The best books on rescue dogs

The Books I Picked & Why

Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs

By Cara Sue Achterberg

Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs

Why this book?

Fostering dogs is an important part of dog rescue, and Achterberg perfectly captures the joy and heartbreak of fostering. Her devotion to dogs became her family’s shared passion, which beautifully demonstrates how when we rescue dogs, they rescue us in return.

I love how the author unabashedly allowed the reader in to see not just the fluffy puppies and cuteness, but the hard work, the mistakes, the difficulties, and ultimately the “how and why” of the important work of fostering. Fostering saves lives, and Another Good Dog is a brilliant testimony to this fact.


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Craig & Fred: A Marine, a Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other

By Craig Grossi

Craig & Fred: A Marine, a Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other

Why this book?

This may be the ultimate stray dog rescue story. Craig (the human) rescues Fred (the dog) from a war zone in a remote part of Afghanistan. What Craig goes through to bring this dog home to the US is astounding. And Fred is one of those instantly lovable, charming dogs whose personality shines through in Craig’s writing. In many ways, this book crosses genres—dog book, memoir, adventure, military, and thriller (I held my breath while reading several times!).


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Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway

By Peter Zheutlin

Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway

Why this book?

Just as fostering is an important part of animal rescue, transporting dogs from shelters and pound to rescues and permanent homes in other areas is crucial. In Rescue Road, author Peter Zheutlin introduces us to one unassuming, humble man who single-handedly has transported thousands of dogs from rural southern shelters where the animals had little hope of survival, to happy forever homes in parts north. Zheutlin travels with this hero, Greg Mahle, from Ohio to the Gulf Coast and back again, to share with us an incredible story of hard-luck dogs and the humans who work so hard to give them their happily-ever-afters. I loved reading about Mahle’s devotion to and love of these dogs, and cheered and cried with each rescue and adoption.


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Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman's Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life

By Shannon Kopp

Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman's Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life

Why this book?

I love a story that deftly demonstrates how the dogs we rescue return the favor and then some. Shannon Kopp bravely shares her struggle with an eating disorder and how her work in an animal shelter encouraged and aided her recovery. Kopp’s story is harrowing and inspiring, and ultimately a tale of compassion.


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Little Boy Blue: A Puppy's Rescue from Death Row and His Owner's Journey for Truth

By Kim Kavin

Little Boy Blue: A Puppy's Rescue from Death Row and His Owner's Journey for Truth

Why this book?

Author Kim Kavin is a journalist who had no idea the adorable brindle puppy she adopted in New Jersey and named Blue was actually a last-minute rescue from a gas chamber in North Carolina. Astounded, she sets out to learn Blue’s history and why and how van loads of dogs arrive in the northeast from southern states. Kavin’s journalism background is on full display in the book, which is one of the reasons I think this book is important. She does not take sides or paint anyone as “villain” or hero, but certainly offers enough facts for the reader to draw their own conclusions. Little Boy Blue is not always an easy read, but it’s an important one.


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