July 2, 2020

Book Review-Rescue Dogs

Rescue Dogs Book Cover Rescue Dogs
Gene Stone, Pete Paxton,

A fascinating look at rescue dogs--where they come from, why every dog lover should consider adopting one, and how to make them part of your family. America's leading undercover animal investigator, Pete Paxton, has, among other exploits, infiltrated more than seven hundred puppy mills, worked undercover to close one of the largest and most infamous puppy mills in the United States, and shuttered the most notorious trafficker of dogs for experimentation in history. In this book, he shares stories of the amazing dogs he has rescued and brought to loving families, and also offers invaluable guidance and wisdom for anyone living with rescue dogs. Far too many people think rescue dogs have irredeemable anxieties, behavior issues, or other problems. In truth, rescue dogs can--and do--become wonderful companions. This groundbreaking book will help readers understand these dogs' unique ways of thinking, learning, and loving, and leaves no questions unanswered about the plight of dogs commercially bred in the United States--and what every dog lover can do about it.


Rescue Dogs by Peter Paxton with Gene Stone, 2019 TarcherPerigee, and imprint of Penguin Random House.  $26.

Peter Paxton is the pseudonym of an undercover animal activist who investigates, and helps to shut down, puppy mills and dog brokers. It’s an inside look at businesses that thrive at the expense of live animals and Paxton and Stone don’t shy away from some of the sordid details. It’s hard to read about some of the dogs Paxton had to leave behind, or couldn’t help without risking blowing his cover but there are plenty of stories sprinkled throughout the book about dogs who survived and later found good homes. 

Besides describing some of his undercover operations, Paxton offers readers tips on how to choose a rescue dog, what supplies you’ll need when acquiring a dog, some training tips, and ways a person can get involved in rescue efforts. 

As someone who knows many caring, responsible breeders, I wish he had qualified the word “breeders” when he was discussing puppy mills but I can’t argue with his goal to eliminate puppy mills. He also mentions some rescue groups who rescue from other countries, and we’re learning now that sometimes that means introducing new canine diseases into this country.

The book is well written, well thought out, and full of good information for anyone wanting to rescue a dog.

review by

Susan M. Ewing
Past president, Cat Writers’ Association
Past secretary, Dog Writers Association of America
Award-winning author, 14 animal books
“Cats! Train Your Owner” (Flash Cards)
Numerous magazine articles
Pet columnist
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