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My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts - Laura T. Coffey ,Lori Fusaro

My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts - Laura T. Coffey, Lori Fusaro

Lovely book. Great photographs of good dogs leading good lives. Some of these stories are heartbreaking, although there is always a happy ending. There's good, practical advice about pet adoption in general, and about dog rescue in particular. Let me put my opinions out here, so that my next point has context: I am totally opposed to the breeding and selling of pets. For both dogs and cats the breed standards have become unhealthy and unwise, and until Southern states are as invested in spaying and neutering strays as Northern states, there will continue to be more adoptable animals than will ever find homes. So I have nothing but respect for people who devote their time and talents to finding good homes for pets.

But. This book reveals an aspect of good-doing that has gone hopelessly awry. There are many examples here of pets who are happy and loved, but who cannot be kept by their people for numerous financial reasons: loss of income, loss of housing, and the high cost of needed healthcare for aging critters. Loving people are forced to surrender loved pets most often because they can't get money to keep them. And repeatedly in this book there are stories of rescue groups who raise money to pay for dental work or maintenance medicines or surgeries for surrendered animals. The funders, the fundraisers, the foster homes for ill pets, and the medical providers who give their time and expertise to treat pets as cheaply as possible, all these people are dedicated and generous and have nothing but good intentions. So why aren't the money and effort and support going to people before they are forced to surrender their pets? It's true for children, and elderly folks, as well as pets: if direct financial assistance was offered during the crisis not only would more families remain intact, but everyone would be happier and healthier. Medical crises shouldn't bankrupt and break up animal families any more than they should bankrupt and break up human families. If we offer the right help at the right time, maybe they won't have to.

Library copy