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Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  801 ratings  ·  141 reviews
The extraordinary story of one man who has driven more than 1 million miles to rescue thousands of dogs from hunger, abuse and neglect and give them a second chance at life and love.

For years, Greg Mahle struggled to keep the last of his family-run restaurants afloat in Ohio. When it finally closed, he was broke and unsure what to do next. Then a stranded van-load of
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Sourcebooks
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Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I have personal involvement with the subject matter as my own dog was adopted from Kathy Wetmore at Houston Shaggy Dog Rescue and brought from Houston, TX to NY using Rescue Road Trips in May 2013. I continue to be involved with RRT by taking photographs at one of Greg's many stops.I have a purchased copy arriving this week, however, I also received an advance copy as a surprise from Greg & Adella for my volunteer work with the group.

"Rescue Road" is a heartwarming & eye
Mia Couture
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
The animal population is out of control in the southern states, and what it takes to rescue even one dog is an incredible undertaking. This is the story of how some of those dogs beat the odds, found forever homes, and what it takes to get them there. Some animal shelters have a euthanasia rate of 80 to 90%. Whether you rescue or buy, I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a dog owner.
Pamela Barrett
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you only add one book on dog rescue to your library, then make it this one. Peter Zheutlin’s Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway is a compassionate compelling look into one man’s mission to save unwanted dogs in some of America’s worst areas. That man is Greg Mahle who trucks dogs that are literally on deaths door, to loving people who adopt them in a celebration he calls “Gotcha Day.” The author travels with him and the dogs, from the time ...more
Week 40 of the 2015 Reading Challenge: A Book That Made You Cry

I think it's a given that any book involving animals will make me cry! This author recently gave a brief talk at one of the adoption events that the rescue I volunteer for was having. It was really interesting and I was inspired to buy his book.

I volunteer for a rescue that pulls their dogs from southern shelters and transports them via a similar service. I know how much different the attitude towards dogs is in their area vs where I
C.J. English
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Right book at the right time. ...more
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs
If you ever become involved in rescue this is the book to read. After fostering, I can relate to the stories and satisfaction of helping save a life. It's not easy but it can be very rewarding. :) Pick it up. Worth the time and tears.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You must read this book. If you rescue, you must read this book. If you foster, you must read this book. If you want to understand more about pet overpopulation, you must read this book. Read. This. Book.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book chronicling the canine rescue organizations! I had no idea of the problems with dogs at risk in the deep south. When I'm ready for a another dog it will be another "rescue."
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Greg Mahle is an inspiration to animal lovers. He sacrifices so much to help southern rescue dogs find their forever homes in the northeast. I learned a lot about rescue organizations and the incredible people that run them throughout this book. I've lived in the Houston area for 13 years and had no idea how large a problem we have with stray animals in the 5th Ward. Absolutely heartbreaking. Shout out to Greg and all those that work tirelessly to give these rescue dogs a chance at a happy and ...more
Sara Nolting
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was very well written, and if you love dogs it’s a perfect fit for you!
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Although much better than others in the same vein, this book looks a bit like soft journalism. In any case, the issue is described well and with feeling and in all its stark sadness
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a hard slog for me, though not for the author’s lack of ability. Peter Zheutlin, a journalist and animal lover, follows a dedicated handful of animal rescuers and their endless crusade to save the lives of homeless dogs and cats in the southern US. Its a real, and often gritty, look into the inhumane situations these people throw themselves into every single day. They not only sacrifice time, but money – LOTS of money – in their efforts. They’re fighting a flood of destitution, ...more
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Peter Zheutlin goes along with Greg Mahle on his journey from the South to the North bringing rescue dogs to their forever homes. Throughout the book he also visits with other volunteers along the way who run shelters, foster dogs, bring food and medicine to dogs, etc. This was an incredible story about all of the volunteers who do everything they can to rescue dogs from being euthanized and make their lives better. It is amazing to read about these volunteers who put so much time, money, and ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
This book is one piece of the huge puzzle that is rescue and animal activism.

The story follows Peter Zheutlin, a journalist who adopts a lab rescued from the southern United States. He decides to investigate where his dog came from and becomes interested in why there is such a huge stray and shelter issue in the south, as well as the people saving these dogs and transporting them to the north.

