WCY Choses Charity of the Year for their Efforts to End Pigeon Shoots Nationwide

Who Chains You Publishing has chosen our Charity of the Year for 2018, based on their outstanding work confronting and publicizing the heinous cruelty inherent in pigeon shoots nationwide.

charity18-sharkWe would like to thank the staff and volunteers of SHARK—Showing Animals Respect and Kindness—for their efforts, and pledge to help raise awareness and funding for the issue throughout 2018.

WCY publisher Tamira Thayne first learned about pigeon shoots when she worked on state laws for chained dogs in Pennsylvania, where the majority of pigeon shoots are still held annually. She watched advocates like Johnna Seeton agonize over the failure of bill after bill in the Pennsylvania state legislature that would have specifically prohibited pigeon shoots in PA.

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.”

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A rough sketch from “Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament”, coming soon from WCY Books.

Who Chains You Publishing applauds SHARK’s efforts, and is already hard at work on a children’s book about the issue, called “Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament”. The book will donate $1 from each sale of the book to SHARK through at least the end of 2018, and the non-profit will receive a year-end donation from a portion of all sales as well.

“Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament” is due out in February, and is appropriate for ages 8 and up. The book was written by author Tamira Thayne, and illustrated by Rocky Shepheard, creator of The Vegg and author and illustrator of A Doggie Hero is Born.

We encourage you to learn more and support SHARK’s efforts to end the cruelty of pigeon shoots, and we hope you’ll join us in spreading the word about this abuse of our feathered friends.

SHARK’s website: http://www.sharkonline.org/

SHARK’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sharkonlineorg/

SHARK’s latest video investigating pigeon shoots. This one was in Maryland:

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“The Dog Thief” stories “captured in a moment of time that perfectly present pets and people at pivotal moments”

dogthief-chosen-loThe Dog Thief and Other Stories called “Treasure Trove of Stories” in January 2018’s Bookwatch by Midwest Book Review:

Animal lovers will discover a treasure trove of short stories revolving around animals, humans, and companion relationships in The Dog Thief and Other Stories (Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook), a collection almost as powerful in its messages about community interactions and individual survival as it is about animals who interact with humans in a variety of situations.
Take, for example, the story ‘Beer Money’. Readers won’t expect an animal tale with the opener: “Bob lurked behind the cedar tree. He was spying on his ex-wife, waiting for her to leave for work.” And when he does enter her home, he discovers “There was no sign that he had ever occupied this home…She had cleaned him right out of her life.”
As he makes himself at home in her absence, he comes upon the deaf old dog that also was once part of their lives. Buddy had been his dog before he’d met Linda, and has always been there for him. But it seems Linda that has plans for Buddy, and suddenly Bob is faced with yet another change in his life.
Sometimes the animal and nature feel are peripheral to the human story, as in ‘Driving While Remembering’, which chronicles a drive into the past, the juxtaposition of life-affirming youth and the trials of aging, and the discovery of a wetlands volunteer who made a difference at the end of her life.
Each short story holds a poignant portrait of human relationships, changed circumstances, and struggle, and these lie at the heart of stories which often add animals into the mix.
As vignettes and snapshots of moments of quiet revelation, change, and encounters with nature and (most often) dogs blossom, they present lovely pieces packed with depth, insights, and the kind of literary approach that elevates them to philosophical and psychological reflections about life’s meaning and trajectory.
Each story is heartfelt and wrenching in its own right, delicately captured in a moment of time that perfectly presents pets and people at different pivotal moments of their existence.
Animal lovers seeking a collection of slices of life that add the extra dimension of pets and people will love this hard-hitting collection, which portrays all kinds of people from all walks of life.
—Diane C. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

“Limbo” and “Bravo’s Freedom” Hit Audiobook Shelves: Buy One Get One Free!

Do audiobooks have shelves? Only in the virtual world, it would seem, so you’ll have to indulge us by imagining along.

limbocoveraudio-loWe’re pleased to announce that two of our titles, Limbo and Bravo’s Freedom, have just hit the proverbial audiobookshelves, with narration by John Carter Aimone and Gary Bennett, respectively.

The best thing about the audio version of Limbo? John Carter Aimone’s voice. He’s the PERFECT narrator for this book—you’ve got to take a listen to the sample and see why for yourself. We want to listen to it every day just to hear John’s voice characterizations!

