THE BOOK: Dogland: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Dog Problem


THE AUTHOR: Jacki Skole

THE EDITOR: Midge Raymond.

THE PUBLISHER: Ashland Creek Press

SUMMARY: Soon after Jacki Skole brought home an eight-week-old puppy from a New Jersey rescue organization, she wondered how such a young animal could have so many idiosyncrasies—so she set out to find an answer. Dogland, an extraordinary mix of memoir and investigative journalism, follows Skole’s journey to trace the origins of her newest family member.

Jacki SkoleAlong the way, Skole interviewed dozens who work in the world of animal rescue—from shelter managers to animal rights activists—taking readers from dilapidated county-run shelters in the South to strip malls in the Northeast where rescue groups seek homes for homeless pets, and from rural and urban “vet deserts” to the very heart of the South’s complex relationship with companion dogs.

Amid the serious issues facing shelter dogs in America, Skole found tireless animal advocates and humble visionaries who believe their ideas and their passion can save canine lives throughout the South—and the entire United States. This award-winning book offers a thoughtful and inspiring look into America’s dog crisis and how we can come together to resolve it.

THE BACK STORY: Galen is my second rescue dog, and as with my first—Gryffin—I always wondered about her life before me. With Gryffin, I asked questions but never sought answers. With Galen, my life was such that I could endeavor to seek answers. What I quickly discovered was that every answer raised another question, and before long, my journalist’s instincts were telling me that I’d stumbled onto a story that needed to be told, and more importantly, a serious problem that needed to be solved.

WHY THIS TITLE: I love the title Dogland and have to give full credit to my publishing company, Ashland Creek Press for coming up with it. To me, Dogland has dual connotations. It speaks to the United States as a country brimming with dog-lovers, while also recognizing that within the country there are communities, both rural and urban, that are dealing with a crisis:

Healthy, adoptable dogs are being euthanized daily in public animal shelters. The subtitle: A Journey to the heart of America’s Dog Problem clues the reader in to the plot while piquing curiosity—America has a dog problem?

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: This is a book for everyone who loves dogs and cares about their welfare, be they dog owners, shelter workers, or people involved with rescue organizations. Perhaps the greatest feedback I get is from people within animal welfare who tell me that Dogland has opened their eyes to aspects of the problem that they didn’t know or hadn’t considered, and from owners of rescue dogs who tell me that so many of my questions about my dog mimic questions they harbor about theirs.


2015 Maxwell Award winner — Dog Writers Association of America

2015 Nautilus Silver Award Winner

2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner

2016 Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal Winner

“When journalist Skole adopted a ‘quirky’ mixed-breed puppy from a rescue shelter in New Jersey, she hadn’t counted on the journey she’d find herself taking in search of the pup’s origins…Those who have given their hearts and homes to shelter dogs will find much here to validate their love, but ultimately the book is meant as a call to action.” -Publishers Weekly

“Dogland tackles a complex, emotional topic … and opens readers’ eyes to how we can help these faithful companions.” -Animal Sheltering Magazine

“…an absolutely amazing piece of work…I simply could not recommend Dogland any more highly. This is not only an incredibly well-written and engrossing read, but it is an important and thought-provoking work that challenges each of us to evaluate how companion animals are treated and traded in this country…Any reader who loves dogs, loves great investigative work, or loves memoirs should absolutely read this book. It is an A+, five-star read, and a book that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.” -Tracy Slowiak, Readers’ Favorite

“Thank you to Jacki Skole for taking the steps to understand this complex issue and for writing this important book to inform the rest of us…My hope is that Dogland compels us all to truly work together…Animal protection is one of the most pressing social justice issues of our time.” -Kimberly Spanjol, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LMHC, Humane Education Learning Programs (H.E.L.P.)

“Skole uses her journalism background and her love of animals to shed light on a topic that hits home for just about anyone who has ever brought a dog into their lives…Dogland is a truly compelling book that will have you driving to the nearest shelter to offer a hand or a paw in any way you can.” -Glassworks Magazine

AUTHOR PROFILE: Jacki Skole is an award-winning journalist and adjunct professor of communication. She launched her journalism career at CNN, first as a news writer, then as a producer in the network’s documentary unit; she’s also produced programs for Animal Planet and HGTV. Skole has taught at La Salle University, Rider University, and Raritan Valley Community College. She is a book reviewer for EcoLit Books and a reader for Creative Nonfiction.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of DOGLAND to nonprofit animal welfare groups that are working to increase spay/neuter and decrease shelter euthanasia. Thus, Dogland makes a great gift to dog-loving family and friends: Buy a book, save a life J. SAMPLE CHAPTER:

WHERE TO BUY IT: Ashland Creek Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore

PRICE: $17.95.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Facebook: Jacki Skole

Twitter: @jackiskole

Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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