What Happens when Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound is Bought by an Animal Activist? Find out in “It Went to the Dogs”

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We’re Proud to Announce Our New Release,
from Who Chains You Books!

It Went to the Dogs:
How Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound Became a Haven for Rescue Pups

by Tamira Thayne

What could possibly go wrong when a dog activist buys Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound? As it turns out…everything.

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The house sat empty, an eerie white sentinel against the flat winter landscape, now guarding only whispers of the past. A six-foot white metal fence with coded entry gate lined the country road, abandoning its purpose at the property line and allowing passage to all with the temerity and curiosity to walk around.

The bullet hole in the front window went unnoticed.

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Tamira Thayne was alone, parked across the street, and early for her appointment with the Hampton Roads, Virginia realtor. Today was the day she’d tour Michael Vick’s former dogfighting compound, something she’d never imagined nor particularly wanted to do.

It seemed pretty creepy, truth be told.

Tamira felt the whispers surround her, reaching out. The rescuer in her wanted to rescue the ghosts, too; embrace the broken dogs who lay undiscovered and probably buried on the property, assure them they weren’t forgotten. She shuddered, pulling herself together.

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The decision Tamira would make that fateful day in February 2011 would lead not only to a home for her nonprofit’s rescue dogs, but also to the most turbulent four years of her life: she faced down allegations of racism, community harassment, poisoning, and, ultimately, false charges aimed at driving her and Dogs Deserve Better from the county.

There was a reason Michael Vick felt he could get away with dogfighting in Surry County, Virginia—and why he got away with it for as long as he did…

With over 200 bw photos and documents.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-946044-67-9 • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-946044-69-3

Buy in Paperback from Amazon
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Buy in hardcover direct from printer
Buy a Signed Paperback Copy

About the Author

Tamira Thayne 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. She’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide.

Tamira is the author of It Went to the Dogs: How Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound Became a Haven for Rescue Pups, the Chained Gods Series, the Animal Protectors Series, Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains. She’s the editor of More Rescue Smiles, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles. In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers.

Tamira is an Air Force veteran who 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.

Fundraising with Books: for our Animal Non-Profit Friends

To our Animal Nonprofit Friends:

Do you set up educational booths to promote your message for the animals? If so, our books (and our wholesale pricing for non-profits) will help you spread not only your message of compassion for all living beings, but also raise funds for your cause—which we know is crucial to keeping your nonprofit afloat.

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We offer wholesale pricing of only $6.50 per book (with FREE Shipping for U.S. Nonprofits), mix and match, to nonprofits and independent bookstores—and every book is available for the program. There is a 10 book minimum order, after that the sky’s the limit!

To check out our non-profit pricing and order form, visit this link: http://whochainsyou.com/nonprofitorder.html

happydogloWho Chains You Books sells and promotes only books by and for animal lovers, rescuers, and activists. We offer titles for both children and adults, in topics ranging from dog chaining, to shelter rescue, to thought-provoking poetry, to tales of hero pets and the folks who save them.

We also feature an educational coloring book, illustrating all the ways children can get active for chained dogs. To learn more about our Happy Dog Coloring Books, visit this link: http://whochainsyou.com/happydog.html

P.S. Did you know we’re seeking story submissions of 1000-3000 words for our award-winning Rescue Smiles series? We’d love to feature one of your happy ending rescue stories!

MoreRScover18loYour participation raises awareness for your organization, your mission, and provides you with another fundraising avenue. Find out all the details to submit your story at this link. https://whochainsyou.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/does-your-animal-rescue-story-deserve-to-be-in-a-book-nows-your-chance/

We hope to hear from you soon, and as always, thank YOU for helping our animals friends. We know the work is hard, and we are grateful for all you’ve done for our four-legged, two-legged, furred and feathered friends.

Tamira Thayne
Publisher, Who Chains You Books

http://www.whochainsyou.com

Our Maxwell Award for “Rescue Smiles” Arrived Today!

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You know how it is when you win your first award…you wait and wait for it to come in the mail, tell yourself it’s not a big deal, know it probably doesn’t matter to anyone but you, anyway…

Yet you still just can’t wait.

That was us, waiting for our Maxwell Award to come for Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation, which took the award for Best Book: Human/Animal Bond.

Because to us it DOES mean something. As a small publisher—only 1.5 years into our efforts to put out books by and for animal lovers, activists, and rescuers—every small milestone counts.

