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Dogland: A Journey to the Heart of America's Dog Problem

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Soon after Jacki Skole brought home an eight-week-old puppy from a New Jersey rescue organization, she wondered how such a young animal could have so many idiosyncrasies—so she set out to find an answer. Dogland, an extraordinary mix of memoir and investigative journalism, follows Skole’s journey to trace the origins of her newest family member.

Along the way, Skole intervi
Paperback, 257 pages
Published August 1st 2015 by Ashland Creek Press
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Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Jacki Skole opens and closes her book with her search for how her rescued dog happened to make the journey from a shelter in North Carolina to her home in New Jersey. In the course of that search, she takes the reader on a tour of how canine (and, tangentially feline) overpopulation is handled in this country. As a journalist, her expose mostly focuses on the eastern half of the USA, noting in particular some differences in how companion animals are viewed in the North and in the South. I hadn't ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
We recently welcomed a puppy to our family -- a shelter mutt from Arkansas who was transported to the Northeast for adoption by a rescue group based in our state. During the adoption process, I was mainly focused on whether or not we would be picked from several applicants to adopt our chosen puppy and didn't think much about where she came from, why she was being adopted up here instead of in Arkansas, or why it seemed like so many of the dogs I saw online came from the South. In reading Doglan ...more
Amber Polo
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs
Many people adopt a rescue dog, but few attempt to track down where that dog came from. Jacki Skole became interested in the six-week old pup her family named Galen. She wanted to know about Galen’s history and was curious about the pup’s submissive and fearful behavior. She questioned why a North Carolina dog was up for adoption in a New Jersey garden supply store. What she found was a story and a passion. And some surprising answers.
We’ve all heard horror stories of the huge numbers of dogs p
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the book I had hoped to write one day. A woman adopts a dog from a rescue group in central New Jersey. Curious about the dog's history, she traces its roots back to the rural south and, more precisely, to the family that surrendered the dog and its littermates to a shelter in North Carolina. Along the way, the author, Jacki Skole, uncovers the harsh realities that face America's six to eight million homeless pets and argues that a lack of spay/neuter awareness is the root of our nation's ...more
Rachel Bea
I blogged this book chapter by chapter on my website, You can see my reading series posts here:

This book is a must-read for animal advocates and anyone who wants to learn more about animal rescue and advocacy. It will also appeal to simply anyone who loves a good story about the way our pets shape our lives. Not only does this book have well-researched journalism in one of its main storylines, asking the question, "Why do we euthanize so
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-books
I received a copy of this book as a First Reads book.

I absolutely loved this book. I've only given a very few five star reviews, but this book certainly deserves it. It thoughtfully delves into the world of animal rescue and examines it from all sides. Ms. Skole has done extensive research and provides multi-faceted solutions for reducing the number of healthy animals who are euthanized each year in this country.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially to those who are quick to
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-edited
This is an elegantly written, well-reported book on a subject that left me gobsmacked. It would be very easy for a writer who delved into the very heart of this country's "dog problem" to leap upon a soapbox and beat her chest. Skole is too talented a writer to do anything like this. Instead, she has crafted a subtle, nuanced narrative that looks at the issue of overpopulation, kill shelters, rescue organizations shuttling dogs from southern states to northern states, and the cultural difference ...more
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
DOGLAND is a nation changing book. It moves from one family's eventful selection of a rescue dog into a blueprint for sweeping and positive changes to help all rescue dogs and cats. The book inspires readers first to check the No-Kill policies of their local humane and rescue organizations, then to take needed actions. Choices range from phone calls, emails, and letters to editors questioning current policies and offering ideas for No-Kill, for dynamic Foster Care programs, and more.

Readers are
Sarah Williams
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is essential reading for anyone involved in animal rescue and anyone who is remotely concerned with the huge rate of euthanasia in America of dogs and cats annually in shelters. It's eye opening, fact based and highly appreciative of the extraordinary work everyone from the rural animal control workers to the volunteer rescue movement are doing, which in essence is plugging a hole in a leaky bucket until the country comes up with a solution for ensuring the majority of dogs and cats are spa ...more
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Eye opening expose. So much progress has been made but so much work still to be done. This book was written about the "dog problem" but could just as easily been written about the "cat/kitten problem". The same issues exist there as well.
Jen Hirt
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I volunteer at the Humane Society in Harrisburg, PA, which can house as many as 70 dogs for adoption and has not euthanized for space in many years. We also get "Southern dogs" from time to time, when the southern shelters get overcrowded or hit by hurricanes. So, I basically could not put Skole's book down as she investigated the "overground railroad" and the "Underhound railroad" of rescue groups, volunteers, and shelters that deal with the dog overpopulation problem in the south by, in part, ...more
Misty Melsheimer
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs, non-fiction
Very similar to other books about dog (& cat) rescue organizations. Was very well written and researched. It did offer an interesting perspective of prevention for dog overpopulation. Most books of this nature focus primarily on spay/neuter programs. This book proposed a lot more education and outreach.

Definitely worth a read for anyone interested in dog rescue or how to solve the dog overpopulation problem.
Week 47 of the 2017 Reading Challenge: A book that has been or is being read by a book club. This book was also the Nov/Dec selection for my dog group Book Club.

It was a very well written book. For many people - like me - that have dogs transported from the south, it gave a really good background on where the dogs come from and how so many of them end up being transported north.
Glassworks Magazine
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Dogland: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Dog Problem” by Jacki Skole, the term “Man’s Best Friend” takes on a whole new meaning. Skole uses her journalism background and her love of animals to shed light on a topic that hits home for just about anyone who has ever brought a dog into their lives. It is during her search to find out the history of her recent four legged family addition, her dog Galen, that Skole begins to uncover something unfortunate: the truth that many dogs face once they ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received Dogland, free, from Good Reads. It is also personally autographed to me by author Jacki Skole. Thank you.

I loved this book. I have worked with both dog and horse rescues and have adopted dogs and horses. This book earned the five stars I awarded it. It discusses dog rescue and examines it from all sides. It is well researched and provides solutions for reducing the number of healthy animals who are euthanized every year in the US.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, and suggest all
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Animal Book Club: DOGLAND's 2nd Anniversary 5 11 Aug 13, 2017 09:00AM  
Jacki Skole is an award-winning journalist and adjunct professor of communication. She launched her journalism career at CNN, first as a news writer, then as a producer in the network’s documentary unit; she’s also produced programs for Animal Planet and HGTV. Jacki has taught media studies at La Salle University, Rider University, and Raritan Valley Community College.

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