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Lost and Found: Dogs, Cats, and Everyday Heroes at a Country Animal Shelter

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  288 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Elizabeth Hess, a journalist and former art critic, walked into the Columbia Greene Animal Shelter in upstate New York looking for a new dog. Touched by the animals' plight and the dedication of the workers, she began to volunteer at the shelter on a regular basis. In Lost and Found, Hess brings you behind the scenes in this thorough examination of the day-to-day workings ...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Mariner Books (first published 1998)
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteWatership Down by Richard AdamsBlack Beauty by Anna SewellAnimal Farm by George OrwellWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Best Books About Animals
394th out of 1,025 books — 1,384 voters
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Volunteers - Memoirs
24th out of 54 books — 9 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,587)
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Winter Sophia Rose
Jun 11, 2016 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Heartwarming, Inspiring, Gripping, Mesmerizing, Moving, Unforgettable & Insightful! A Beautiful Read! I Loved It!
Katiem
Jun 10, 2011 Katiem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lost and found chronicles the authors eye-opening introduction to the world of abandoned and disposable animals in a tiny New York shelter.Originally the author went in looking for a dog for her daughter, but the shelter ended up taking a much larger role than she originally expected in her life.

Having been a shelter worker, and being someone who solely adopts rescue animals, this book had me bawling. Some of these incidents hit so close to home it was incredible, especially when she describes h
...more
Bark's Book Nonsense
Nov 06, 2009 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it it was amazing
This book details life inside a NY animal shelter. The writer starts out as a somewhat naive pet lover who visits the shelter to purchase a pet for her child. She's so taken with the place and the plight of the animals that she begins to volunteer her time. As she spends more time inside the shelter, she begins to understand all of their rules, procedures and the distrust the employees have towards potential adopters, those who surrender their pets and most people in general. It's a gripping and ...more
Kristin
May 02, 2016 Kristin rated it really liked it
This book often went with me on vacations because the chapters were intriguing but moderately short, and perfect to read in a hotel after a long day of swimming or touring Disney World while my dog was at home or on his own 'vacation' and I missed him so. However, I never finished it on any of those vacations and it would remain in my suitcase until the next one, which invariably came months later after I forgot what I read in the beginning. Enough was enough, and when I found it in my suitcase ...more
Susan Metters
Nov 14, 2015 Susan Metters rated it really liked it
I read this book many years ago, and it ended up having a profound impact on me, though I don't think I realized how much until now. The book chronicles the everyday workings of an animal shelter, and at the time the biggest impact it had on me was to dispel the myth of "no-kill" shelters. Like much of the general public, I was under the naive impression that all shelters should be "no-kill", and that "kill" shelters were horrible. What the book helped me understand is that no-kill shelters are ...more
Lorrainesoucie
Jun 06, 2013 Lorrainesoucie rated it really liked it
Found this book difficult to read because of the content not the style. It is so sad what goes on in the world of animals. Elizabeth does a fantastic job of describing the realities of what goes on in the animal shelters,and why they exist. I put it down several times thinking there was no way I could finish it. But the book is compelling and I did finish it. This should be required reading for anyone who is considering having a pet of any kind.
L Kekel
Mar 14, 2008 L Kekel rated it it was amazing
a really touching and moving look at some unsung heroes in our community--- MUST READ for any animal lover!
Sharon
Dec 11, 2011 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-rescue, cats, dogs
This book was left in the volunteer area of the local Humane Society -- where I am a volunteer who also happens to be working on a book about my experiences. The note on it said that it was quite a good read and was available free to the next reader.

I took it home and read a rollercoaster of a book that described Hess's experiences as a volunteer at a small animal shelter in upstate New York -- and that allowed me to see how far we've come in terms of humane education and animal welfare.

While ev
...more
Diane
Nov 10, 2008 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-favorite-read
Lost and Found is an eye opening and heart-felt book that looks at the inner world of an animal shelter.,

For years Elizabeth Hess volunteered at an extremely humane animal shelter in New York. In this book she describes in detail, the inner workings, the day to day operations of the animal shelter. Many of the people that work in shelters, do so strictly for the love and welfare of the animals. This shelter, like many others is short on money and staff, but long on abandoned and surrendered anim
...more
Jackie
Apr 16, 2012 Jackie rated it really liked it
If you really care about our companion animals I think that you should read this book. I was shocked at one section when a dog's owner just gave up her dog to the shelter then was heard the same day in a store talking about the next dog she wanted to get. The dog she turned over to the shelter just had pneumonia. How can anyone heartlessly get rid of an animal just because she got sick? How selfish and cold this was. The writer of this book said that the same woman asked about her dog and commen ...more
Sarah Sammis
Jun 21, 2007 Sarah Sammis rated it liked it
Shelves: released
One of my reading goals for 2007 is to read and release the BookCrossing books I've had the longest. I have a shelf of these books next to my bed. The one book that has been catching my eyes for nearly four years is Lost and Found. Prior to the book coming to me, it had been well traveled for about two years and I feel a little guilty about letting it languish on my shelf for so long.

