“An absolutely stunning book and an astonishing work of reporting. I love the complete honesty that suffuses it.”
— Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving
After adopting an Irish sight hound, Laura Schenone discovers a remarkable and little-known fight to gain justice for dogs and for all animals.
Greyhounds, bred to be the fastest dogs on earth, are beautiful, gentle, and astonishing creatures. Yet for decades, countless numbers of them have been abandoned and destroyed every year once they can no longer compete and win.
The Dogs of Avalon introduces us to the strong-willed Marion Fitzgibbon, born in rural Ireland, where animals are valued for their utility. But Fitzgibbon believes suffering is felt by all creatures and champions the cause of strays, baffling those around her—including her family—as she, and a group of local women rescue any animal in need, taking on increasingly risky missions.
When Fitzgibbon becomes head of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and takes on the cause of the greyhound, she faces an entrenched racing industry protected by money and power. She joins forces with an American greyhound activist, a foxhunter’s wife, a British Lady, and an influential German animal rescuer to create an international network to find these animals homes, confront the racing industry, and provide safe haven where animals can live in peace.
The Dogs of Avalon brings forward the people on the other side of the track—Irish Travellers (a people whose Celtic history goes back centuries), dogmen who hope to win big—plus a host of animals on two continents—circus tigers in Ireland, wild monkeys in the Yucatan, dolphins in a marine animal park in Florida, and one very special Irish sight hound in New Jersey named Lily.
In this potent David and Goliath story, Schenone’s journey helps us understand our deep connection to animals and gives us inspiration in the form of the unforgettable Marion Fitzgibbon, who grapples with compassion and activism and shows the difference we are all capable of making in the world.[more about The Dogs of Avalon]
Washington Independent Review of Books gives love to The Dogs of Avalon
" . . . deeply felt but not sentimental or cloying . . . accessible and important."
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