No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs Reviews


NoShelterHere_C“Animal advocate Laidlaw has a bone to pick with the way some of the world’s 500 million dogs are treated. After identifying what all dogs need, the author takes a hard look at puppy mills, free-ranging dogs, dogs that are constantly chained, and dogs submitted to devocalizing and appearance-altering surgeries. While some dogs have healthy ‘careers’ as dog sniffers, rescue dogs, and therapy dogs, the engaging text explains the perils for greyhound and sled-dog racers, as well as dogs used for scientific research. But not all dogs have it bad. Numerous profiles reveal how ‘Dog Champions’ have initiated grassroots efforts to provide better services and protection to canines. For readers looking for their next best friend, Laidlaw explains how and why to adopt a dog and the various kinds of shelters available. Abundantly stocked with color photographs and supplemented with online resources and a glossary, this book invites children to pause and consider our friends who have paws.”
—Angela Leeper

School Library Journal

“Canine lovers will discover a broad array of topics useful for caring for dogs and becoming an advocate for their humane treatment. . Chapters are brief but chock-full of information.…Numerous attractive full-color photographs appear throughout. Children will come away from this book educated and inspired to become ‘Dog Champions’”

Publishers Weekly

“Laidlaw urges readers to become “Dog Champions” by learning about the threats facing dogs and advocating for their welfare….While statistics about homeless and maltreated dogs are grim (Detroit’s homeless dog population is estimated at 50,000; U.S. puppy mills produce 500,000 dogs per year), Laidlaw offers heartening profiles of children and adults taking action around the world…Full-color photographs appear throughout, with additional information about threats to and programs supporting dogs appear in sidebars….should provide ample incentive for readers who are serious about improving the lives of dogs.”

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“No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs is written by Rob Laidlaw with illustrations and pictures from various sources. Rob Laidlaw has been an advocate for animals for over thirty years and has founded many animal protection organizations. In this book he describes how to find a new pet and how to care for your new best friend. He shares stories from around the world and talks about the negative things people do to their pets. Some pictures and stories can be mature content for younger children but show realistic situations. The author talks about being an animal champion and what people do to volunteer to help out dogs. The book contains an index and a glossary.”

Kirkus Reviews

“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.’”

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CM Magazine

“Although the situation is very serious, Laidlaw avoids sensationalizing the message in his book. It is a book meant to empower…Impassioned, empowering and informative, No Shelter Here will fill a void in your dog books collection that you may not have even known you had. In addition to useful information about walking, feeding and grooming your dog, this book encourages the reader to take action to make the world a better place for all dogs. Highly Recommended.”
—Suzanne Pierson

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“Whether you are a young activist wanting to help dogs or a family considering adopting a canine family member No Shelter Here is a good book to read. Since it deals with issues affecting dogs, how to make things better for our four-legged friends, things to consider before adopting a dog as well as ways to ensure a good life for an adopted dog, this book should be available in libraries—including school libraries.”
—Glen Perrett

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Rescue Dogs the Movie

Lili, who blogs at Rescue Dogs the Movie, is nine years old—the perfect age to review No Shelter Here!

I just got this FABULOUS book from the library yesterday. It’s called No Shelter Here. I LOVE IT! It’s very sad knowing what things are happening to dogs, but it just reminds you to give your dog extra love. It also tells you about great websites to visit that have to do with Animal Welfare and Shelter Dogs.With each dog problem it tells you about, there’s one story of someone who helps make the world a better place for dogs.Thank you, Rob Laidlaw, for making the world a better place for dogs.
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Mackin Books in Bloom

“Rob Laidlaw, long-time animal advocate and international champion of dogs, provides information about the challenges dogs face around the world.  With examples from Canada, Japan, India, and several other countries in addition to the United States, he exposes the plight of these abandoned and often abused animals.  Urging readers to get involved, he relates the stories of children and young people around the globe who saw a problem and became Dog Champions.  Kids have created documentaries, raised money, and helped to make lawmakers aware of dog abuse.  This book is great for reluctant readers, dog lovers, or kids who need to do a service project.”
—Tracey L.
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Pet Rescue Magazine

“No Shelter Here is a wonderful introductory for younger generations and sure to be a book the entire family will learn from. From what dogs need to have a quality life to serious issues and those who face them, Rob Laidlaw gives young readers a fair but realistic view on today’s canine world. While learning simple facts about acquiring a dog, their needs and responsible ownership, they are also exposed to several realities in the canine/human realm.

