All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Lost But Found by Peter Sharp

on November 11, 2019

Lost But Found
Peter Sharp
Pan Macmillan AUS
2019, 216p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Sydney Dogs & Cats Home is unique in its ability and commitment to find that ‘one in a million’ owner for animals in their care, as well as that ‘one in a million’ pet for people looking to adopt.

In Lost but Found , you will meet forty special dogs who have spent time at the Home. Their stories reveal how the dogs came to be lost, how and why they were in the shelter, and the love and care they received while there and in their new forever homes.

Fully illustrated and with both before- and after-adoption photography from award-winning pet photographer Peter Sharp of Tame & Wild Studio, this touching collection of precious pups will warm the hearts of animal lovers near and far.

All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home.

I’m a big fan of the #adoptdontshop philosophy when it comes to animals. At the moment we own a cat, Loki, whom we adopted from a shelter in Geelong. Prior to adopting Loki, we had two rescued greyhounds, both of which we got at 3/4 years of age in 2007. They lived until 2015 and 2016 and were both wonderful pets. Very different personalities but both incredible animals. After having two such big dogs, I wanted to go in a different direction, which was why we adopted a cat. Neither of the greyhounds had been cat tolerant, so it was something we weren’t able to do whilst we had them in our lives. But I definitely plan to adopt another greyhound in the future because they’re exactly what I’m after in a dog – loving and affectionate but also pretty lazy and content with minimal exercise. That’s my jam.

This book is kind of about the animals that are difficult to adopt out. They are elderly or have physical challenges or behavioural issues. Some of them are bull breeds, which exploded in popularity and are pretty rife in backyard breeding. They are often purchased by people and abandoned in high numbers. Load up any shelter’s website and you’ll see huge numbers of various bull breed crosses. A lot of these stories are wonderful and uplifting and some are incredibly sad as well. Some of these animals come into the shelter in such poor conditions – mange is common, often so bad that they have to be shaved and isolated. There are dogs that come in with literal broken legs that have to later be amputated so that the dogs can have quality of life.

A lot of the time, it takes very special people to adopt dogs like this. Many of them are adopted and returned to the shelter when it doesn’t work out – sometimes more than once. Which must be incredibly confusing and disrupting for them. Some dogs don’t do well in shelters either, it doesn’t showcase them at their absolute best, which is understandable. Shelters can be depressing places sometimes, even though what they are doing is good and positive. Many of the dogs are fostered with volunteers (something I’ve done in the past too, having raised litters of kittens for adoption) and sometimes, these foster carers end up falling in love with their charges and adopting them permanently.

Stories like this are wonderful to be put out there, because I think the more people that consider adopting their next pet from a shelter, the better. Finally some legislation is starting to come through about backyard breeding and people that keep animals in horrible conditions just to churn out designer puppies that sell for exorbitant price tags. I also like that every animal adopted from a shelter already has all their vet work done – vaccinations and especially (most importantly) they are spayed/neutured. That means that they can’t ever be used for breeding and contributing to the huge breeding numbers. And the numbers of dogs which end up in shelters.

I think this book serves multiple purposes – it’s got a lot of feel good stories within it, about dogs that find the home they deserve, sometimes after a very long time. But also I think it’s important for people to realise (really realise) that getting a pet is a huge responsibility and it’s not something that should be done on a whim. Because if you make a decision that you later regret, those animals end up lost, dumped in shelters and sometimes, on death row, through no fault of their own. There were many instances in this book where dogs were brought in to vets or wherever as strays and they were microchipped and the owners could be contacted, only for them to say they weren’t interested in taking the animal back and surrendering it to the shelter.

The one issue may be that the stories of difficult animals may put inexperienced pet owners looking to adopt off going to a shelter, if they believe that all of the animals will experience such problems. There are a few trouble free stories in here but a lot of these dogs had some very serious health issues and required a lot of patience and understanding. And that’s not for everyone, because there are all types out there, who want different types of pets. Some work a lot and require a pet with low levels of anxiety and maintenance. Others opt for older dogs because they can be already house trained and the like, cutting out that often difficult puppy stage! I know when we adopted our greyhounds, that was a rather large draw for us – they’d been fostered out, house trained and socialised after finishing their racing careers and when we adopted them, it felt like we didn’t have to do any of that work!

I really enjoyed this – these are stories that need to be told, people need to understand the consequences of not wanting that pet anymore and hopefully choose really carefully when they decide they do want a pet. And it’s wonderful to see dogs that have had in some cases, really difficult lives, get a chance at a wonderful home and some happiness.

7/10

Book #185 of 2019


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