Do You Love Animals As Much As I Do?
My newest book, The Best Dog In The World, is about a topic that is very special to me. I have always been an animal lover. Over the years I've had many dogs, and a few cats. All of them were rescued from shelters (or, in the case of one cat, fostered after I found her on the street.) I also volunteer at the pet rescue organization where my family acquired one of our dogs.
Six to eight million dogs and cats enter shelters every year. Only about half of them get adopted. The rest are left to live out their lives in shelters... or worse. I have even read that as many as 70% of pets that are purchased, rescued, or otherwise taken in by people, are eventually given up by their owners.
I wanted a way to teach kids about the issue of homeless pets, but in a way that wasn't too harsh or upsetting. (I am the type of person who cannot get through a book or movie if an animal dies, and I know there are many sensitive children who feel the same way!)
In The Best Dog In The World, Steven and his mother become involved with a rescue organization that houses pets in foster homes instead of in a shelter. Steven helps with the training and socialization of Pixie, the dog they are fostering. He goes along to the adoption shows, and helps teach other children how to interact with dogs. So this story shows kids that, yes, there are sad things in the world... but they don't have to just listen helplessly when they learn about sad things. They can do something to make a difference. Throughout their lives, they can make changes in the world.
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