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Saving Gracie: How One Dog Escaped the Shadowy World of American Puppy Mills
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Saving Gracie: How One Dog Escaped the Shadowy World of American Puppy Mills

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  595 ratings  ·  71 reviews
A compelling true story of one dog's rescue from a Pennsylvania puppy millThis touching narrative uses the poignant makeover of Gracie, a sickly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, to tell the story of America's hidden puppy mills-commercial kennels that breed dogs in horrific living conditions and churn out often-diseased and emotionally damaged puppies for sale.

"Saving Gracie...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Howell Books (first published April 1st 2001)
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Blanche
I give this book 5 stars, not because it is a great work of literature. I usually reserve 5 stars for those. This book puts a face on puppy mills in a way that humane societies and animal rescue groups do not have time for. It is a great piece of journalism. I especially recommend this book to people who have heard of puppy mills, but have not been informed of the details. I already am involved in contributing to the cause. I didn't need the book but wanted to read it. In 1996 I bought a pet sto...more
Diane
(possible spoilers)


I knew this book would not be an easy read, but I just had to read it. Just 2 weeks ago a family member rescued a four year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, like Gracie, from a Georgia puppy mill. This dog is the sweetest little lap dog ever, but everything is foreign to him: his bed, toys, leash, grass, the sound of cars, birds -- all of these things are new to a puppy mill dog.

Saving Gracie: How One Dog Escaped the Shadowy World of American Puppy Mills, is not all about o...more
Eva Leger
Jul 10, 2010 Eva Leger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any animal lover and anyone who may buy another animal
Recommended to Eva by: library
I hate waiting to review a book because I'm bound to forget certain things but here goes and I only finished this yesterday so maybe I will remember all I wanted to say.
This first thing is I actually met a Cavalier King Charles from deplorable Mike-Mar kennel that is no longer in business thanks to a lot of local heroes. Yesterday I went to the vets office to get my dog his pills and saw the beautiful little dog. I'd have went over anyway because I love all dogs but since I was currently reading...more
Jeannie
I have fallen in love with Gracie, with her rescuers, her new owner and this book!!

I have known of the plight of puppy mill dogs for years (I bought one myself without realizing till too late that he had and will always have temperement issues) and do what I can by donating money to groups who do rescues, wish I could do more, especially after reading this book. It will spur you on to want to do all you can, esecially if you are an animal lover. It reminds me of hoarding but they are hoarding l...more
Peacegal
Saving Gracie is an examination of the infamous but secretive world of the mass breeding facilities known as "puppy mills," through the stories of one group of rescued Spaniels.

Wisely, the author frames the Spaniels' story in a much wider scope by concurrently documenting legislators' efforts to rein in the out-of-control puppy breeding business in the state of Pennsylvania. I found this element more intriguing than the chapters documenting the dogs' struggles with housetraining, walks, and oth...more
Crystal
Ok, I've had this book for some time. I was given a copy, either by my MIL, or the author herself as she's a relative. So I picked it up, noted it's personalized, and decided what the hay; I'd read it.

I've read, over the years, an assortment of these types of books. Most of them though are a bit more...cohesive. This one reminded me quite a bit of the book detailing the fall of Calumet stables - lots of investigative reporting related, but not essential to the story. In this case, while there's...more
Aeslis
The thing about this book is that it advertises itself as a story about a dog being saved, and that's there, but it's not what most of the book talks about at all. The book reads like a report, and spends many chapters listing information about animal rights groups, the horror behind puppy mills, the laws that have changed over the years, and the trials that happen to change them. I think these are important things, and all eye-openers, but it's not what I originally sat down intending to read,...more
Kelle
If you love dogs or any animals, this is a must-read. It's the true story of Gracie, a puppy mill dog written by an award-winning journalist. It shows the fighting spirit of animals and humans.

Most people I know don't understand what puppy mills are and how they hurt dogs. This book explains it all in a captivating real-life story of one unfortunate puppy mill dog.

I hope more people will read it so they can make educated decisions when buying from breeders. Or maybe it will steer more people t...more
Miranda
The only reason this book didn't get more stars is because the legal descriptions are a bit dry(but then, how can they not be?). I did have a little trouble keeping the people involved straight--I had to refer to previous pages a couple of times, but the story more than made up for it.

The author explores the filthy world of puppy mills by focusing on the life of one rescued dog, Gracie, who spent her first six years as a breeding machine. The author does a wonderful job of connecting the reader...more
Amanda Nevins
Such a great book! Brought me to tears many times through out and was so inspiring. Th story is not only about Gracie, but the many people that rescued all of the dogs.
Patricia Sanders
This story is about saving a group of dogs from a puppy mill. It is insightful and heartbreaking. A must read for dog lovers.
Jo
I thought I was going to be reading a book about a dog, and one does for a couple pages. Mostly this book is about the fight to regulate and "humanize" puppy mills. I applaud the fact it's now chic to have a mixed breed dog or adopt one from a shelter. If there weren't people who drop a thousand or two on a cute puppy in a pet store window on a whim a good share of the time there wouldn't be such a large demand for puppies from puppy mills. I found the book to be poorly written and largely unint...more
Patty
Carol Bradley does a great job not only telling Gracie's story but also telling of puppy mills, legislation in PA, and Gracie's breeder. When combined it is a much more complete than just the story of one dog and her recovery. The story is well told and captivating.

I picked up this book because we adopted a puppy mill mom and we wanted to find something about the recovery process for these dogs. But I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dogs or wants to know more about puppy mills or d...more
Jackie
This book was a very painful eye opener about the horrid conditions found in puppy mills. I knew puppy mills were bad but I didn't know to what extent how awful and cruel they are.

