Little Boy Blue
by Kim Kavin

Barron's Educational Series, 2012. ISBN 978-0-764-16526-9.
Reviewed by Jennifer Melville
Posted on 08/09/2012

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Animal Companions

In Little Boy Blue, author Kim Kavin shares how she decided to bring another canine companion into her life. She turned to online pet search website and fell in love with a little brindle puppy she would later name Little Boy Blue. Kavin soon found out that her new puppy had been rescued from doggy death row and transported hundreds of miles so that he could join her family. She set out to discover his story and stumbled upon something even bigger—the dark side of American animal shelters, an ongoing crisis that means death to thousands of animals each day and which most Americans don't even know is happening. As Kavin met the people who played a role in her puppy's life, she saw firsthand how bad things are.

I was absolutely shocked to learn the harsh realities facing most animals that come through shelter doors. Many wonderful companion animals like Kavin's puppy are killed each day in the United States. The majority of them won't be adopted. I had no idea that some animal shelters use gas chambers to euthanize their dogs. In some counties, the kill ratio is 95%! One family turned their dog over and returned the very next day because they had changed their mind, only to discover he had been killed.

At the end of Little Boy Blue, Kavin writes, "If you spent three days reading this book, then in the time it took you to reach this page, as many as 42,000 companion animals died in American shelters." If more people adopted shelter pets rather than using breeders or buying from pet stores, these innocent and wonderful animals could be saved from their cruel fate.

Dog lovers, you are going to fall in love with this book. Well-written, engaging and shocking, Little Boy has information you'll want to share with everyone you know. Too few people know the truth about America's tax-funded animal shelters. This book will truly open people's eyes. I hope that many will read it and that something powerful can be done to end this sad epidemic.

While I supported adoption before, Little Boy Blue convinced me to never again consider buying a dog from a pet store or breeder. It also made me want to hug my own puppy.

Read an excerpt from this book.

Kim Kavin is an award-winning journalist and volunteer worker dedicated to fostering dogs who have been saved from high-kill shelters, but who have not yet been adopted. She lives in Long Valley, NJ and works as a writer. This was her 9th book. Visit her website.

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