The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril

The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril

by Laura Schenone


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Named a Best Book of the Year by The Bark magazine

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 racing dogs on earth, are streaks of lightning. Beautiful, astonishing creatures, countless numbers of them disappear each 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 only for their utility. But Fitzgibbon believes that suffering is felt by all creatures, and she 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 and taking on increasingly risky missions.

When Fitzgibbon becomes head of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and focuses 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 havens where animals can live in peace.

The Dogs of Avalon brings forward the people on the other side of the tracks—Irish Travellers (a people whose Celtic history goes back centuries), dogmen who hope to win big—together with 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 Fitzgibbon, who grapples with compassion and activism and shows the difference we are all capable of making in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393073584
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/22/2017
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Laura Schenone is the author of The Dogs of Avalon, the James Beard Award-winning A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove and The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken. She writes for Saveur, New Jersey Monthly, and other magazines. She lives in New Jersey with her family and dog Lily.

Esther Wane is a British actor and voice-over artist who has narrated audiobooks in a variety of genres, including memoir, politics, romantic fiction, and children's literature. She has a lifelong passion for literature and can often be found browsing bookshops at any spare moment.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Part I

Prologue 3

1 Wild, 1993 5

2 Gypsy Dog, 2007 27

3 Domestic, 1945-65 37

4 The Dogs of Limerick, 3965-80 45

5 Lily in the Suburbs, 2007 65

6 Dignity, 2007 81

7 Celtic Hounds 85

Part II

8 Beverly, 1983-2001 105

9 A Burning Donkey, 1987 123

10 A Grand Scheme, 1994 145

11 Rising Tide, 1994-96 157

12 Undercover, 1997-2001 183

Part III

13 Dominion 199

14 And the Sheep Came Too, 2008 209

15 Last Race at Wonderland, 2009-10 219

16 Avalon 231

17 Winners and Losers 245

Part IV

18 Changes 261

19 Miracle Worker, 2013 279

20 Paradise Is Forever, 2015 289

21 Sanctuary, 2016 299

Epilogue, Where they are today 309

Acknowledgments 315

Select Bibliography 319

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