When it comes to the impact humans have on ‘Man’s Best Friend’ there are sensitive issues that can be extremely difficult to discuss, let alone explain. Laidlaw gently explores the various topics such as research, racing, chaining and puppy mills while featuring what he calls ‘Champions’ from around the world and what they are doing to create change”
—Jamie Hunter

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WPL New Children’s Books – Sizzling Staff Selections

“Enhanced with photos, informational sidebars and inspiring good-news stories, No Shelter Here will galvanize young readers to become Dog Champions in their own communities.”

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“No Shelter Here is a comprehensive, all-things-dog book that leads youth to look into the issues that affect dogs every day at the hands of their best friends… us.  Each section sheds light on a hard hitting dog related issue and then refocuses on the positive through the amazing powers of Animal Champions and what they are doing every day around the world to make the lives of less fortunate dogs better.  Youth (and adults alike!) cannot help but feel motivated to take that first step towards making a difference for dogs, wherever they may be.”
Janice Hannah, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Northern Dogs Project

“A most important book that will help form children’s sense of community, understanding, and respect for others: lessons that all pay off in later life. I love this book and kids will too because it allows them to learn while reading about something they care about: dogs around the world …”
— Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

“This book is a remarkable gift of inspiration, passion, and celebration of how children can learn to protect dogs from the unkind and irresponsible realities around the world. Rob Laidlaw has once again given us a wonderful tool to encourage children of all ages to respect and make the world a better place for dogs. This fun and factual book takes the reader around the world on many important topics that dogs face every day. It stirs the heart by providing great examples of how people can truly help make a difference in the lives of dogs, one dog at a time.”
— Captain Cindy Machado, Animal Services Director, Marin Humane Society, Novato, CA USA

“This practical, compelling book is a turning point in how we look at this most forgiving of species. Dogs love us unconditionally, they take their role seriously, and they willingly give — and lose — their lives to protect ours. Please join Rob’s call in becoming a Dog Champion, united in the one indisputable fact that our very best friend in the world has a wet nose and a wagging tail.”
— Dr Jill Robinson MBE, Founder & CEO, Animals Asia Foundation

As a dog lover and former Executive Director of The Winnipeg Humane Society, I am so impressed with this comprehensive, interesting, and easy read about dogs. It includes so much more than what we are often told about dogs, such as the use of dogs in research, dog racing, etc. I think it’s important that all of these issues be brought into the open, and Rob has done that without being radical or judgmental. I hope this book gets the wide readership it deserves.
— Vicki Burns  

Rob has tapped into numerous issues about dogs that many people might not be aware of. This book will raise awareness and empathy to the plight of dogs and inspire children to become “dog champions.”
— Trudy Sattler, professional dog trainer

There is an ever increasing interest in dogs  because we now realize how deeply entwined the lives of dogs and humans have been for as long as 35,000 years. No other animals affect us as deeply as dogs. Rob Laidlaw has written an engaging, non-dogmatic, helpful book for children of all ages who love dogs and want to help them have better lives. His dozens of inspiring stories about young people who have made a difference in the lives of dogs is a special feature of this wonderful book. I highly recommend it to children who want to become involved in the amazing world of dogs
— Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of Dogs Never Lie about LoveThe Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving, and Dogs Makes Us Human

No Shelter Here is a wonderful read. The stories about young people working to improve the lives of dogs worldwide brought tears to my eyes. For those of us who have labored so long to help animals, their stories are inspirational. I hope this book motivates more people, young and old, to make the world a better place for animals.
— Liz White, Director, Animal Alliance of Canada

Rob Laidlaw has written a smart and accessible book about the hidden lives of dogs. By gently opening our eyes to dogs other than those we know in our homes and at the park, such as those in puppy mills or used in research, he has given children a wonderful opportunity to learn about the millions of canines in dire need of our help. Best of all is the book’s “call to action”: kids will meet many wonderful Dog Champions and will be inspired to become Champions themselves. Only when we know can we understand and move to change the world for our canine friends. Thank you, Rob, for giving both young and old alike this opportunity.
— Jo-Anne McArthur, Founder, We Animals

Rob Laidlaw has done it again! This lively, accessible, and richly illustrated book brilliantly covers the important issues for dogs and their guardians. It belongs in the home of all dog lovers and anyone considering acquiring a dog.
— Jonathan Balcombe, PhD, author of The Exultant Ark and Second Nature