I recognized a lot of this book. I’ve fostered over 70 dogs since starting to work in rescue a little
Liz Estrada
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well, a tough book to read, for you realize the horrible plight of most stray dogs in the South. I gave this 4 stars for the unsung heroes and heroines who give their all (time, money and even their well being) to try and put a small dent in the overpopulation problem the world is facing with stray dogs, due to ignorance, neglect and abuse. The moral of this tale is: education, education, education as in everything. I love the fact that Zheutin gives website addresses and contacts to all these ...more
Jamie Orebaugh
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! As someone who has volunteered in shelter for the last 10 years it crushed my heart to see how dire the situation is in the south. But of course as rescue work goes, reading the stories of the amazing people who work tirelessly for those animals gives one faith and hope. There is always something new to learn and a new perspective on a situation that can seem so typical in the rescue world; every person in the animal welfare community should read this. We have a problem with cat ...more
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, non-fiction
I read a LOT of dog stories, but I've always avoided books about rescue and shelter programs. I thought they'd be too, you know - completely gut wrenching. And while parts of this story are not easy to read, this book was great. Well researched, well written, and not at all preachy.
Mauri Baumann
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dog-books, 2016
What a great book. What a great person. I even went online and watched the people waiting for him on "Gotcha Day" to bring them their special pet. Very heartwarming!
Jessica White
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Calling all dog lovers!
Backstory about me real quick. The pup pictured above is my rescue dog, Sophie (check out my blog for the pic). My friend found her in an overrun yard with 5+ other dogs. All the other dogs were pups, but I lucked out and got a totally trained, cuddly, senior dog. Sophie was between 6 and 8 years old when I got her. We're going on 3 years together now and we couldn't be happier! So, before you ask, yes we're from the South (Alabama) where much of Rescue Road takes place.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
I am not quite sure why I picked this particular book to read but upon starting I wish that I hadn't. The concept and the whole presentation of the facts could have made for quite a strong victorious read but instead it was a dry flop.

The author continues to expand upon an article that he had done previously about a dog trucker who helps to get Southern rescue dogs from their dark and often miserable pasts to their new and hopefully loving forever homes in the Northeast. At the same time he
Josie Mae
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
There is a lot more to rescue than most of us will ever realize. Many people own animals, without really thinking about the morals and ethics involved in pet ownership, buying a pure bred or picking up a dog at a shelter, usually without putting too much thought into it or without thinking about their pets’ backstories. Upon adopting his first family dog as a rescue, after long being against pet ownership, author and writer Peter Zheutlin gets curious and decides to follow the same path their ...more
Elizabeth Lutz
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First, I will note that I am a veterinarian, and I am typically hesitant to read rescue/non-fiction Animal-based literature simply due to the compassion fatigue that it invokes. It’s really hard to turn that part of your heart, soul, and brain off at the end of a day, and that can take its toll. That said, this book has been persistently recommended to me by my mom, and I chose to give it a read initially to satisfy her. I could not have been more wrong about my hesitations. Or rather, I could ...more
T.L. Cooper
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dog, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway by Peter Zheutlin is a touching, heartbreaking, hopeful book that shines a light on the plight of the many unwanted dogs in the southern United States. Zheutlin details the process of moving these dogs from the South to their forever homes in the North while also demonstrating the plight of the dogs. Rescue Road celebrates not only Greg Mahle, who drives the dogs to their new families, but also those who ...more
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely a great read for anyone thinking of adding a new furry family member! There are so many animals in need of good homes and this book shares just a few of those stories and of some of the people who help them reach new homes. My very first dog as an adult was a 2.5 yr old golden retriever adopted from my local shelter after his first family decided he was too big. He was one of the best dogs I've ever had the privilege of loving. I would say, please consider adoption, but I'm guessing ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book about two years ago and it keeps popping back into my head. I suppose it has been the catalyst for me becoming a volunteer at one of our local shelters. The author spent the necessary time actually on the road with the main man (sorry, I've forgotten names) and then wandered into off-shoots, crucial to understanding the widespread problem of too many dogs in shelters and running wild. I only wish Zheutlin had spent more time pondering the cause - machismo?! Heartbreaking and ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
For years, Greg Mahle struggled to keep the last of his restaurants afloat in Ohio. When it finally closed, he was broke and unsure what to do next. Then a stranded van-load of puppies changed his life forever. Peter Zheutlin travels with Greg from Ohio to the Gulf Coast on his Rescue Road Trips to bring hard-luck dogs from the deep South to loving "forever families" up north with the help of volunteers along the way. From Houston's impoverished Fifth Ward and high-kill animal shelters in ...more
Gary Moreau
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book about a very big problem - dog neglect and abuse.

Despite the sad subject the book is ultimately inspirational. The people are a cross section of those great souls out there doing good every day, largely under the radar. If you finish your day feeling just a bit cynical about the state of the world, this book will renew your faith in the fundamental goodness of people. The abusers and the rescuers provide an insightful contrast that, in the end, is very motivational.

It's very
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For all the dog lovers out there this is a must-read. The author rides along with a man who drives from Ohio to the South twice a week to pick up as many as 80 dogs rescued from high-kill shelters and deliver them to people ready to give them a furr-ever home. I think even people who adopt rescue dogs don't realize the work and sacrifice of the people who actually rescue these dogs. It will be heart-breaking to hear of the conditions so many dogs are in. But you might find yourself wanting to ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for anyone who is a lover of pets. Having rescuing a dog from one of the rescue shelters mentioned in this book, it answered several questions about the process as to how Rebel became a part of our family. It also explains why there are so many dogs from the south being brought up north. Please be responsible and spay and neuter your pets. And please, I beg you, stop buying animals from people who breed their pets to make extra money. If you are looking for a pet companion, ...more
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Peter Zheutlin is an avid cyclist and a freelance journalist whose work appears regularly in the Boston Globe and the Christian Science Monitor. He has also written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, AARP Magazine, Bicycling, the New England Quarterly, and other publications. He lives in Needham, Massachusetts.
“Alexandra Horowitz’s book Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know should be required reading for anyone adopting a rescue dog or buying a dog from a breeder.” 0 likes
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