by Kathy Stevens
This book is about an animal sanctuary which focuses on rescuing mistreated and abandoned farm animals. Via her work, Stevens educates the public about how poorly livestock is treated when used for food production by big industries, the depth of emotional feeling these animals can have, that they deserve better from our hands. Her book is all about the animals- where they have come from and how they recover (or sometimes don\’t). She doesn\’t focus a lot on the horrors they have escaped, but on their healing process and the personalities that unfold as these terrified, ill and pain-wracked animals find kindness for the first time in their lives. Out of the hundreds of animals that have come to her sanctuary, she shares the stories of a mere handful: some very assertive pigs, a duck that has never seen water, an ex-fighting rooster- said to be vicious, but it wanted to sleep on her bed, and was passionate about car rides! This rooster became the only animal Stevens took out on public visits, because most animals found travel away from their new safe home too stressful. She tells of her beloved dog who is always in the midst of things helping out, and a belligerent sheep who becomes a self-appointed guardian to the other animals. There are many more. My favorite story is also one that threads constantly through the book- about a blind horse who arrived at the sanctuary frightened to take a single step forward- he had spent weeks prior standing motionless to avoid barbed wire in a small pen. With immense patience, Stevens instilled trust and confidence in this horse- she taught him simple verbal directions and eventually was able to not only take the horse on trail rides, but to ride him across flat fields – at a run. The joy this horse felt at being able to really move again was unmistakable. This is a very accessible book full of compassion for the animals. While the author doesn\’t go into a lot of detail about what the various animals have suffered in their past, she provides an extensive list of titles for those who want to know. I\’ve read a few of those books, have others on my list.
I borrowed this one from the library. First heard of it on Opinions of a Wolf
Rating: 3/5 204 pages, 2007