a freelancer based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, geocaching, science fiction, video poker, and chess.

April is the illustrator of Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, Bravo’s Freedom, Happy Dog Coloring Book, and Courageous Conner.

 

Books Addressing Dog Chaining? We’ve Got ‘Em. Ten, to be Exact!

Blacky (3lo)

Blackie, before his rescue, chained in filth.

Dog chaining is one of those issues that grabs an animal lover by the guts and clenches until all that remains is a lifeless hull, seeping out the last vestiges of hope in the goodness of mankind and muddying the field with its tears.

Too much?

Ever live next to a chained dog?

If so, then you know of which we speak…and you’re nodding your head along with us, screaming YES, YES! at your monitor. We hear you.

Chained dogs suffer in any myriad of ways—including a lack of food and water to go with the loss of freedom, parasites, and injury. But, on top of their physical distress, each and every chained dog is painfully ostracized from the human companionship he/she needs and craves.

And that, THIS—all of it—is incredibly WRONG.

Yet, so often authorities and those with power and control could care less about the plight of our companion animals rotting away in backyards all across America.

One of the ways to address this WRONGNESS? Education of ourselves and our youth, through books that discuss the issue and let us put ourselves in the paws of that dog for even just one moment in time.

To that end, Who Chains You Books has excelled in creating tools for use in classrooms and libraries, for sale at nonprofit booths, and for family bedtime story reading. We’ve currently got ten published books that address dog chaining, with selections for both children and adults.

And, we offer wholesale discounts to nonprofits for resale in their work for the animals, as well as humane educators and independent bookstores.

Below is a synopsis of our current anti-chaining lineup, with suggested ways the books can be used to address dog chaining. Happy Reading!

happydogloHappy Dog Coloring Book is brand-new, and is intended as a workhorse for childhood education on chaining. It is an excellent tool to bring humane education into the classroom, and keep the kids attention on the issue while they color.

This book includes 25 pages of whimsical black and white drawings from illustrator April Pedersen grace this wonderfully thought out and caring coloring book about a dog named Ranger, chained in the backyard and—like all dogs—wishing to be free.

The coloring book also features 6 pages of Happy Activities for kids, including a maze, connect the leash, and draw a tail on the pup. Perfect for all ages from 3 and up, this makes an incredible addition to any and all classroom humane education efforts.

Happy Dog can be purchased singly or in bulk at discount prices. Purchasers can also get a FREE bonus download of 8 extra coloring pages!

In addition, this book is available for licensing to interested nonprofits. What does licensing mean? It means we will add your logo and contact information to the book, and provide you with the print-ready files to take to your local printer for even greater bulk savings, giving you the right to sell and distribute the coloring book in your area as a fundraising and educational tool. Contact us at info@whochainsyou.com if interested.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

Want Higher Quantities for Classroom Use? Order Direct From Us.

capitolbookcover16loFighting chaining, and seeking inspiration and ideas? Read Tamira Thayne’s Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues, a chronicle of the time she and others spent chained to a doghouse on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps, advocating for passage of a state law providing more humane treatment for man’s best friends.

The book gives an important overview of the issue, as well as some “outside the dogbox” thinking that just might inspire you with new and creative ideas to address chaining too.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

aboutadogcover-loIt’s About a Dog views the life of a chained dog through an unusual set of eyes: Oliver the Owl, who narrates the story, and brings it to life in a way that is both poignant and far-reaching. This story is perfect for family bedtime, for  classroom humane education, and library storytime. It will reach anyone with a heart from age 8 to 108. The book is also available in audiobook, for those who prefer to listen.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

honeycoverloHoney’s Second Chance, from the Second Chance Series by author Brandy Herr, brings to life the true story of Honey, a beautiful golden retriever who spent all her days on a chain in Texas before her rescue by Second Chance Farm. Perfect for kids young and old, Honey’s Second Chance is a wonderful way to educate that a dog deserves to be a happy and beloved member of the family.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

Foster Doggie Insanity is a important read offering emotional support and ideas for doggie foster parents, with the author providing a 29-day chained dog foster diary as example of the hardships and joys that doggie fostering can bring.

When things go wrong as doggie foster parents, it’s all too easy to blame ourselves, and either quit or spiral into depression. Her goal is to allow you to go a little easier on yourself, in order to get back to the place where you can provide the safe cushion animals need to get back on their feet and find a new home.

This book is narrated in audio by Lee Ahonen, who does an excellent job of channeling the author’s emotions and style, too!

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook | Watch Trailer

doggieherocover-loA Doggie Hero is Born, by Rocky Shepheard, is a good old-fashioned animal fantasy tale. Join “Worthless”—a chained dog who is rescued by his animal friends—as he, Sly Fox, and Otto romp through the woods in search of a new, and more loving, home. Will he find happiness and a new name in the end? Only time will tell.

The book is full of excitement and rich illustrations to thrill your audience and teach a lesson in compassion and humane treatment of man’s best friend.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

kingstethercoverlodropThe King’s Tether is a prequel novella in the Chained Gods Series, written by Tamira Thayne. In the author’s first jump into the fiction genre, she puts her fixation on chaining to use as the topic for a series of young adult books.

The series features immortals who shapeshift into dogs; as dogs, they end up chained and forced to guard keys to the destruction of two dimensions by “the bad guys”. Mwahaha. This series makes a fun and unusual read for teens through adults—and educates a bit along the way, too.

In The King’s Tether, you’ll meet Randulf, king of Perrin, living as a chained shepherd in a small Virginia town—yet in his sleep he remembers and yearns for a grander life that’s been lost.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Or Get Yours FREE! | Buy Audiobook

wrathcover-lodropIn The Wrath of Dog, the first book in the Chained Gods Series, you’ll meet Baylee, a young girl who is unaware of the part she’s to play in the upcoming war with those who are holding the king in chains.

When she encounters Randulf, a chained and angry shepherd living only two blocks from her, her life becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

Reaching adulthood sure wasn’t what she thought it would be…

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

puddlescoverpuppy16webThe Puppy who Left Puddles on the Floor addresses many of the ways our best friends can be treated inhumanely, and as such is a wonderful all-round education tool.

Chance is dumped at the shelter because he leaves “puddles on the floor”. Even though he’s lucky enough to find another home, he soon ends up chained outside, as his guardian doesn’t want to spend the time teaching him. A twist of fate sets him free to seek a better life on his own. Will Chance finally find the loving inside home and family he deserves?

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

rescuesmilescoverlodropRescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation offers a look into the lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Through these tales, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek into the relationships between rescuers and not only dogs and cats, but horses, goats, pigs, rats, mice, and birds.

Four of the fifteen true life tales within feature chained-dog rescues and the happy endings they deserve.

This book won a Best Book Award from the Dog Writers Association of America.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

At Who Chains You we publish books for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. Our mission is singular: to amplify the voices of the animals through the empowerment of animal lovers, activists, and rescuers to write and publish books elevating the status of animals in society.

Who Chains You Publishing brings you books that educate, entertain, and share gripping plights of the animals we serve and those who rescue and stand in their stead.

At our deepest levels, we explore what chains we humans must break within ourselves in order to free the animals. Visit us at http://www.whochainsyou.com.