Some Great Nonfiction Picture Books Perfect for Getting Kids Ready to Start the School Year

Who doesn’t love elephants? After reading “How to Be an Elephant” by Katherine Roy, kids (and adults) will love elephants even more. The book is beautifully illustrated with watercolor scenes and filled with interesting information about elephants from birth on. ElephantFinalCoverThe first page of information is “Family Matters,” and Roy explains that African elephants are “one of the species on Earth that live in permanent social groups.” She compares what a baby elephant needs to learn to what a baby human needs to learn. Readers learn about how elephants walk with their huge bodies and what makes their nose so important and powerful. It’s fascinating! Included are diagrams that clarify the text and make it visually appealing. The life-like sketches almost seem to move at times as Roy shows a baby through different stages growing up and learning to behave. Kids will really enjoy this book as a read aloud and later as a book to peruse and learn from. (Roaring Brook Press)

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Two Dogs, Two DNA Tests — How Much to Spend to Find Out Fido’s Ancestry?


Some dogs come with AKC papers, and their heritage is crystal clear in their looks. Others may come from pet stores and have AKC papers, but their looks may be deceiving — was there a slip-up at the puppy mill? And many wonderful people adopt their dogs from rescues or animal shelters. Still others may find stray or abandoned dogs in the street and keep them. Another dog may clearly be a German shepherd mix or a beagle mix. Others might have a bully look. Some have hound-like long, silky ears. And another might be touted as a malitpoo, a goldendoodle or a labradoodle — in reality, all adorable mutts. But science says that trying to determine a dog’s breed from its looks is not only unscientific, but most of the time leads to incorrect guesses.

Studies have shown that when shelter workers guess a dog’s breed, they are often wrong. And in shelters where bully breeds are subject to BSL, or breed specific legislation, that can literally kill a dog. There is only one way to definitively find out who Fido’s ancestors were — using Fido’s DNA to trace his or her lineage.

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Over 200 Feral Cats and Kittens Helped by Two Dedicated Women in Beach Park, IL


Mindy Brown and Janet Ward are determined to finish what they started. There were over 300 feral cats and kittens running around a trailer park, many of them literally in Brown’s backyard.  After a decade of stray cats multiplying, Brown decided something had to be done.


Mindy and Janet

“There were cats dying in the street. Some got run over by cars. Kittens dying from disease,” Brown said. So she called Spay and Stay, an organization that supports trap-neuter-release (TNR) in Lake County. They put Brown in touch with Janet Ward, one of their volunteers.   Continue reading

10 Amazing dogs will be killed this Tuesday unless you help

sebring 5:2 deadline.jpg

In a small, county shelter in Sebring, Florida, five wonderful dogs are waiting in concrete kennels. They have been waiting for someone to adopt them or for a rescue to pull them. Now, they have been waiting too long, and they all are scheduled to be killed on Tuesday if no one has saved them, and the shelter needs their kennel.

Sweet puppy brothers Mack and Marcus are going die. So will the lovely Matilda, and others.

How can people who are not even close to Florida help? How can people who cannot adopt or foster another dog help?

By simply sharing their story on social media, it increases the chance that a rescue somewhere will see them and decide to save one or two of them. Transport could be available for rescues.

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Dog Gets Loving Family and New K9 Friend After Long Journey to America

abiie and chloe

It’s been a long journey for Chloe, a Shiba Inu mix, from the dusty streets of rural China to the spacious fenced-in backyard of a suburban Chicago home. But now she has a home and a best friend.

Best friends — sharing a bed

When she was taken off the streets in rural China at six months of age, she had already been hit by a car, abused by children and adults alike, and become scared and aggressive toward other dogs. But ‘Hey Baby,’ as she was called, was still one of the lucky ones.

She lived in a shed with around 15 other dogs. Each morning, the dogs were fed and let outside into a small fenced, concrete area for the day. Each evening they were fed again, and shut up in the shed. The shed was unheated in winter, so the dogs with little fur suffered in the cold. In the summer, with the fierce Chinese heat, the dogs with ample fur like Hey Baby suffered from the lack of cool air. Continue reading

Chipotle is a Wonderful Dog Who Dies Tomorrow in New York


Chipotle’s cherry eye (in both eyes) was fixed when she was spayed!

