Got a Funny Animal Rescue Story? Tell Us, and Be Part of an Upcoming Book!

We’re Currently Seeking Story Contributions to Our 2021 Book: Don’t Look a Gift Couch in the Mouth, and Other Guffawfully Funny Stories of Animal Rescue

Have a laugh out loud story about something that happened in animal rescue? Share it with us, and we’ll choose 15-30 stories for our upcoming 2021 book entitled Don’t Look a Gift Couch in the Mouth—And Other Guffawfully Funny Stories of Animal Rescue. We’re seeking essays of 1000-3000 words, and would love a photo or two of the animal in question to go with your tale if possible.

Your short feature of your experiences will not only bring you/your nonprofit organization more supporters and fans, but also serve to entertain, educate, and inspire others who yearn to make a difference too. Be part of the excitement! All of our chosen contributors will get their photo and bio in the book, plus a free copy and wholesale pricing on copies for your friends and family, too. We’re accepting submissions through December 31, 2020.

Can Claire Still Love the Coyote Pups from Afar?

Claire’s Coyote Friends

Written by Christy Burbidge
Illustrated by Mary Jo Helchowski

Claire lives in a house on a golf course with her dad and rescue beagle, Buddy. Every day after school, Claire and Buddy go for a walk on the course—it’s Claire’s favorite part of the day!

The golf course is home to many animal friends: geese, swans, and…

Claire hears barking…what is that, puppies?!

Upon learning the babies are actually coyote pups, Claire becomes enamored and researches their needs and how they differ from Buddy’s. Claire’s Coyote Friends is an exploration of and helps children understand a different type of bond—one where we can feel close to others even if we can’t spend time with them.

ISBN: 978-1-946044-83-9

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About the Author

Christy Burbidge is the author of Paulie the Piping Plover’s Merry Misfits: A Martha’s Vineyard Tale. She is Associate Copy Editor for Better Than Starbucks Poetry Journal and has been published in several literary journals and magazines. Christy has an MSW from Simmons University (2004), a PhD in Expressive Therapies from Lesley University (2012), and works in the mental health field. Visit her online at

About the Illustrator

Mary Jo Helchowski is a children’s book illustrator who lives in Essex, Connecticut. She is a graduate of the Lyme Academy of Fine Art with a degree in illustration. Her artwork has been featured in galleries including Spectrum in Centerbrook, Connecticut, and other children’s books about everything from baseball to bumblebees. She hopes her pictures made you smile! Visit her online at

Can Special-Needs Pitbull Cassius Find a Way Out of the Shelter in “Different is Beautiful”?

Different is Beautiful

Different is Beautiful

Written by Penelope Lagos
Illustrated by Charles Berton

Cassius, an eight-year-old pitbull, has been stuck in the shelter for quite some time. It becomes his mission to rally all the other “special needs” animals together to change adopters’ minds and find loving homes for himself and his friends.

This time, the Paws ‘n Claws Adoption Day turns into a life lesson for all. Cassius keeps his friends positive and their heads held high, proving that looking different is not a bad thing—in fact, being yourself is the best way to be.

Different is Beautiful is a heart-warming story for children ages 7 and up that helps them accept people who may not look the same as they do. Author Penelope Lagos also offers ten helpful tips parents can use to educate children about overcoming bias.

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About the Author

Penelope Lagos, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Communications and Theatre Arts. Penelope is an avid animal advocate and strongly believes in being “a voice for the voiceless.” She holds certifications in Canine Fitness and Conditioning as well as Advanced Pet CPR/First Aid. She is the recipient of the Reader’s Favorite 5 star award for her first children’s book entitled I Miss My Best Friend, which deals with the grief of losing a pet. When Penelope is not spending time with her own furry friends, she is acting in indie films and commercials as well as volunteering at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Penelope is the recipient of the LLS Achievement Award for her dedication in fundraising events. Find her online at

About the Illustrator

Charles Berton is the illustrator of a wide array of children’s books, as well as many book covers, posters and anything on or in which one can have illustrations. He had a natural inclination to draw from the age of five. As an adult, he was trained and certified in web and graphic design. He raised a family on Long Island where he was also born and raised, and where he continues to live and work today. Feel free to visit and see many samples of his work and philosophy.