An informative and visually varied introduction to problems affecting dogs worldwide.
In a short, colorful volume with sidebars and photographs on nearly every page, professional dog advocate Laidlaw (Wild Animals in Captivity, 2008) presents facts about how dogs live, provides an overview of the cruelty dogs face at the hands of humans and offers profiles of young activists who are working to better dogs' lives. Readers who know dogs best as pets will find new information here: The author gives as much time to discussions of street dogs in Detroit and India and the working conditions of sled dogs as he does to the more familiar topics of dog adoption and caring for a canine pet. Dogs' mistreatment in research facilities and at the hands of some pet owners is addressed frankly but gently, and photographs of cramped puppy mills or dogs neglectfully chained outdoors inspire pathos but do not depend on shock value. A few questions raised by the text go unanswered—the author insists that “dogs ... are our friends—not food” but neither extends this claim toward other animals nor explains why dogs, in his view, are different. At just 64 pages, the book does not delve deeply into any individual topic, but a list of animal welfare websites points interested readers toward further information.
A worthy overview that may well inspire readers to become “Dog Champions.” (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)