Little Boy Blue: A Puppy's Rescue from Death Row and His Owner's Journey for Truth
"A moving call to action."
" --Kirkus Reviews
Kim Kavin's first encounter with Blue-- "
"He seemed shell-shocked--as any baby would be after riding five hundred miles in a cage in an RV in the middle of the night--but he let me hold him, and he gave me a kiss, and he looked up at me with big brown eyes that said, 'Trust me, I'm a survivor.' "
"It was there [at my veterinarian] that I'd get my first real insights into the place where he'd started his journey, along with my first inkling that something about his situation had been horribly, horribly wrong."
"I paused for a moment, trying to digest what she'd just told me.
" 'I'm sorry, ' I said, shocked . . . 'Would . . . you . .. please . . . say that again?'
" 'Ninety-two percent, ' she said. 'They kill almost all of them. We pulled him out at the last minute. He was headed for the gas chamber.' "
When journalist Kim Kavin decided to adopt a puppy, she went to her computer, clicked on an online photo, and submitted an application. She had no idea that the adorable brindle puppy--advertised as healthy and available near her New Jersey home--was a last-minute rescue from a gas-chamber shelter in North Carolina. Kavin quickly saw that Blue was happy and friendly, but his manner indicated that he'd endured some unknown ordeal. Curious, she traced Blue's history all the way back to a long, dismal row of cages where, at the time of his rescue, he 72 hours to live.
" Little Boy Blue " is the true, shocking expos that describes a brutal ongoing reality that prevails in many of America's taxpayer-funded shelters. But it's also the inspiring story of a grass-roots canine rescue network of dedicated animal lovers whose continuing efforts are saving countless dogs from unwarranted death.
Kim Kavin is a widely published award-winning journalist and a volunteer worker dedicated to fostering puppies who have been saved from high-kill shelters, but who have not yet been adopted. She lives in Long Valley, NJ, where her hobbies include cooking, wine tasting, and hiking local park trails with her dog Blue.
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When Kim Kavin lost her beloved old dog Floyd, she began to search for a puppy to keep her other dog, Stella, company. Scrolling through puppy pictures on Petfinder.com, she fell in love with the photo of a brindled Labrador/Plott hound mix. Living in New Jersey, Kavin was excited to see that the adorable puppy was in nearby Pennsylvania. Kavin soon learned, however, that her new puppy was not from Pennsylvania but rather from a “kill shelter” in North Carolina. This was the first inkling of her dog’s mysterious past, a history that would send Kavin, a journalist who proves she knows how to research a topic, on a trip through the deep South and the horrors that surround the world of kill shelters.
When “Blue,” Kavin’s new puppy, arrived, he was shy but very sweet. The author asked herself again and again why such a wonderful dog was scheduled to be euthanized. Surely there had to be many people wanting such a perfect puppy. After talking to her vet about Blue’s possible bout of ringworm, and tracking down one of the volunteers from the rescue in North Carolina, Kavin found herself asking more and more questions and getting very few answers. When she learned that Blue came from a shelter that used a gas chamber to kill its dogs, she was horrified.
Kavin soon set out on a trip to discover for herself just what was going on with the shelters in various southern states. Why were gas chambers the preferred method of euthanizing animals in so many of these shelters, and how did the rescue organizations work behind the scenes to save so many, but never enough, dogs and cats?
Anger, heartbreak, and happiness are just a few of the emotions you’ll experience as you read this book. Kavin is not timid, and goes right to the people in charge of the shelters to ask the “hows,” “whys” and “how could you?” questions that you too, will want answered. She introduces the reader to numerous groups working, against the odds, to save as many dogs as possible. And while she uses plenty of statistics and facts to back up everything she says, the book reads like a mystery unfolding and not a technical journal on the world of animal shelters. If you love dogs, this is one book you must read. It’s too important not to bring to light the awful truths surrounding our “throw-away” dogs.
Quill says: This book changed my plans for our next dog – which will be a rescue. Read it and you too, will want to help save these dogs.
(Reviewed by Ellen Feld for Feathered Quill Book Reviews)