About Limbo:

How would you spend your time if you died and found yourself in limbo? Most see purgatory as a kind of in-between afterlife for people who didn’t rate heaven and don’t deserve hell. The author’s limbo is a ghost town that includes animals that had been killed by humans: a dog, some cats, cows, chickens, and wild creatures, too. The animals are content with their lot in the afterlife, but the humans have an infinity of time on their hands and not enough to do. They think about the big issues, of course: the nature of God, how they screwed up in life, and how they can escape limbo and get into heaven.

But no one can spend all their time thinking higher thoughts, so mostly they do what they did in life: they gossip, they get on each other’s nerves, and they play poker.

In the end, you’ll share in their laughter and tears, and you might just ponder how you’d spend your time in limbo.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

bravoscoveraudioloIn Bravo’s Freedom, 15-year-old Gabriel is chosen by his village to travel to Old Guinea, where he must face the rulers to stop them from destroying the planet. With the impacts of global warming in full effect, Gabriel leaves his village with evidence that there is still time to reverse the damage and repair the planet.

Will the rulers of Old Guinea listen to what Gabriel has to say, or will Gabriel and his new friend Bravo get locked away forever? Bravo’s Freedom makes a wonderful classroom addition for environmental and humane education studies, and is perfect for ages eight and up.

Narrator Gary Bennett’s voice is the polar opposite of John Carter Aimone’s, providing a soothing and engagingly storytelling rendition of Bravo’s Freedom, perfect for kids through adults. Check out his sample here.

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

Plus, for a limited time, if you Buy One of our Audiobooks, You Can Get a Second of Equal or Lesser Value FREE!

Simply email us your receipt to info@whochainsyou.com, and let us know which book you’d like, and we’ll send you back your free code. You can find all our available audiobooks on our home page at http://www.whochainsyou.com. Happy Listening!

Excerpt from Award-Winning “Rescue Smiles” Shows Storytelling at its Finest

rescuesmilescoverlodropOur 2017 release Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation earned a best book distinction in the Human/Animal Bond category of the Dog Writers’ Association of America Annual Awards. The book features 15 stories offering a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear.

In grititude for this honor, we’d like to share with you an excerpt from one of our featured authors, Laura Koerber, and her delightful tale of an unusual bond in “The Bandit and the Engineer.”

The Bandit and the Engineer: Alice

by Laura Koerber

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The little dog crouched beneath the tangle of blackberries and salal and waited. The man banged the front door open, strode across the lawn, and flung himself into his SUV. The brake lights flashed, the engine hummed, and the car rolled backward into the street where it reoriented itself and vanished in a puff of exhaust.

She wrinkled her nose: bad smell. Then she waited. The door opened and a woman hurtled out. She had her arms full of stuff, which she dumped on the hood of her car while she fished for her keys. Then she looked over toward the little dog under the rhody.

They made eye contact. The little dog tensed, but this eye contact was part of the morning routine. Then the woman flung her stuff into the car, slid in, and blasted off in a swirl of noise and exhaust fumes.

The two people left at the same time every weekday morning. The little dog knew their routine because she had been watching them for months. She didn’t know the names of the days of the week, but she knew the pattern of days when they departed early in the morning and days when they didn’t.

As soon as the woman’s car was out of sight, the little dog emerged from the brush, scurried across the street, and dived into the safety of the forsythia hedge. She burrowed through the side yard shrubbery and popped out into the backyard where she was greeted by the moist smell of food. In one bound she was up on the deck and had her nose in the bowl.

The food was there every morning, and if she was quick, she got to eat it all. If she wasn’t quick, the cat got it first. Sometimes the crows got it. The crows she could chase off, but the cat was downright mean. She gobbled and snuffled with one eye out for the ferocious beast; but luckily, there was no cat today.

She stepped back from the bowl, licking her lips. What else could she find on the deck?
Water—there was always water in the bowl. The cat didn’t drink much, and didn’t mind sharing. The little dog was thirsty so she drank deeply. Then she had a quick look around.

Some bags of something that smelled nasty (fertilizer), a large potted plant that the cat had peed on, the smell of the human and cat on the doormat, and the scent of human on a pair of shoes. She sniffed carefully. She liked the warm human smell. She picked one shoe up. The fabric was soft in her mouth (canvas deck shoe). It had a sharp taste, very human (sweat).