Chipotle dies tomorrow. She is at the New York Animal Care and Control, and no matter how sweet, how well-behaved, how lovely  dogs are, they are killed when their time is up.

Chipotle is an example of a fabulous dog who will die. She has had less then two weeks in the shelter. She is an amazing dog. When the police found her, she was scared. But when they opened the car door, she jumped right in. When they arrived at the shelter, Chipotle was afraid to get out of the car, but when offered a walk and some treats, she came right out. During the admission process, she was nervous but warmed up to the counselors — especially when offered treats. She allowed all handling — even frightened as she was in the strange surroundings.

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4-Year-Old Dog with Old Injury Desperately Needs Rescue


Update: She was pulled by rescue!!

This is a short plea for a rescue — or wealthy benefactor — to help Lady, a small, four-year-old Shih Tzu who is currently at Miami Dade Animal Services. Their vet examined her and her report shared on her Facebook page says:

“Pet presents for evaluation of an injury. She’s unable to stand in the hind end and drags her hind limbs when walking. There are large abrasions present on the dorsal surface of both hind paws. The hair coat has a strong smell of urine and the hair coat is dull and soiled. It is apparent that the inciting cause of the injures likely occurred some time ago. Absent conscious proprioception in both hind limbs with sensation present in both hind paws. Quiet, alert, responsive, and approximately 6 – 7 % dehydrated. Oral mucous membranes are pink and slightly tacky with a capillary refill time of less than 2 seconds. The abdomen is very tense during palpitation. She has a good appetite at this time. Thoracic auscultation reveals a Grade II/VI left sided heart murmur with clear lung sounds. She is a very sweet girl! Recommend transfer to rescue ASAP for further diagnostics and care. Humane euthanasia may be indicated.”

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Dumped at the shelter when the family got a puppy — Rocky is desperately in need of a home


His family decided to get a puppy. Instead of slowing introducing the puppy to the resident dog, Rocky, the family just threw them together. Rocky, who had been with the family for four years, did not accept the puppy.

His family gave him no time to adjust. They took Rocky to the shelter and left him there — after four years of his loving their kids and their family. They said he’s great with kids and great with big dogs. Volunteers are worried because even though his video has had over 100,000 views, he is still at the shelter. He has been there for almost two months.

His Facebook post says, “He did amazing on his TEMP TEST and he CAN GO HOME TODAY!” That means that the shelter gave him a temperament test, and Rocky passed with flying colors. He is NOT considered rescue only, but can be adopted directly. Continue reading

No Christmas Miracle for Princess; ‘No-kill’ shelter killed her 5 days before Christmas


Princess was abandoned by her family at a county shelter just weeks before Christmas. Rescuers on Facebook were working frantically trying to save her. Because Miami Dade Animal Services proclaims that they are “no-kill” and that they keep animals for months if that’s what it takes to get them homes, rescuers probably thought they had some time.

But after less than two weeks at the shelter, just five days before Christmas, those who make life-and-death decisions at MDAS decided that Princess’ time was up — even though she had been at the shelter for less than two weeks!

Princess’ Facebook post said:

Princess #A1816111 owner surrender, attention seeking, friendly, pawing at kennel door. Reactive to barking dogs and joins in their loud cacophony. Pod I in the rear Miami Dade Animal Services



Commenters on a thread trying to save her wrote: “When that girl went there today she said there were a lot of cages empty and I was reading princesses thread looks like she was adopted back on October 28 and then dumped back there on December 10.” and “Omg!!! They are out of control murderers !!!!!! I feel there’s more they never kill just one I don’t understand why!!!!!!

Princess was failed by so many, including her family and those who work at the shelter and didn’t give her time to get networked and rescued. She was failed by those in Miami who refuse to implement the Pet’s Trust Initiative (which would sterilize thousands of animals, resulting in fewer animals at the shelter). The volunteers did not fail her. They tried to save her. And they are heartbroken.