Lost and Found is the memoir of a year worked at an upstate New York animal shelter. With cramped space and a fi
...more
Margaret
Aug 12, 2011 Margaret added it
Shelves: 2008, animals
This book really captures the animal shelter world from a volunteer's view - I can definitely relate. It is a complicated world where seemingly opposing events often occur. Not everyone (human & animal) can handle this environment but surprisingly many wonderful animals are not damaged from their shelter experience - and are lucky enough to get adopted. Another twist to this picture is the difference in shelter procedures and policies (often due to funding) even between shelters in the same ...more
Lauren
Sep 08, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it
This book really opened my eyes to shelter work, and I understand a little better why the adoption processes are how they are. The stories in here are a definite mix, but the reading overall was delightful. I enjoyed all the various stories and memories from the characters within! Hard to believe they are actually real people sometimes.
Misty Melsheimer
May 23, 2016 Misty Melsheimer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs, non-fiction, memoir
A very enlightening book about the behind-the-scenes of an animal shelter. It tugged at the heart strings as you want a happy ending for all the animals, but that's simply not possible in an overcrowded shelter. Bravo to the staff and volunteers at Columbia-Greene and shelters all over the country for doing an incredibly tough job.
Melissa
Sep 16, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: dogs
This book is great for animal lovers! I thought at first that it would focus on the sad side of animal shelters, but it actually celebrates the numerous workers. You'll follow many animals from the time they arrive until they are adopted. You'll follow some great animals comings and goings (sometimes several times) from the shelter. This book really shows you what being an animal shelter worker or volunteer requires and how much of the job is about protecting the animals brought into the shelter ...more
Rosesymbolism
Apr 22, 2016 Rosesymbolism rated it really liked it
An engaging and heartbreaking look into the silent epidemic of unwanted pets. Essential reading for any potential pet owner.
Jiaparker1997gmail.Com
scattered. not one to read again.
Sue
Mar 21, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it
very good. pretty sad, but eye-opening too.
Jennifer
Jan 20, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Truly a heartfelt read! I own a rescue dog and if it wasn't for my husband I would probably own a lot more. Although I knew about a lot of the information that is brought up in the book due to being associated with a rescue organization I think reading this book opens up some eyes for those who are or choose to be blind to the fact that animals...good animals die everyday for no good reason but overpopulation.
Rachel
Aug 28, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
The reality of a shelter is difficult to hear. Although there are success stories, there are plenty of others that are not. Some people have acceptable reasons for needing to give an animal up, but many others do not. If you are looking for a happy read, this is not it, this is about reality, the animals that deserve better, and the dedicated people who love and look after them.
Brianna
Apr 03, 2011 Brianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This really changed my perspective on shelters and what they do there. The people that work there are always trying their best to save any and every animal they possibly can and they're willing to fight for the animals' rights. It also made my desire for a Husky stronger. If only my parents would allow another animal...
Terrence
Nov 28, 2010 Terrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty much an easy sell for me - having worked at an animal shelter for 6 years, it wasn't like I wasn't already familiar with things, at least in a general sense. The sad thing is that this book was written 12 years ago and still, nothing has changed, except for things getting worse.

Sarah
Mar 07, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
While some things are outdated and many positive changes have occurred in the animal welfare industry over the last several years, Lost and Found still provides a good overview to what a typical animal shelter is like. A great read for anyone who is unfamiliar with animal shelters.
Dawn Meyers
This book was really fascinating. I couldnt put it down. I think anyone who loves animals would enjoy this book.
Katie
May 19, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
This one is extremely sad, but definitely a good book. It's written by a journalist who spend some time in an animal shelter in upstate New York. If you're an animal lover it may make you cry.
Judy
May 03, 2014 Judy rated it it was amazing
I'm in love with this book though reading it with great trepidation, as animal cruelty ranks up there, for me, with the most horrible of human atrocities.
Natalie
May 31, 2008 Natalie rated it liked it
Nothing fancy, just a quick, adorable read. Plus, there's an entire chapter on a pair of boxer siblings, including a picture that's cute enough to puke on.
Melissa Kayden
May 30, 2014 Melissa Kayden rated it liked it
As I become more interested in pet rescue, this book was more interesting (and harder to read). Good read.
C.G.
An intriguing look into the world of animal shelters and humane societies from both sides of the desk.
Jessica
Jun 22, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
If you love animals, this book will both make you smile and make you want to cry. I love my shelter dog :)
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