Kim Kavin's Little Boy Blue: A Puppy's Rescue from Death Row and His Owner's Journey for Truth
Book review by Monica Friedman
Young Adult +
A Journalist Enters the World of Dog Rescue
Kim Kavin was raised in a dog-loving family, and when she feels a dog-sized hole in her life, she thinks nothing of hopping online and choosing a new canine companion from among hundreds of adoptable doggies listed on Petfinder.
It doesn’t even seem terribly strange to her that she goes to pick up her new pet in a parking lot, because he’s been shipped from another state in an RV full of rescue dogs.
Since spaying and neutering pets is less common in the south than the north, she learns, many animal rescue groups transport adoptable dogs from shelters and drive them to their new homes.
But the lovable, shy, brindle-coated dog she brings home, Kavin discovers, came into her life through a series of situations that seem nothing short of a miracle.
Review - Little Boy Blue: A Puppy's Rescue
It all starts when her vet notices that Blue has an unusual skin condition. In search of more information, Kavin hunts down Blue’s foster mother, and finds herself following breadcrumbs on a path that leads her to the best and worst of human nature, at least as it concerns animal welfare.
Kavin discovers that animal shelters with kill rates of ninety-five percent, including the one from which Blue was rescued, are not at all uncommon. She finds foster homes full of hoarded and unhappy animals, including the one through which Blue passed on his way to her. She learns about mobile spay and neuter clinics, built into the back of vans and staffed with caring professionals, like the one who fixed Blue.
And she experiences the dedication of an army of volunteers who pluck perfect companions like Blue from certain death and transport them, against all odds and some occasionally hateful legislation, to delighted dog people like Kavin.
The book’s research is meticulous, as Kavin, as a professional journalist, is able to go places and get answers that many of the activist rescuers cannot. Getting to the bottom of high kill rates or the secret to a financially successful animal rescue takes persistence and effort. There are officials who are just doing their jobs on shoestring budgets in places where people don’t care, and there are people who don’t care doing their jobs in places where caring just a little might not be in the best interest of their careers.
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In uncovering the truth, she also uncovers the occasional personal moral crisis. Responding to the hoarded foster home, for instance, Kavin takes several missteps. Whether her actions have positive, negative, or neutral outcomes, she cannot say. Her intentions are good, but her method is
What Kavin does find, in Little Boy Blue, is that many people are working tirelessly to save the lives of carelessly discarded animals, and that positive changes have been made, despite the opposition. The answer, she reports, is that people need to be educated to spay and neuter their pets and this book is a call to action and activism on behalf of creatures who need our help.
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The reviewer received free an advance copy of the book.
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