SCIENCES

One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and A Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues

Pegasus. Jul. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781643134123. $27.95. PETS
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Blogger, novelist, and advocate Achterberg (Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs) begins her latest book by chronicling a difficult year with Gala, her 99th foster dog. The author’s experiences with all of her foster dogs, and with the grueling, quicksand-like nature of rescue, compelled her to expand her focus to the shelters, rescues, and dogs across the rural South. Combining her book tour for Another Good Dog with a shelter tour, Achterberg visited facilities of all kinds, including those tucked away in unwelcoming parts of cities and counties, where less than 10 percent of dogs who enter will leave alive—and the numbers are in the hundreds for even the smallest shelter. The phrase “at capacity” repeatedly describes the environments Achterberg encounters: kennels full, emotions stretched, funding nonexistent. Similar to Peter Zheutlin’s Rescue Road, this portrait of animal rescue in the southern United States is equally heartbreaking and heartwarming. With a mission to expose the work being done at the shelters and rescues she toured, Achterberg hopes that once people know about the need for help, they will pursue it. She ends the book with resources and guidance for doing so.
VERDICT This honest, engaging journey should be shared with all animal and pet lovers, especially those in the Southern states the author profiles.

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