By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
Ever wondered where your dog came from? Journalist Kim Kavin did. She is the author of “Little Boy Blue: A puppy’s rescue from death row and his owner’s journey for truth.” Kim’s book starts out by talking about puppy porn.
Puppy porn is a wonderful term that was coined by Jim Gorant; Jim wrote the foreword. You might recognize his name because he is the author of “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and their Tale of Rescue and Redemption.” Puppy porn is when we spend time alone browsing the adorable faces of dogs on Petfinder.com. Then our spouses come into the room and we immediately click on another link. We are entertaining the idea of getting another pet, but know that it’s a big decision and that we will have a big discussion with our significant other.
Even though Kim had a dog, she wanted another one. Blue, the brindle colored puppy with eyes that just kept starring back at her on the screen, caught her attention—even after she turned off the computer. She made a connection, and Blue was going to be her dog. So she called the number and thought that she could adopt him pretty quickly. Instead, Jane Zeolla, a volunteer from Lulu’s Rescue in New Jersey (where Kim lives) came to her house to inspect the place and ask a lot of questions.
The rescue volunteer wanted to make sure that Blue would be going to a good home. After Kim passed inspection, she asked if she could meet Blue. That is when she learned that Blue wasn’t in NJ or even in neighboring PA. (The contact information listed a PA zip code.) Blue was in rural North Carolina. Kim specifically searched for puppies within a hundred miles of her home so she could check them out before committing.
Jane explained to Kim that rescue groups put their zip codes onto sites like Petfinder so locals could adopt dogs who are far away and dearly in need of a good home. Many animal shelters and rescue groups up north make the journey down south to get a variety of dogs. Kim found out that Blue would be brought to NJ via ground transport—rescue volunteers who make scheduled visits to kill shelters down south to transport dogs to foster homes up north.
So began Kim’s journey about adopting Blue and learning about his background. In her book she travels to the kill shelter where Blue stayed before he was rescued and the rescue that housed him. Her journey is an adventure and it turns up some difficult facts about kill shelters, rescue transports, and the people who foster dogs.
She explores the “whys” behind the need for dog transports and promotes adoption over breeding. She uncovers many surprising facts about animal shelters and how the system works. Writing about kill shelters can be harrowing. Yet, Kim writes in a beautiful manner making it an important, not frightening, read.
She talks about why shelters need to be run as businesses, and provides examples of well run ones. Her knowledge of pet transportation rescues is insightful and everyone involved in pet rescue should read “Little Boy Blue.”
This is a memoir that touches on Kim’s life as a journalist, pet parent, foster pet parent, and pet rescue volunteer. It’s a rich life filled with kindness and care, and her book will stay with you after you finish reading it.
Special Offer for Pet News and Views’ Readers
You can enter to win one copy of “Little Boy Blue,” published by Barron’s. The contest runs through August 7, 2012, 3 p.m. eastern. Leave a comment after this post, and one winner will be chosen to win “Little Boy Blue.” You can also order your copy now by clicking here. A portion of the book’s proceeds benefits Petfinder.com Foundation.
P.Elizabeth Anderson won the copy of “Little Boy Blue.”