The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril

Laura Schenone had good reason to fear animals: she was bitten twice by canines in childhood. To her, "Animals... meant meat, milk, cheese, eggs, fish. I believed they should be treated humanely, but they were food, nonetheless." Therefore, it made sense for Schenone (The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken) to focus her writing career on cooking and food for many years. However, a chance encounter with a woman advocate for--and rescuer of--Irish greyhounds and lurchers, which are mixed-breed sight hounds, sparked Schenone's interest to learn more about the lives of these gentle, graceful, aerodynamic working dogs that are the fastest dogs on earth. When Schenone adopted an abandoned lurcher from County Cork as a companion for her nine-year-old son, she was further inspired to research a network of dedicated animal activists--a small, fervent band of women proponents from Europe and the U.S. The group began by finding homes for street dogs and later broadened their efforts to offer rehabilitation, re-homing and ultimately create a sanctuary for these and other animals.

Captivating personal stories about the rescuers and the challenges and risks of their plight are woven around a history of greyhounds. Schenone explores how the breed emerged and evolved in prominence in England, Australia and Ireland, where the Emerald Isle became the leader in breeding and exporting for the dog racing circuit. This thorough, well-presented narrative investigates animal injustice and abuse and is sure to offer compelling inspiration for animal welfare devotees and advocates worldwide. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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