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DogTown: Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation,…
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DogTown: Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Redemption (2009)

by Stefan Bechtel

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623299,598 (3.75)10
This collection of stories tells of the dedicated people at the Dogtown rescue organization in Kanab, Utah, who are devoted to helping unadoptable animals find welcoming homes.

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DogTown is an entertaining and heartwarming collection of real-life stories, about dogs who have ended up at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

As a collection of dog stories, it's a bit like "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul". It's heartwarming and inspirational, and filled with wonderful dogs. But it's not a tearjerker; each story will have you smiling with delight as the dog finds his niche in the world. There are very few "I loved this dog and then he died" stories here.

A photo of the canine star accompanies each story in the book. It's very nice to see the furry face that belongs with each story - and they are great pictures, full of personality. Each story is the story of a particular dog, told by different employees and volunteers at the sanctuary. Since each story has a different author, the writing quality is a bit uneven. But this a book that you read for the inspirational story, not for the prose.

This book made me aware that there is also a television show, on the National Geographic channel, that features the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The book was completely enjoyable without ever having seen the show. ( )
  SugarCreekRanch | Mar 25, 2010 |
This book is based on Dogtown, the dog sanctuary part of Best Friends Animal Society (www.BestFriends.org) and on the National Geographic specials about Dogtown, where every dog is given the best life possible, whether able to be placed with a family or not.

The book is divided into chapters, each about a special dog and about the people who care for them. Included are great black and white photos of the dogs and those who care for them. The hardest chapter for me to read was the first, about a pit bull named Georgia who is one of the dogs confiscated after Michael Vick was busted for dog fighting. I read it with alternate sorrow for the dogs involved and anger and a tightly clenched jaw that Vick and his felonious cohorts so abused dogs for their selfish, sadistic, greedy purposes, and that dog fighting is still going on every day. (I guess it is pretty clear where I stand on the Vick case. I've had to edit this twice to take some of my editorializing.) But back to the book.)

Although the dogs that ended up at Dogtown were (and are) given wonderful treatment and kindness, often rehabilitated and able to be placed with families, the stories of how they came to Dogtown are so heartbreaking. Although this is an upbeat book with emphasis on happy endings, the beginnings cannot be ignored. Despite that, it is wonderful to read how formerly abused or injured or fear-aggressive or just plain unwanted and sad dogs can find joy in their everyday lives. I gave this book four stars not because it is extremely well written because it is not although it is competently and touchingly written. I've given it four stars because I think animal lovers everywhere will be glad they read it, as I am, and will cheer the spirit of these dogs and the people who devote their lives to them. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Feb 27, 2010 |
It has been mentioned that the dogs whose stories are told in this book are the same dogs that are used in the television show of the same name on the National Geographic channel. Regardless, the stories are heartfelt, heart-warming and sincere. The trainers and other various staff at the facility tell their own personal stories of the dogs that changed their lives and contributed to their decision to become members of the Society. Included are the stories of the pit bulls that were rescued from the horrendous conditions at the Vick home where Michael Vick held dog fights and bred the unfortunate dogs for profit. Every rescue does not have the same philosophy, but the dog that finds itself at the Dogtown facility is a lucky dog. They do not put their rescues to death regardless of the situation the animal has come from. They will try rehabilitation or they will dedicate themselves to the dog for the duration of its life. While they are not oblivious to a particular dog's tendency to bite, they feel that each dog, including the biters should not be held to a death sentence for a behavior that is motivated by fear, deprivation or abuse. They treat each dog with a measure of respect that recognizes the power of a large dog, or the damage a set of canine teeth is capable of, while allowing the animal to be forgiven its tendency to defend itself in the only way it knows how. The book is written for the layperson who can easily recognize the message the Society is putting out there. Be a responsible pet owner, and a decent human being towards all species. I think any dog lover would enjoy the book which is just under 300 pages and full of stories of different breeds and various situations the dogs have found themselves in. ( )
1 vote mmignano11 | Jan 10, 2010 |
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