She ran with the shoe in her mouth around the house, across the street, and into her private passageway through the berry canes and salal of the undeveloped lots. She felt safe in the comforting embrace of the forest. Her pace slowed. She had to hold her head up high to keep the shoe from snagging on the ferns and forest litter. She stopped by a fallen tree. The roots, ripped out of the ground, formed an immense fan shape, and were overgrown with moss and ferns. At the bottom of the fan in the dirt was a hollow which she had enlarged and deepened. She dropped the shoe into the hollow.

A fat drop of rain struck her one upraised ear. She heard the singing of the rain in the treetops; then she felt a wet sting on her nose. She wriggled down into her burrow.

It took awhile for her to rearrange the shoes to her satisfaction…

Wonder what happens to Alice and how she meets up with the Engineer? Continue your delight in Rescue Smiles, available in both paperback, kindle, and audiobook at these links:

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

 

The Kitty With the Itty-Bitty Tail—a Great Humane Education AND Anti-Bulling Tool for Classrooms and Family Reading Time

kittycoverlo-dropJust Released, in its 3rd Edition: The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail, by Sandra Biersdorfer.

“Look who’s coming down the hall! It’s Stubby Nubby, her tail so small!”

Most of us have experienced being made fun of or called names that hurt our feelings. Meet Ethel Kitty who doesn’t like being called names—like “Stubby Nubby”—just because she has a smaller tail than the other cats at school. Read along in this tale of tails as the new cat in town helps Ethel realize she is special despite her “shortcomings” and teaches her how to stand up to bullies.

In its third edition, author Sandra Biersdorfer adds playful song lyrics and talks about the real Ethel who inspired the tale. Perfect for ages 7 and up, The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail will delight readers big and small, and fit flawlessly into school humane education and bullying programs.

The book is currently available in both Paperback and Kindle, and will soon be out in Audio, too.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

ISBN-13: 978-1-946044-20-4

About the Author

authorphotoSandra Biersdorfer, a native of East Texas, has been an avid reader since childhood. Some of her favorite books are the Nancy Drew mysteries and The Little House on the Prairie series. She is an advocate for reading and enjoys reading to children and visiting schools as much as possible to share her love of reading and becoming an author.

Sandra currently lives in Nacogdoches, Texas, with her two feline fur babies Shadow, an adopted male black domestic short hair, and Ethel. Ethel is a rescue kitty, too, and is the subject of Sandra’s second published children’s book, The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail, because she does indeed have an itty-bitty tail. Her first children’s book, Nana’s Banana, was published in 2014, and her third, Papa’s Pumpkin, was published in 2017.

Sandra enjoys reading, writing, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends including her two grown children. Her son is a Math major at Stephen F. Austin State University, and her daughter is a high school English teacher in Katy ISD.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

ISBN-13: 978-1-946044-20-4

As Dogs Die in the Cold, Humans Flaunt Their Lack of Morality, Compassion

By Tamira Thayne

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A dog the author was eventually able to free from her frigid prison

“Don’t read the comments…don’t read the comments,” I muttered to myself, as I angrily and helplessly perused a particularly gruesome article about a dog frozen solid on a Toledo, Ohio porch, just days after Christmas.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/12/28/Dog-found-frozen-solid-on-central-Toledo-porch.html

After all, everyone knows most online commenters crawl from the boggy swamp each morning and slither back into its putrid depths as even daylight flees their remonstrances.

It’s madness to entertain the notion of reading this swill.

I read the comments.

“WHY do I read the comments?” I muttered to myself, as the next wave of anger crawled up my gullet and lodged in my thyroid, causing the death of millions of necessary cells and an immediate need to increase my dose of levoxyl.

One might reason that no one could logically argue that a dog left to freeze to death, curled up on the porch of an abandoned home, was within the bounds of humane treatment.

Yet online commenters—suffering from an obvious lack of morality and compassion—would once again cause me to lower the bar on what I perceive as the most subhuman level of societal dreghood.

Besides the whole gamut of “It’s just a dog” comments, one particularly egregious human posited that—because people are so much more important than dogs—if the guy had run into financial troubles, it followed that he would choose himself over the dog.

This was met with an odious amount of agreement from the peanut gallery of her fellow bog-dwellers, and I was forced by my remaining unexploded blood vessels to comment that a moral obligation to take care of humans in no way precludes the very same moral obligation to care for the animals we’ve taken responsibility for.

