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Saving Gracie: How One Dog Escaped the Shadowy World of American Puppy Mills Paperback – April 1, 2001
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From the Back Cover
"[A] scorching investigation of puppy mills. . . . [This] book is an impassioned call to action."
A compelling true story of one dog's rescue from a pennsylvania puppy mill
In the United States alone, an estimated 10,000 cramped kennels produce as many as 4 million dogs a year—innocent, often diseased, and emotionally damaged animals who are then sold to unsuspecting families as "purebred" puppies. Worse, some—like Gracie—are kept behind and turned into breeding stock, doomed to a life of confinement with nothing to look forward to but monotony and loneliness. But not every tale about a puppy mill dog has a sad ending, as you'll learn in this heartwarming book.
Saving Gracie uses the poignant transformation of a scruffy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from her sentence as a breeding dog to tell the story of America's hidden puppy mills. Award-winning journalist Carol Bradley chronicles Gracie's makeover from a bedraggled animal worn out from bearing too many litters into a loving, healthy member of her new family; and follows her owner, Linda, as she becomes passionately dedicated to saving Gracie's life and spreading the word about the millions of American puppy mill dogs who need our help. Saving Gracie will open your eyes, warm your heart, and call you to action.
About the Author
Carol Bradley is a former newspaper reporter who studied Animal Law as a 2004 Nieman Fellow at Harvard. She spent twenty-six years covering the U.S. Congress and state legislatures in Tennessee and New York and writing features and investigative stories in Montana.
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I knew when I got him something was up with the breeder, things just "weren't right" when I got there. So what to do? Of course bring him home and give him the best possible life I could. I have a job that lets me mostly work from home, I take him EVERYWHERE with me, so it's rare for me to be out of his sight. And that makes us both happy.
So when I saw this book I was really intrigued to see if I could get some insight that might help me understand Arthur and to help him gain more confidence. This book is somewhat misleading in that you think it's a story about one dog and the lady who loved her. In reality, about 45 of the 242 pages are on Linda, her family, and their dogs (including Gracie). Yet somehow that is enough.
The majority of the book is about the puppy mill industry in general, many many heart breaking examples, and some great help at the end to give you ideas where to go if you want to help stop this horror. Yes, as many other reviews said, in some ways this book is tedious with details that really don't matter (who drove which can to the rescue that day, etc). I think that's just the resilt of the authors extensive time as a newspaper reporter's style. I didn't really mind that.
The reason I didn't mind the details and many stories is that it has FINALLY sunk into my head the enormity of the situation. It also is now clear the unbelievable number of man hours people have spent trying to get regulations in place to control this. Also how far we have come, and sadly how far we still have to go. With an estimated (according toothed book) 2-4 million puppies a year churned out of puppy mills, this is still a problem we can't ignore.
For example, I had NO idea many Amish now raise dogs because it's an easy income for them. The problem is dogs are not pets to them, they are "like ears of corn" the book said. One man thought nothing of shooting his 80 dogs to get out of the business. What? Yes, lots of shocking facts to learn here. NO it's not so grusome you can't get through it, but honestly if you aren't doing some crying I'd be shocked.
It really does take reading all the details in this book, no mater how tiring you find them, to truly understand what's going on. If you're like me, you'll be shocked, horrified, crying, then angry, and finally willing to actually put your own towel in the ring and do your part to stop this.
All in all, this book helped me finally understand some of Arthur's quirks. More importantly, how to get my husband to understand why Arthur only want to be my dog and not "our" dog. Very is not a "normal" Cavlaier. He is so similar to Gracie in many aspects it just made me weep to think he may have had it worse than I thought when I got him.
This book also helped me put two and two together about what was so "off" about the place we got him from. In fact I stopped reading and looked the place up online. Arthur is now listed as one of their breeding dogs (not a pet needing re-homed) and his picture is up with a different name...hmmm. I plan to use some of the resources listed in this book to get to the bottom of this fan of worms.
I HIGHLY recommend this book. Not as a Cavaier rescue story like it's advertised, but as an introduction into the world of puppy mills, with just enough adoption stories (other breeds too) to help put it into context and to see how puppy mills affect lives. Seriously, READ this book. You don't need to become an animal advocate (although you'll want to after this) but you can learn how important it is to get your next dog from a good source, and what this source is.
We have had a rescue from a puppy mill for five years. She loves us and enjoys her everyday life. However when another person enters her range, she shows the effects of having been a breeder in a puppy mill. These mills need to be shut down.
It was a hard book to read, but well worth it, and I think any lover of dogs should read it. And anyone who wants to buy a puppy from a pet store should read it to see how those puppies parents are treated.
The book is less about one dogs story and more about puppy mills in general. Though it does follow Gracie and her family, it delves into many aspects of puppy mills. I am greatful to the author for bringing this horrible aspect of breeding into the open, and I am greatful to the many rescue agencies who take in the dogs rescued from these deplorable conditions.