Dogs are typically included among our best friends, but often we are not their best friend. Like other animal beings, dogs want and need to feel safe and to be loved. In this wonderful book for children, as well as for teachers and all adults, author and animal activist Rob Laidlaw explains the many ways in which we have double-crossed animal beings who expect the best from us, and what we can do about it. I learned a lot from this insightful book that I will share with a wide audience.
 Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Animals At Play: Rules of the Game (an award-winning children’s book), Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, and The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons For Expanding Our Compassion Footprint

It is never easy to read and learn about the suffering of our fellow dog companions, particularly when we discover that humans are responsible for their distress. However, as Rob Laidlaw so beautifully describes in No Shelter Here, knowledge of the suffering and injustice is what compels people to take action. This book will educate and inspire both children and adults to do what they can to improve the lives of dogs. In your acknowledgement, you thank the dogs, Rob, and we thank you for writing this compassionate book on their behalf.
 Kristin Beach, Director, Niagara Action for Animals

Rob Laidlaw is widely respected across Canada and internationally for his work in animal protection. This book about dogs is an excellent resource for families that want to welcome animals into their lives. It will encourage young readers to think seriously about their canine companions and will truly help us to make the world “a kinder place for dogs.”
 Professor John Sorenson, Brock University, author of Animal Rights Canada

This new and wonderful book by Rob Laidlaw will definitely educate both children and adults about the real world of our best friend, the Dog. Many people know very little about who these wonderful creatures really are, despite the fact that they have lived with us and enriched our lives for many, many years. Rob, who has so eloquently spoken up for wild animals in captivity, is now doing so for our most familiar domestic species, canis familiaris. Thank you, Rob, for doing this. It will help teach future generations to both understand and appreciate man’s best friend. A big “hurrah” for you from me and all my doggy friends!
— Keiko Usui Yamazaki, Companion Animal Study Group “GO,” Board member, Japanese Coalition for Animal Welfare

This book celebrates the natural affinity children have for animals, especially dogs. It will engage, educate, and empower children, and their parents will learn from it, too. The book is a comprehensive source of information, full of insights about dogs, about how they are sometimes hurt, and about how caring people can help them. If dogs are our best friends, this fantastic book helps us think about how to reciprocate.
— Lesli Bisgould, Animal Rights Law Professor & Author

In No Shelter Here, Rob Laidlaw has pulled off a very neat feat: He’s paid young readers the compliment of painting for them a realistic picture of the sometimes harsh circumstances of dogs in numerous societies, pulling no punches in the process.

But his book also offers hopeful alternatives and inspiring examples of real-life kids engaged in—indeed, often initiating—constructive opposition to canine homelessness in many parts of the world, unscrupulous dog breeding practices, invasive laboratory research on dogs, as well as other forms of cruelty, neglect and injustice. At the same time, No Shelter Here celebrates the deep bond between humans and dogs, movingly depicts the true joys of canine companionship, and offers all kinds of clearly presented information on responsible pet acquisition and ownership.

I was pleased to read so many true accounts of children and adolescents making a real difference in the lives of dogs. And I am even more pleased to encounter a new book brimming with respect both for these remarkable kids and for dogs in general, all of whom deserve all the help and understanding humans of all ages can give them.
Erika Ritter, author of The Dog by the Cradle, the Serpent Beneath: Some Paradoxes of Human-Animal Relationships.

No Shelter Here is my favorite kind of animal book – packed with information that will help dogs, but without the pessimistic overtones that so often make them hard to read. It will serve as an eye-opener for many young animal lovers that, even in our own culture, dogs are not always treated kindly. But the inspiring Dog Champion sections make it clear without being preachy or condescending that everyone can make a difference to the quality of a dog’s life – in their own backyard and beyond.
— Debra Probert, Executive Director, Vancouver Humane Society

No Shelter Here is brimming with fact — for example, listing “What every dog needs,” shining a spotlight on puppy mills and “free-ranging” or street dogs. There are dogs all over the world longing for a good home and, more specifically, desperately needing young champions like the kids showcased in the book to step up and learn all they can about dogs before jumping to acquire one. “If you can’t meet a dog’s needs right now, then it’s best to wait.” Young readers will be entertained and enlightened by No Shelter Here, while the cats of the world wait patiently for Rob Laidlaw to shed light on their lives.
Monica Kulling, Children’s author