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Saved: Rescued Animals and the Lives They Transform

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Phil, ailing and unemployed, took an orphaned fawn into his trailer and now walks the woods with the devoted stag. “I don’t know what I’d do without Li’l Buck,” Phil declares simply. “I guess I’d be crazy.”Walt, a retired pipe fitter, says, “Animals...take your heartache away. I lost my boy to drugs and my horse saved my life—just through the therapy of riding.”

Don and Lillian devote their time advocating for animal rights and bringing home lost animals. According to Don, “Emotionally, it’s an endorphin rush to be with [the animals]. On the metaphysical level, they give us meaning in life.”

With these and many other compelling, heartfelt stories, Saved, in the words of Rita Mae Brown, “proves once again that love rescues us all.”

212 pages, Hardcover

First published October 27, 2008

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About the author

Karin Winegar

7 books5 followers
Karin Winegar graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and then attended graduate school in English literature at the University of Minnesota. In 1978, she became a reporter at the Minneapolis Star (later the Star Tribune) and wrote feature stories, covered participatory sports, women's sports issues and interviewed celebrity authors until she left the Tribune in 1998. Her editorials still appear in the Tribune on occasion.

She freelances for national publications ranging from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to PEOPLE, EQUUS, Practical Horseman, Cowboys and Indians, Conde Nast Traveler and Sailing magazine.

Her writing has won Lowell Thomas awards for both investigative reporting and for maritime journalism. She has won numerous awards in the equine industry including two AQHA Steel Dust Awards and the U.S. Equestrian Award.

Karin and her husband actor and director Peter Moore occasionally write a book review column, a domestic spat in print called He Read/She Read.

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5 stars
21 (24%)
4 stars
37 (42%)
3 stars
23 (26%)
2 stars
4 (4%)
1 star
2 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
175 reviews10 followers
March 1, 2009
This is a really incredible and touching book about animals, the people who've rescued them, and vice versa. The photos are gorgeous, too. It's not always pleasant to read, and there are some stories of abuse (both human and animal) which will threaten to stay in your head forever, but they are always balanced by happy ending. I unfortunately couldn't bring myself to give the book five stars because it seemed oddly biased in a number of ways. A disproportionate number of rescuers live in Oregon or Virginia, and I would have preferred it if the authors had tried to stretch their travels. More pointedly, a disproportionate number of rescuers are extremely wealthy. The average poor or middle class person in "Saved" tells a story of their one adopted pet. In contrast, the people who routinely rescue a dozen or more animals are rich country club members with inherited wealth, or owners of successful tech companies, for example. I think that sends the wrong message, and tells the reader that if you aren't rich, you can't make a larger difference. I know many, many "average Janes/Joes" who routinely rescue and place abandoned dogs and cats, and they do it from their middle-class home or even from their mobile home in the trailer park. They need to seek donations to support their work in many cases, but they still make an incredible difference. I would have loved to have seen cat rescuer Jody Harmon profiled in here -- living on disability, Jody nevertheless manages to trap, spay/neuter, and adopt out literally hundreds of cats. She doesn't live on a sprawling estate of many acres, or have a second home in Florida -- she lives in a small rental house and has figured out how to accomplish her goals without benefit of a stock portfolio. We can all make a difference, even if just by fostering one or two animals on a regular basis, and I think "Saved" does a disservice by devoting so little attention to the little guy.

One more complaint... I don't know why the book included the story of the hunter who adopted a baby deer he named "Little Buck". I thought it was wonderful that a man who used to kill deer had instead fostered a loving, respectful relationship with one he raised from a bottle, but I was disgusted to find out that the man still goes and hunts deer! I was even more disturbed by the fact that he takes his pet deer to watch while he shoots adults and butchers them. If the moral of this story had been that the hunter no longer hunted because of his respect for Little Buck, I would have understood its inclusion. Otherwise, it's just a story of a self-centered man who's apparently incapable of emotional growth. I feel sorry for the legitimate animal rescuers whose stories were omitted from "Saved" to make room for this pointless piece.
Profile Image for Gina.
Author 2 books150 followers
April 20, 2010
Wonderful! Not just another book about people who love animals--this one is thoughtful, poignant, from an author who clearly champions animals and believes in the love they can offer if only given a chance.

Learn about the pair of Great Pyrenees whose beating and abandonment resulted in each losing a leg. Now they live in an adult foster home/hospice where they offer residents love and companionship and check on each resident before retiring for the night, and who quietly sit nearby during the last moments of a resident's life.

And the Beagle, Annie, who was found with a cracked nose, a broken jaw, and a missing eye, who, now rescued and safe, is content to be pet and loved on.

