Dogland: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Dog Problem

Jacki Skole. Ashland Creek, $17.95 trade paper (270p) ISBN 978-1-61822-038-7
When journalist Skole adopted a “quirky” mixed-breed puppy from a rescue shelter in New Jersey, she hadn’t counted on the journey she’d find herself taking in search of the pup’s origins. Skole sets out to locate an address in rural South Carolina, hoping to find the person who surrendered Galen to the kill shelter from which she was rescued and taken north. On the way, Skole meets a variety of people associated with shelters and learns that while the northern states may have a dearth of puppies available for adoptions, shelters in the South are overflowing with them: dogs that have been surrendered, rescued from the streets, or “set out” (i.e., dumped) in boxes in wealthy neighborhoods. The ratio of people to dogs in shelters within poorer communities is exponentially higher than in wealthier areas. Skole determines that a culture of dog ownership that views canines more as property than living animals may be the root cause of the alarmingly high euthanasia rate in Southern shelters. Those who have given their hearts and homes to shelter dogs will find much here to validate their love, but ultimately the book is meant as a call to action. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/29/2015
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