Is there anything better than curling up with your dog and a good book? This list of the best stories about rescue dogs will make you laugh, cry and appreciate the work of all the amazing volunteers who dedicate their lives to helping and rescuing our four-legged friends.
10 of The Best Books About Rescue Dogs
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1. Oogy- The dog only a family could love – Larry Levin
Poor Oogy, used for bait in a dogfight and left for dead this pup had a second chance when Larry Levin, saw him at the Ardmore animal shelter on the outskirts of Philadelphia, horribly disfigured, Levin was struck by the young dogs’ will to survive and sweet and gentle nature.
This heart-warming story follows Oogy through his continuing recovery and shows how sometimes a dog and their family are meant to be together. Full of mischief in his early years the bond Oogy shares with Larry, his wife, and two adopted sons is truly remarkable and everyone who reads this uplifting true story will not fail to be moved.
One of the America’s most notorious dog cruelty cases, the world was horrified when NFL star Michael Vick’s involvement in dog fighting was exposed. This brilliant book touches on the case itself but its main focus is on the dozens of pit bulls who survived. Many, despite their horrific treatment, were friendly and gentle and Gorant follows the story of the rescue workers who transformed these unfortunate pooches into loving family pets.
The stars of the book are the dogs themselves and we get an insight into the new lives of these amazing animals, some of which work in therapy programs throughout the USA. The dedication of the staff and unbelievable characters of these fabulous canines sends a message of hope to us all.
3. Before you were mine – Maribeth Boelts
A must read for all children this award-winning book is about a young boy who imagines what life was like for his new dog before he adopted him from a shelter. Beautifully illustrated it is the perfect introduction to the subject of rescuing dogs for younger readers and brings up a lot of things to discuss with your child.
Although it touches on serious subjects like death and the fear animals may feel when in a rescue shelter, it is thoughtfully written and delivers a message of hope with positive pages about the love an adopted dog brings into your life.
4. Marnie The Dog-I’m a Book – Shirley Braha
From senior shelter dog to internet sensation Marnie was ten years old when she was adopted by her new owner, found on the streets of Connecticut in a terrible state she is now 15 and lives with Ms. Braha, an MTV producer in New York. With her tilted head and extra-long tongue, when her new mistress posted pictures of the cute old lady online, Marnie became an overnight star and now has over 100,000 followers on Instagram including Miley Cyrus
This book is full of unseen photos of the little lopsided Shih Tzu and proves that no matter what hardships you have to endure whether you human or dog there is always the chance to begin a new and better chapter of your life.
5. Arthur: The dog who crossed the jungle to find a home – Mikael Lindnord
Swedish adventure racer Mikael Lindnord had never wanted a dog but all that was to change as he raced with his team across rugged terrain through the mountains and jungles of South America. After feeding a stray a meatball the dog began following the men as they battled injuries and illness during the grueling trek.
After following the men all the way to the finishing line, Arthur became part of the team and Mikael decided to take the determined mutt back to his family in Sweden. This uplifting and inspirational true story not only tells how Mikael rescued Arthur but also gives an insight into how Arthur had a life changing influence on his rescuer which is often the case when you make a connection with a rescue dog.
The stunning photographs in this book are just one of the reasons dog lovers should read this book by Traer Scott. Each feature focuses on a different story including Bingley a deaf dog who was rescued after a drugs-bust, Morrissey a pit bull adopted by a family with four children after finding shelter life extremely stressful and Chloe, a chocolate Labrador who had to be given up due to her family’s allergies.
We follow the stories of these dogs and others as they find their new forever homes. The book portrays the urgent need for more people to consider adoption and shows that the perfect pooch for your family could be waiting at the local shelter. Why not check out dog rescue centers near you, the perfect pooch could be waiting
7. Saving Suzie Belle – Janetta Harvey
Suzie Belle was once trapped in a miserable life as a breeding bitch on a puppy farm for 6 years she never saw the outside world and was terribly neglected.
This true story brings to life the harsh realities of life for these poor dogs that are used purely for profit and follows the progress of this sweet little dog as she is rescued, fostered and finally adopted. A fantastically uplifting tale that will make you shed a tear but ultimately smile as Suzie Belle finally gets the home and love she deserves.
8. The Possibility Dogs – Susannah Charleson
The follow up to Charleson’s very successful first book Scent of the Missing. Possibility Dogs concentrates on the author’s efforts to train rescue dogs to become psychiatric service dogs. From learning, how to evaluate dogs who are suitable and the training itself. Susannah has become a lifesaver for many shelter dogs and these stories give a truly inspiring and uplifting account of her work
9. Rescue Road – Peter Zheutlin
This extraordinary story tells of one man’s journey of over a million miles to rescue thousands of dogs and give them a second chance. When Greg Mahle loses everything, he is inspired to start Rescue Road Trips an organization that transports thousands of neglected and abandoned dogs from the southern states to loving homes in the north
Join journalist Peter Zheutlin as he joins Greg on one of these expeditions. This sometimes heartbreaking yet inspirational tale introduces us to the countless volunteers they meet along the way, the dogs themselves and the happy endings with new loving families they all deserve. The message in this story is that every one of us can make a life changing difference to rescue dogs and the hard work and dedication of Greg and his team has resulted in thousands of canines being given a second chance.
10. Saving Gracie – Carol Bradley
This moving true story tells the story of Gracie a neglected and worn out breeding machine rescued from a puppy mill along with 300 other dogs. Written by award-winning journalist Carol Bradley follows Gracie’s story we meet the police officers who initiated the rescue the shelter workers who worked tirelessly with the rescued pups and the woman who eventually adopted this beautiful little King Charles Spaniel. Linda Jackson not only saved Gracie she went on to work passionately against puppy mills. This is a touching story sometimes harrowing but with a positive outcome, and one anyone considering getting a dog should read.
So, there you have it 10 books that will have your emotions in a whirl but ultimately will fill your heart with joy. Rescue dogs are special, the workers and volunteers who spend their lives helping these unfortunate animals know that already and after reading these sometimes upsetting, brilliantly written uplifting stories of hope, you will think so too if you don’t already.
About the author: John Devlin, Owner – Dogsbarn.com
Husband, father and avid dog lover. Currently the proud owner of George a pedigree Golden Retriever that barely leaves my side. However, cute this sounds a little break from the dog hairs every now and then would be nice!
Do you have any favorite books about rescue dogs? Share below!