Animals give so much to us!
Profile Image for Sabrina.
265 reviews11 followers
August 28, 2014
I really wanted to like this book; and a couple of the stories in it actually were touching. However, I was expecting stories of selfless acts and touching rescues. What I got instead was stories about people "rescuing" animals for their own human-centered purposes (like rescuing horses to then put them in service as riding animals), or breeders "rescuing" animals (kind of hypocritical since you're part of the problem in the first place). It just didn't do it for me.
Profile Image for Brianna.
453 reviews9 followers
May 23, 2009
I didn't finish this, but only because it was due back at the library. And it's the kind of book you need to be in the right mood to read. (Meaning, it made me bawl like a pageant winner, and I can't do that just anywhere)

This is the kind of book I wish everyone would read.
88 reviews1 follower
January 12, 2010
LOVED this book; good stories about different people around the country who rescue animals ....... some parts were pretty hard to get through (heartwrenching), but great read; was sad when I finished it ...... read it in one day.
Profile Image for Mal.
18 reviews
January 16, 2010
Yes, another animal book! But I love the genre, what can I say. But this is a good one, has inspiring stories and photos about people and their relationship with animals. And how both may be broken in some way, but both can help save the other.
Profile Image for Joanne.
448 reviews
November 26, 2008
Good book for any animal lover - I am always amazed at how animals enrich and improve the lives of people from all walks of life.
Profile Image for Sarah.
86 reviews
May 10, 2011
Poignant, heartbreaking, and loving stories...there were even a few beagles who found forever homes! I need to have an animal rescue something....that would make me happy.
Profile Image for Laurla2.
2,202 reviews3 followers
January 10, 2021
the writing kind of meanders all over and the author lost me frequently. i ended up skimming a lot.

"brain scan research is starting to verify that people on the autism spectrum think with the visual part of the brain more than non-autistic people. one lady says 'i think in pictures, like google for images. most people think mainly in words'."
"64% of ex-convicts return to jail, while inmates who worked with animals during their incarceration had a recidivism rate of just 16%"
"what rescued animals do best and most astonishingly is forgive"
"i had all this love nobody seemed to want except my animals"
"with them i don't have to worry about 'did i say the right thing or the wrong thing'"
"children are dog substitutes"
Profile Image for Deborah.
336 reviews8 followers
August 16, 2017
Well written, touching stories of rescued animals. Loved it.
Profile Image for Kate.
693 reviews1 follower
October 15, 2017
This book is exactly what it claims to be. No surprises and should probably get 3 stars. But it's a feel-good and there are lots of pictures of wonderful pets, so I gave it 4. Because I'm a softy.
662 reviews6 followers
July 3, 2021
Nice stories of animals and the people they were rescued by/rescued. But nothing really in depth and sort of lacking for that.
669 reviews12 followers
January 27, 2014
This was a very different book. And a very inspiring one, to say the least. Every chapter is a heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking story about people and the animals they are saving. And saving in many different ways. That's what was so interesting, was how these people became involved when they saw a need in their area, and how they created a solution tailored to that need. And most of them are doing it with their own money or on a shoestring budgets, or, working in areas that people avoid for personal safety reasons. All trying to help animals that often are in bad situations because of humans to begin with.

We all can help in some way, and though you might think it's a small way, it may be lifesaving to the animal touched by your kindness and love.
Profile Image for Laura.
143 reviews3 followers
November 26, 2008
This is a good animal book, makes you realize there are some very compassionate people out there.

Each story begins with an animal that has suffered (usually from abuse and abandonment), and ends with that animal healing, and then comforting their human companions. It is insightful and touching, you WILL tear up!
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,686 reviews17 followers
April 16, 2009
This is a wonderful collection of stories from people who have rescued pets or dedicated their lives to helping animals. Reading this made me want to run over to the local humane society and take all the cats home (which my two cats would certainly not appreciate)! Anyone who has pets or loves animals will love this collection of stories. Very interesting and well put together.
28 reviews44 followers
December 11, 2009
I actually didn't finish this, and I was surprised that I was bored with it. Some of the stories were good, such as the one about the man in New Orleans, but I didn't get the one about the polo player. I see where his dog had probably saved him emotionally, but I didn't see how he had really saved the dog. This could have been a riveting book, but for me it wasn't.
Profile Image for Deborah.
465 reviews41 followers
January 20, 2016
This is a heart warming book but also one that will break your heart. I have learned how to recognize a sad story coming and to ignore those bits of the books that I read.
We who adore animals understand the meaning of unconditional love but it's always wonderful to read about those who share how we feel.
154 reviews
March 4, 2016
I was disappointed with this book. I had taken a course on Temple Grandin and have been reading books for which she is the sole author and some where it was co-authored. This was co-authored and consisted of stories where people had rescued animals. Most of them were dog stories and I am a cat person. Enough said.
2 reviews1 follower
February 9, 2011
I am almost finished with the book and find it interesting that many of the stories are about minnesota animals. Some of the organizations mentioned are ones I have worked with when I was involed in Humane Society work. Heart warming stories but not a nail bitter.
Profile Image for Cyndie Courtney.
1,239 reviews6 followers
May 30, 2014
Absolutely gorgeous pictures and some interesting stories about people and the animals they rescued in one way or another. My only complaint would be that I wish the stories had been longer and more detailed, for each of them I wanted to know even more about the people and animals.
21 reviews
February 23, 2009
Quick animal loving read from the library. It so sad how many dogs, cats, horses are abused in the country but also uplifting how many people do so much to help many of these animals out.
Profile Image for Randi.
118 reviews
May 17, 2011
As an animal lover and a rescuer this was not what I expected. It was okay, about 25 little personal stories, but they were all happy endings and it wasn't real enough for me.
Profile Image for Melissa.
73 reviews1 follower
March 25, 2013
Enlightening and heartbreaking but lots of happy endings.
1,135 reviews7 followers
June 22, 2015
A touching book of photos and stories about animals that have been rescued (and rescued their humans in return!) Loved it!
Profile Image for Sumiko.
210 reviews1 follower
June 21, 2009
Very enjoyable stories of rescued animals, etc.
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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