Our first award tells us our work CAN make a difference, CAN bring awareness for animals and those who love them and work on their behalf.

It brings us hope, and the will to keep going.

And for that we are extremely grateful.

So thank you, Maxwell Award, and those at the Dog Writers Association of America for reading our book and giving the nod to our efforts.

Thanks to our editors, Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne, who pulled stories together for the book, and are already in the planning stages for our second one, More Rescue Smiles.

And most of all thanks to our story authors for trusting us with your tales and letting us share them with the world.

The book is available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook, at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Smiles-Favorite-Stories-Liberation/dp/1946044105/

We hope you’ll read it, enjoy it, and pass it along.

Want to submit your own rescue story for More Rescue Smiles? We’d love to see it! Submit here: http://whochainsyou.com/mystoryform.html

“Happy Dog!” Coloring Book Highlights Dog Chaining and Happily-Ever-Afters: Plus, FREE Bonus Coloring Pages

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Happy Dog! Coloring Book

From Chained to Cherished

Written and Designed by Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by April Pedersen

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.

Ranger tells the kids about his hopes and dreams, and how he was ultimately saved from a life no dog should have to suffer. By the end of his tale, his fans will be smiling and proclaiming themselves to be Happy Dogs right along with him.

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

The book can be purchased singly or in bulk for classroom use, birthday parties—you name it! Find out all your options here: http://whochainsyou.com/happydog.html

Purchase single copies directly from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946044210/

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Plus, get a FREE .pdf Booklet with 8 additional coloring pages and activities by emailing your receipt to info@whochainsyou.com, or by signing up for our bi-monthly e-news through our page link: http://whochainsyou.com/happydog.html

About the Author:

tamijewelonyxloAuthor and designer Tamira Thayne rescued and fostered over 250 dogs, giving them the happiness they deserved instead of life on a chain, during her time leading Dogs Deserve Better—a nonprofit who freed dogs from chains and pens.

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

About the Illustrator:

aprilpedersenApril Pedersen is a freelance artist based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, geocaching, science fiction, video poker, and chess. April is the illustrator of the Happy Dog! Coloring Book, Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, and Bravo’s Freedom.

“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:

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!

“I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue” Now Available in Audio, with its own Book Trailer, Too!

lostcover-audioloFor those who enjoy listening to books on audio while commuting to work or traveling, we’ve got a great new selection for you: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue.

The book is written by author Laura Koerber, with audiobook narration by Kelly Libatique.

On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

It is also the story of the rescue of 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.

Interested? Watch the Book Trailer for “I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue” by Laura Koerber. Audiobook Narration by Kelly Libatique. Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook from this link: https://www.amazon.com/Once-Was-Lost-But-Found/dp/194604413X/

YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/F3eAbE5OUSE

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year | Buy Audiobook | Watch Book Trailer

About the Author

Laura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. 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 upcoming The Shapeshifter’s Tale. She is a contributing author to Rescue Smiles.

About the Narrator

Kelly Libatique began his career in the high-tech and telecom industries in the early ’90s as a technical writer and trainer. Since then, he has done training, speaking, marketing, and representing around the country for some of the biggest players in the corporate world, including Sony Electronics, Cisco Systems, and Verizon Wireless.

Kelly has been a theatre performer since grade school still regularly performs as an actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer. Although he does camera and commercial acting from time to time, he found his true love to be voice-over.

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Education and resides in the San Francisco East Bay area. Check out all his work at his website: https://www.klvoice.com/

Now Out! I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue

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On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

It is also the story of the rescue of 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.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

About the Author

laurakoerbercolorLaura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. 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 the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, and the upcoming The Shapeshifter’s Tale, and Limbo. She is also a contributing author to Rescue Smiles.

Here are some of the author’s thoughts on the book, written to her FB page last evening:

Okay, so here it is at long last. Or it seems like at long last to me, since I started working on it about two years ago.

The OAS rescue was a tremendously meaningful experience to a lot of people and the meanings are as varied as the people. It is not one story. It is hundreds of stories.

It is a fundraiser for OAS rescues, as I’m donating all my portion of sales to those who took in the dogs. Also, any nonprofit rescues can order books at reduced cost from the publisher, set their own price, and sell the book as a fundraiser to their supporters and the public.

