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Pound for pound tugs the heartstrings

From Animal Sheltering magazine March/April 2016

In Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life, author Shannon Kopp details her eight-year struggle with bulimia and the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA jobs that ultimately allowed her to heal.

Kopp tells the stories of Buster, Sunny, Sheba, Ranger and more—dogs who were abused, abandoned, fearful or sick and who found the will to live and love anyway—in a “love letter to shelter dogs” and a manifesto of self-forgiveness.

Thanks to dogs like Bella, a dog afraid of flies and sneezes, and abused Stewie, the “most beautiful, precious little nutcase on the planet,” Kopp faces her fears and accepts her own trauma.

Sheltering professionals will identify with Kopp’s tales of handling difficult animal cases and grappling with fellow shelter and rescue workers, but anyone who has loved and been loved by an animal will be moved by Kopp’s words.

“Their attentive eyes and steady tail wags told me that I still mattered to someone,” Kopp writes. “They gave me a level of comfort and acceptance and adoration that I was certain I didn’t deserve.”

About the Author

Bethany Wynn Adams is a senior editor at Animal Sheltering, a quarterly magazine for anyone who cares about the health and happiness of animals and their people, and animalsheltering.org. From tales of shelter mascots to guidance on backyard chickens, Bethany works with experts from across the country and within the Humane Society of the United States to bring wide-ranging, engaging print and web news to the animal welfare community. Winner of the Cat Writers' Association's MUSE Medallion, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two naughty rescue dogs.