I also told them they were sick people. Sick, sick people.

Because they are.

In truth, though, I almost envy these heartless beings. Might it not be nice to be entirely unmoved by the plight of others?

To not hurt for the dogs left outside in the cold winter months? To not feel the excruciating and needless death of this poor creature as a black mark on the collective soul of our society?

Sometimes I wish I didn’t care. It turns out that caring is exceedingly painful.

Last night it dropped to 11 degrees in Culpeper County, Virginia, and below zero in many areas of the country. It’s set to dip even lower as the week goes on.

What do I do with this pain?

Even before I officially began advocating for backyard dogs in 2002, I remember the heightened anxiety I experienced on cold winter nights, and the very real fears for the survival of chained and other dogs left outside to fend for themselves in temperatures that would freeze a human within moments.

Now that I’m off the front lines of animal rescue, I find myself continuing to experience extreme anxiety in the severe cold, the knowledge of what these dogs must survive never relinquishing the space it has carved into my spirit.

As I walked to my chilly bedroom last night, changed into my flannel jammies, and threw on my space heater for a few minutes to warm up the room, I tried to push the pain aside so I could free myself (and maybe them?) in dreamland.

I shivered at what I perceived as the frigid touch of my blankets, feeling immediate shame that I could tolerate so little cold while the dogs didn’t even have the luxury of losing themselves in sleep, spending their 14 hours of darkness locked in a battle for basic survival.

I put myself in their fur for just a moment, feeling the wrap of the chain around my neck, the cold metal flash-freezing to my exposed skin, my hopeless and fruitless search for someplace, anyplace, within the reach of my tether to provide even a moment’s escape from the subzero windchill. I would huddle in the corner of my drafty house, wishing for bedding that didn’t exist, and a kindness and empathy from my guardians that would not be forthcoming.

I was depressed, despondent, terrified of death’s approach.

But I was just a dog, after all.

I pulled myself from the vision. The air around my bed was heavy with suffering, both mine and theirs, and I was wrapped in a cloak of misery.

What do I do with this pain?

That, I still have no answer for.

 

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A blind dog the author eventually freed, too.

Tamira Thayne is the author of The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Tamira pioneered the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years. During her time on the front lines of animal activism and rescue she took on plenty of bad guys (often failing miserably); her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center.

Tamira’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide, and worked with her daughter to take on a school system’s cat dissection program, garnering over 100,000 signatures against the practice.

In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers.

“Rescue Smiles” Wins Best Book: Human-Animal Bond Category—Will Put a Smile on Your Face Too!

rescuesmilescoverlodropWe’re very please to announce that our 2017 release, Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation, won the Dog Writers Association of America “Best Book: Human-Animal Bond” Category.

Explain co-editors Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne: “We titled the book Rescue Smiles because we wanted to remember—and for all of our readers to remember, too—that despite the inevitable heartache that comes from opening ourselves to animals in need, there exists such a magical connection that one cannot help but fall in love anew each day.

“We give our heartfelt thanks to all our contributing authors for opening their hearts to our readers and making the book so memorable and poignant.”

Rescue Smiles features the following tales and authors:

The Bandit and the Engineer: Alice, by Laura Koerber
The Beauty of Rescue: Una, the Biggest Ish, by Tamira Thayne
Home at Last: Sarge, by Reg Green
Heart of a Rat: Sabre, by Heather Leughmyer
In the Beginning: Blue and Ranger, by Joe Maringo
Coming in From the Cold: Misty, by Patti Lawson
For the Love of Blind Dogs: Dimitri, by Sarah Barnett
Mind of a Mouse: Pez, by Heather Leughmyer
Everlasting Love: Hope, by Joe Maringo
Inseparable Surprises: Cissy and Missy, by Barb Michael
Catalysts for Change: Cinnamon and Spice, by Sunny Aris
Her Gift to Me: Miss Rat, by Christopher C. Barnekov
Dying to Live: Gene-O, by Gayla Frances Evans
Uncompromised Compassion: Layla, Ricky, and Lucy, by Andee Bingham
A Feral Princess: Bootsie, aka Tootance, by Tamira Thayne
And All Things Nice: Cinnamon and Sugar, by Tamira Thayne
Finding Sanctuary: Von Truman, by Rachel Ogden
No More Chains: Gator, by Melody Whitworth
The Church Ladies: Lonestar and Tejas, by Joe Maringo
Sparrow in the House: Birdie, by Liz Woloski

Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation is available in paperback, kindle, kindleunlimited, and audiobook, at this link, and makes a wonderful gift for the animal lover in the family:

This Christmas, Finally, Pennsylvania Chained Dogs Will Find a Gift Under the Tree

Great post and op-ed for PA chained dogs.

