Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TLC Blog Tour-The Lost Dogs, by Jim Gorant

Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
by Jim Gorant
Gotham Books
304 Pages
September 16, 2010

From the Publisher

An inspiring story of survival and our powerful bond with man's best friend, in the aftermath of the nation's most notorious case of animal cruelty.

Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick's brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. Expanding on Gorant's Sports Illustrated cover story, The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in "restitution" to the dogs.

As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but many more lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, a number of which are now living in loving homes, while some even work in therapy programs: Johnny Justice participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get comfortable with reading aloud by reading to dogs; Leo spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens. At the heart of the stories are the rescue workers who transformed the pups from victims of animal cruelty into healing caregivers themselves, unleashing priceless hope.

My Review

THE LOST DOGS is not a book I would normally read. Yet, I love animals. Please indulge a brief personal history as I explain why I would turn away from this book.

I have been involved with greyhound rescue and fostering for five years. I currently have three adopted ex-racing hounds who tug at my heart each day. Envisioning their previous life living 24/7 in a small kennel, brief interludes out for eating and exercise, then the 40 mph sprint around a track. With any luck without injury they survive the race and will race again as long as they win. But the losers face an uncertain future. With luck a few find their way into a loving home. I have fostered greyhounds as they transition from life at the track to pet life. I advocate for the hounds and participate with my dogs at Meet and Greets whenever possible. Animal cruelty and animal suffering breaks my heart. Helping the hounds future is paramount and the memories of what I know of their past I bury deep in my memory whenever possible. It hurts too much.

When I was approached by TLC Tours to read and review THE LOST DOGS, by Jim Gorant for this tour I was reluctant. I was afraid to read about this case and didn’t feel I would be able to endure a book about dog fighting. I don’t condone either dog racing or dog fighting and having read about the horrors of both, I become weak for these sweet helpless animals, their pain and suffering too unbearable to think about.

Jim Gorant chose to focus on the rescue and redemption of the fifty-one dogs that were taken from the Bad Newz Kennels owned and operated by Michael Vick. This is not a story about Michael Vick. It is about his pit bull victims. Those he had chained and trained to fight. The background for the case, the discovery and arrest are detailed with just enough to satisfy the curious. From the onset, Gorant shows his professionalism by taking the story beyond the initial abuse to focus his story on the future of these helpless dogs. He brings voice to the resilient dogs who endured savage conditions of hatred, and then experienced the love of a warm toasty blanket. You will not forget Little Red and Jonny Justice as they warm the hearts of so many. I was most touched by little Jasmine, as she takes each baby step to trust again. Her cautious spirit and sweetness will never leave my thoughts. THE LOST DOGS embraces the possibilities with the insight of those who cared.

Contest Giveaway

The publisher has offered a copy of THE LOST DOGS as part of this blog tour. Please leave a comment and your encrypted email address. One extra chance for contestants who follow me. One extra chance if you Twitter this contest. One extra chance if you blog about it. The contest will run through October 31st for US and Canada residents. Good Luck!!

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Disclosure: A copy of THE LOST DOGS was provided by the publisher and TLC Tours.


Helen's Book Blog said...

Thank you for the chance to win!

helen (at) helensbookblog (dot) com

I am a follower

serendipity_viv said...

I was worried this one might dwell on the bad side too much. Glad to hear it doesn't. Also pleased to read so many dogs were saved.

LisaMM said...

I'm so glad the book focuses on the victims and their rescue and rehab. Any press given to their abusers makes me mad!! Thanks for a great review and for being on the tour.

Suko said...

Wisteria, thanks for being involved with greyhound rescue and fostering. Great review! I know little about dog fighting, but it sounds awfully inhumane.

Please enter me in this giveaway. I will post about it in my blog's sidebar.

I am a follower. :)


Alice said...

I share your concerns too and I hope to read this book. I'd love to be entered for the giveaway and I have a US address. Thanks!


debbie said...

All of my animals have been rescues. I have seen what people will do to animals, and it can be terrible. I would love to read this book.
twoofakind12 (at) yahoo (dot) com

ImageNations said...

Interesting read. Thanks for this...

Stacy at The Novel Life said...

Michael Vick was 'the' quarterback for our Atl Falcons and well on his way to being such a football star when this came out about his dog-fighting. I'm glad a book has been written following up on what happened to those poor animals. Great review!

karenk said...

i'm very interested in reading this book...thanks for the chance ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Karyn Zoldan said...

Thanks for your thoughtful post about the Michael Vicks' dogs book. I may consider reading it now.

I too am a greyhound adopter and like you deplore the cruel sport of greyhound racing.

I equate dog fighting and dog racing as one. Using indentured dogs for greedy money making endeavors without much human accountability.

Hopefully one day dog racing will be illegal in the U.S. like dog fighting is. Dogs deserve to be companion animals.

Natalie W said...

I would love to enter!