If you love animals you should read this book. If you don't care that much about animals I think you should read this book, too.

I think it is a disgrace what people are doing to defenseless animals whose only desire is to love and be loved. What kind of example are we setting for our children and other countries aroun...more
Kelly
This was a very hard book to read. Within the first few pages I was moved to tears. It chronicles a high-profile raid on a Pennsylvania puppy mill in 2006, and goes on to describe many similar cases. Nearly 400 animals, mostly dogs, were seized from the owner on this particular operation, all of which were in some way sick as a result of living in horrific conditions where they lived in cramped quarters, getting little to no time outside of wire crates, inadequate and slimy water, malnourishment...more
Amy
This book was about more than just a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Gracie who was saved from a life that was lived in horrible conditions, it was also about the horror of puppy mills. Before reading this book, I had heard of them, but I didn't realize what all was really done in them. Reading this book showed me the absolute nightmare that these helpless dogs lived, and I think all people should read it, if only to let them know that they should not buy a puppy from a person who could poss...more
bjneary
This is a book that should be read by everyone; animal lover, teen,and adult. If you are an animal lover; this book will sadden you and outrage you. If you are a teen, hopefully it will create empathy for these poor defenseless dogs (mostly) who are treated so badly, some dogs forever bear the scars of their captivity in cages, without water and food, living in their own excrement. If you are an adult, many of you will remember these cases of animal abuse because they were widely reported on the...more
Cynthia Archer
A good look at the puppy mill industry and the fight to find a way to regulate them and reduce the demand for pure breed dogs which keeps this industry thriving. A candid look at the lives of these dogs and how loving adopters find a way to give their dogs a better life.
Abby
Being someone who is obsessed with books like this, I absolutely loved this book.

The story is beautifully portrayed and really opens those eyes to people who don't think that puppy mills are a real problem.
Troy
Bradley provides a well-written look into the unjust world of large-scale puppy breeding. While the majority of the book focuses on a single case centered in Pennsylvania, Bradley does document some of the nationwide issues as well.

While I was aware of the horrors of puppy mills before picking up this book, I am still satisfied with my decision to pick this one up. Any publicity this issue can draw is welcomed, and I feel that Bradley does a remarkable job outlining the poor moral decision you...more
Perri
As other reviewers have said, there's too much puppy mill, not enough Gracie. But I enjoyed reading about the heroics of the dog rescuers and the resilient love of the undersocialized, mistreated dogs
Angie
excellent book. informative and inspiring and a bit upsetting to know that many puppy mills are skirting the law. still, a fairly uplifting story :)
Sherry
any book that brings the plight of puppy mill victims to public attention gets my vote.
Carolyn
I'm not quite finished with it, but we have a cavalier King Charles spaniel that we got over the summer. Before we got her, I started to read this book. After that, I was so thankful that my baby's life didn't start like that. It's really a shame that cavaliers are so expensive and aren't commonly up for adoption, because they are smart, beautiful, loving, friendly, and they just love their owners. Someone in my family has a cold and was on the floor coughing, and my puppy walked over and licked...more
Jessica
Saving Gracie is unique in that it follows one dog from her rescue from a puppy mill to her adoption by a family and how they helped her overcome all the issues, both mental and physical, that she developed as a result of her life in that puppy mill. The reader gets to see both the legal side of things, as well as, how much work is involved in shutting a puppy mill down. Very interesting, but also disturbing to think about how these puppy mills abuse thousands and thousands of animals. I would h...more
Jami
Although this book was very different from what I expected, because it had more information on puppy mills in general and was not 100% about Gracie, I enjoyed it. I found the information on puppy mills very disturbing and difficult to read, but it is necessary to know that this stuff is going on out there. We can't hide from things we wish weren't true, and the only way to get rid of them is to publicize the conditions at these awful places. Gracie sounds like an awesome dog and I'm happy that s...more
Karla
Jun 07, 2010 Karla rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone considering buying a puppy or a dog lover in general.
Recommended to Karla by: Berks County ARL Website
I would highly recommend this book to anybody who is considering buying a dog instead of adopting one from a shelter or rescue group. The book goes in depth at what goes on behind the scenes of a puppy mill raid. It also gives the reader an excellent graphic look into the world of puppy mills and the type of business that are supplied by them.


Also a good read if you are from the Berks County PA area and are a dog lover. It's nice to know that something good can come out of this area besides cri...more
Sherry
I struggled to get through this one, not because of the subject but because the writing style was simplistic and clunky. It didn't flow. The author also spent an inordinate amount of time on legal details of the case which, while important, was really not what this book was portrayed as being about. I think the author was unsure of her focus and perhaps tried to turn a feature article or short story into a novel. I enjoyed reading about Gracie. I did a lot of skimming to get to those parts.
Sharon
Quote from book: "To the surprise of many, Amish farmers admitted openly to raising dogs as livestock---they confined them to tiny cages and destroyed the breeding animals as soon as they stopped producing. The Post described dogs caged in dimly lit barns---filthy, covered in feces and so broken in spirit they were "unresponsive to a visitor's presence and voice." The stories prompted the passage of puppy lemon law, but did nothing to curtail the poor breeding practices."
Traci Ahlbrandt
I only issued a 3 star rating because the synopsis of the book made it seem that the book would be focused on the particular rescue of Gracie, a tri-color cavalier. I have a tri-colored cavalier that I rescued from a puppy mill in Kansas and so I was hoping to compare stories I guess. This book was more about puppy mills and legislation to govern them and try to put bad breeders out of business. It was interesting and I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't what I expected.
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