Interested in selling this book as a fundraiser for your nonprofit? All books are $6.50 for nonprofits and indie bookstores (mix and match), which includes shipping. You can order in bulk from our nonprofit ordering page here: http://whochainsyou.com/nonprofitorder.html

What is the book about? My goal was to use the story of Daisy’s odyssey through the Olympic Animal Sanctuary as an overview of what happened, but also as a vehicle for informing readers about hoarders, failed rescues, law enforcement issues, trainers and behaviorists, and actions people can take when they become aware of abuse or neglect. The people named in the book are the ones who were named in the press or on TV. About twenty dogs are mentioned as illustrations of various points made in the text, such as the condition of dogs when rescued. The book is written in first person as a narrative with some sections written more formally. There are lots of photos, courtesy of many people who stepped up along the way, and from the Forks police files.

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Photo by Ernst-Ulrich Schafer, http://www.ernstschafer.com/

Shari Forst provided a story about Cream to illustrate how a behaviorist works with a dog and I added a tribute to Old Man Tucker just because…I think I would have loved him if I had ever had a chance to meet him. There is also a piece written by Jim Crosby who did the evaluations of the final dogs which is included to show how a real professional evaluates a dog. The cover features a very lovely artistic shot from professional photographer Ernst-Ulrich Schafer.

The book is not a comprehensive chronicle of everyone, every dog and everything that happened. For example, it does not include the long process of placing dogs after they got to Arizona.

In the end, I wanted the book to be uplifting. I hope it will inspire people who are not active in rescue to get active. I do hope that the people who were involved in the rescue, even if they are not specifically mentioned, will know that I wrote it in honor of all of you. Thank you.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

It’s Here! Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation is Now Available

You can color us excited…Rescue Smiles is HERE!

Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories
of Love and Liberation

Edited by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne

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 is pleased to offer 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, Kat Soul, Rachel Ogden, Melody Whitworth, and Liz Woloski.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year, Unchained Melodies

The book is available wholesale for animal rescue nonprofits and independent bookstores. Visit our wholesale page to learn more and place your order today.

Old Wounds and a New Book: Thoughts on her Upcoming Olympic Animal Sanctuary book, by Laura Koerber

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Debris piled outside the pink shed in Forks, WA where many dogs lost their lives.

A note about an Upcoming book from Who Chains You Publishing: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, by author Laura Koerber.

Laura has put out the following statement about the meaning behind the work she’s done to bring this story of Daisy and what she and the other dogs went through there:

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Author Laura Koerber

“I am almost done with a book about the rescue of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary dogs.

For some people that sentence is very meaningful and will trigger an emotional response: heartbreak, rage, love, awe, gratitude…

For others, that sentence means nothing, but I hope to change that.

My reaction is complex and varied. On one level, it is a story. An amazing and inspiring story about protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests and an attempt by the abuser to run away with over one hundred dogs packed in a semi truck. On another level, it is a reality, the reality of a great wrong that was done, a wrong that was righted for some, but not for all. And the victims, the dogs that experienced the wrong, are getting old and dying off. I can’t think of them without oscillating between anger, tears, and gratitude. I don’t want their suffering to be forgotten.

After all, the OAS dogs are by no means the only ones to have suffered in the hands of a hoarder, or a failed rescue or a puppymill. There are thousands of dogs and other animals suffering the same kind of abuse right now as you read this. And all over the US, local authorities either refuse to act or actively support the abusers.

The rescue was done because of activists using Facebook. Yes, the notorious social media, supposedly a fever swamp of vindictive inaccuracies. The whistleblower alerted the world of the abuse through Facebook and hundreds of people got organized and engaged in a wide range of activities to free the dogs by using Facebook. People wrote consumer fraud complaints, organized protests, communicated with local officials, raised money, and, after about a year of effort, freed the dogs. Freed the ones that survived.

That’s the part that hurts my heart. Not all of them survived.

Goodby Mario, Lexy, Rocket. I am so sorry Phoenix, Doc, Suki and Malakai. Run free, Dixie and Abel.

But I don’t want their deaths to be for nothing. The OAS rescue is a model that other people could use against abusers in their vicinity. The book is, in a way, a recipe, a how-to guide.

The title is “I Once Was Lost, but Now I’m Found”. The book follows the life of one OAS dog, Daisy, before she was sent to the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, while she was incarcerated there, her trip on the truck to Arizona, and her return home to a family here in Washington state. Along the way the book includes information on hoarders, rescues, trainers and behaviorists, difficulties with law enforcement, and other issues of interest to people who care about the well-being of animals.

The author plans to donate her proceeds to animal groups caring for the rescued dogs.