March 22, 2010

We were really inspired recently, when we learned about an exciting new project started by writer and photographer Melissa McDaniel, in support of shelter pets and deaf dogs.

She started the photo book projects ( to educate the public about various issues affecting pets in the U.S. today and to raise money for animal rescues around the country. The photo books, calendars, greeting cards and other stationery items in production will contain the images of dogs from around the country and their touching stories.

The first two books, out this summer, contain the photos and stories of over 60 dogs each. Deaf Dogs is a book close to Melissa’s heart. ”My dog Sadie is a deaf border collie mix. It wasn’t until after I adopted her that I discovered that thousands of deaf dogs are killed each year in the U.S. simply because they are deaf. I knew I wanted to do something to help them, and this book is the result.” Rescued in America contains the stories of over 70 dogs, who were all once homeless but who have all now found their forever homes.

Dogs from dog-fighting rings, puppy mills and those abandoned along the side of the road can be found in the rescued dog photo book, however, most of them were relinquished to shelters due to their owners’ circumstances. “I think many people have this idea that shelter dogs are damaged goods, but that just isn’t the case. Every shelter I visited over the last year has said the same thing – the top reasons for relinquishment are relocation, divorce, allergies, and job loss. You can find great dogs in shelters, and even 25% of all shelter dogs are purebreds. My greatest hope is that after people read these books is that they will spay and neuter their pets, that, when they go to get their next pet, they will adopt one from a shelter or a breed-specific rescue, and, if they have the appropriate home, that they will consider adopting a deaf dog or a pit bull.”

The books are currently available for pre-order at 15% off, and now, you can make your purchase really count. If Melissa gets 5,000 pre-orders for the photo books between March 15 and June 30, she has pledged to donate $25,000 each to Best Friends Animal Society (, which works toward a day when there are no more homeless pets, and Amazing Aussies (, which works to save deaf dogs and end the specific breeding practices that produce them.

To pre-order now, visit the website:

To view photos and read more about the projects, visit