True Tales of Love and Rescue from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
According to the Press Release for this book: “Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is the UK’s oldest and most famous home for dogs and cats. The home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of help, reuniting lost animals with their owners or caring for them until new homes can be found. Battersea also works to educate the public about responsible pet ownership. Every year the Home cares for over 9,000 lost, abandoned and neglected dogs and cats, and in 2010 the Home marked its 150th anniversary.”
Each chapter of this book represents a different rescue and is written by the adopter. And each chapter begins with a paragraph about Battersea and their operation. For example: If a dog is found and brought to Battersea, it becomes their property and available for rehoming if not claimed by its owner in seven days.
The rescue stories are slightly different than those I have read previously as they are as much or more about the human adopter than the animal. But I thoroughly enjoyed finding out how the humans and the animals they adopted interacted, bonded and lived together.
Battersea employs more than 300 individuals and a couple of the stories are about employees who ended up rescuing animals that had seemed unadoptable. One of these animals is a Rottweiler named Star, who had been at Battersea for more than 250 days. The employee, Caroline, who adopts Star already has two dogs. One of those, Ted, a German Spitz, has a personality change after the adoption of Star. She becomes nervous and uncomfortable in her own home, and though various methods are attempted to alleviate the situation, Ted becomes more and more withdrawn. In the end, Ted is rehomed with a friend and Star stays with Caroline. Caroline and her partner feel they are Star’s last chance and that Ted will be fine without them. I found this story very sad; though in the end, both dogs are happy.
One of my favorite stories is that of the Collie, Bryn, who becomes a trained search and rescue dog, and the trust and bond human and dog have to learn and develop.
Other stories include one of a young boy and the dog who helps him deal with an autoimmune disease and one about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Guinness, who is by her human’s side throughout a diagnosis of and treatment for cancer.
Battersea cares for 190 cats and kittens at any one time. So, if I have any complaints about this book, it would be that only two of the stories are about cats. One of those is about a litter of eight motherless kittens found on Battersea grounds on a freezing winter night. Though all the kittens are fostered by employees and well cared for, only four survive. The story of one of those, Wriggler, warmed my heart.
If you are interested in stories about rescues and the special bonds formed by animal and human, you will enjoy this book, which I think is appropriate for any age.
Royalties from the sale of Lost & Found will go to the Home, which has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats since it was founded.
Lost & Found is available from Amazon in paperback for $6.18 or for $7.44 for the Kindle version.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review but did receive a free copy of this book from the Penguin Group.