Tamira Thayne's "Untethered"

(This Op-Ed appeared in an edited version in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, and can be read and commented on at this link. I encourage you to post a comment, as it will encourage the paper to print more animal opinion pieces.)

op-edbannerIn the past, Pennsylvania winters have brought the gift of anxiety to both dog rescuers and caring citizens forced to witness the suffering of neighborhood dogs from the warmth of their kitchen windows.

unchainpaWhile some humans hung lights from their porches and stockings from their chimneys, their dogs hung from tethers in the backyard—cold, hungry, thirsty, miserable, and, most of all, isolated.

Anyone who stepped forward to ease the suffering of these forgotten dogs was told to “mind their business”, or, worse, arrested for the “crime” of providing food, water, or medical care to one of God’s creatures.

As founder of the first national nonprofit focusing solely on backyard…

View original post 988 more words

Who Chains You Books Receives Two Nominations in the Dog Writers Association of America 2017 Writing Competition

Color us excited to announce that our publishing company, Who Chains You Books, has two nominations for our titles in the Dog Writers Association of America 2017 Writing Competition.

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In the Rescue or Adoption Books Category, author Laura Koerber’s I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue received our first nomination.

The book chronicles the story of not only one rescued dog, Daisy, but all one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found is available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook. Learn more at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Once-Was-Lost-But-Found/dp/194604413X/

rescuesmilescoverloOur second nomination came in the Human/Animal Bond category, where Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation received a favorable nod as well.

The book is edited by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne, and offers a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Join us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon steals Spice’s puppies, Alice steals everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspire to steal our hearts.

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, in this delightful first installment of Rescue Smiles.We hope you’re as captivated by the kinship between human and animal as we are.

With contributions by: Laura Koerber, Tamira Thayne, Reg Green, Heather Leughmyer, Joe Maringo, Patti Lawson, Sarah Barnett, Barb Michael, Sunny Aris, Christopher Barnekov, Gayla Evans, Andee Bingham, Rachel Ogden, Melody Whitworth, and Liz Woloski.

The book is available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook. Learn more at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Smiles-Favorite-Stories-Liberation/dp/1946044105/

We’re extremely honored and grateful to be nominated, and we wish all the nominees in all categories the best of luck. Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of our beloved companion animals!

Who Chains You Publishing Supports Humane Education in its Quest to Promote Kindness to Animals for Today’s Youth

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Humane Education is one of the most important tools we have to engender a sense of kindness in future generations. By breaking the chain of cruelty to animals through direct communication with youth in schools, we create a more caring society, for humans as well as animals. Our wholesale program is perfect to assist Humane Educators in teaching our youth about animal issues in society.

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We offer wholesale pricing of only $6.50 per book (with FREE Shipping—U.S. ONLY, please contact us for shipping to other countries), mix and match, to humane educators—and every book is available for the program. There is a 10 book minimum order for this program, after that the sky’s the limit!

Even better, for humane educators who need books in higher quantities, orders of 50+ books are only $6.00 each, a savings of over 50% off retail.

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Are you a humane educator in need of books? Then look no further! If you have questions or special needs, or would like to ask about other wholesale opportunities, email us at info@whochainsyou.com for more information.

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Interested in checking out all our available books? Please use the order form on our site to check availability and place your order.

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Our books are already in use in classrooms and libraries by teachers nationwide, like Sonya Wilson, pictured left.

Humane Educator Susan Hergert took books from Who Chains You to her first school visit. She writes in her blog: “When it was all over, I gave the students some books to keep there. They were thrilled with the selections and began to immediately read them! I truly wished I had brought more…a book for each child, perhaps. As I left, I told Nancy that I will bring more in the future.”

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Calling all Humane Educators:

Let us know what other topics or animal issues you are interested in sharing with students, and the age ranges you’d like the books to fit. We’d be happy to get our authors brainstorming book ideas for your topic of interest. Leave us a comment, below, with your suggestions. Thank you for caring about the kids and the animals!