Who Chains You Books is proud to announce we’ll meet our “reach” goal for 2019, with the publication of 24 titles for the year! We’ve released: nine dog books, four cat books, two pig books, two squirrel books, one cow & horse book, one elephant book, and one chicken book (still to come.) We’ve also released two young adult-adult novels encompassing multiple animal issues, as well as two titles under our family & school imprint of Crescent Renewal Resource.
Our 2020 goal remains 24 titles, unless and until we can afford to hire more staff! We also have some more exciting news coming in 2020, so stay tuned for that, too. We are currently accepting submissions, but of animal-related titles ONLY. View our Submissions page here.
Remember, there’s still time to order for holiday gifts, too!
Recap of our 2019 Releases from WCY:
It Went to the Dogs: How Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound Became a Haven for Rescue Pups
Written by Tamira Thayne
A dog activist buys Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out…everything.
The house sat empty, an eerie white sentinel against the flat winter landscape, now guarding only whispers of the past. A six-foot white metal fence with coded entry gate lined the country road, abandoning its purpose at the property line and allowing passage to all with the temerity and curiosity to walk around.
The bullet hole in the front window went unnoticed.
The decision Tamira would make that fateful day in February 2011 would lead not only to a home for her nonprofit’s rescue dogs, but also to the most turbulent four years of her life: she faced down allegations of racism, community harassment, poisoning, and, ultimately, false charges aimed at driving her and Dogs Deserve Better from the county.
There was a reason Michael Vick felt he could get away with dogfighting in Surry County, Virginia—and why he got away with it for as long as he did…
With over 200 bw photos and documents.
In Rescuing Cats I Lost My Mind But Found My Soul
Written by Cheryl Kwasigroch
Cheryl Kwasigroch writes based on personal experience, and with a deep understanding of the feline mind—as well as the knowledge that a cat is a very special animal whose health and medical needs are quite different from those of other pets.
What does it involve to do rescue work with cats, or just be a caring cat adopter? In these 19 short yet heartwarming stories, different cats as well as the people in their lives struggle to understand one another.
Many people would like to foster but don’t understand the commitment it involves—it’s not often simply a matter of playing with a cute kitten. Are you up for the challenge?
And how do you know what your cat is trying to tell you? Can you read a cat’s body language—hint, a furiously wagging tail is not a welcome signal!
Some stories are told from the point of view of the felines, some from the point of view of the person involved in working with the cat. All include valuable information on the psyche and physical well-being of our purring friends.
Travel the feline world with these remarkable stories of inspirational cats. You may shed a tear along the way, but in the end we hope you will find yourself wanting to do more for our beautiful and often misunderstood companions.
The Case of the Mysterious UFO: The Adventures of Swift & Pete, Vol. 1
Written by Ronnell Jackson
Illustrated by Brynakha Vaettir
Mahmah adopted Swift when she visited the local animal shelter; the greyhound caught her eye, sad and lonely in his kennel. She took him home, cleaned him up, and taught him what it was like to live as a beloved family companion. A year later a skinny, matted Scottish terrier named Pete landed on their doorstep, and soon their little family had expanded to three.
What Mahmah had no way of knowing was that Swift and Pete had once lived as strays together, running the streets and scrounging to survive. They’d been close friends and partners in crime, until circumstances — and Animal Control — separated them.
Now trouble awaited the duo once more, as they slipped under their fence and into the dark of night. Swift and Pete raced through the neighboring woods in search of adventure, laughing and remembering the old days. Suddenly a bright ball of light appeared in the sky, streaking toward them and growing brighter and larger before lowering into the dense growth ahead.
They slowed to a stop.
What was that, a meteor? Some kind of aircraft? As the dogs and their friend Icebox investigate The Case of the Mysterious UFO, truths about the mistreatment of animals on our planet and the disappearance of their fellow canines come to light, and their world will never be the same.
The Adventures of Swift and Pete make perfect early chapter readers for ages 9 and up, and can easily fit into school and humane education programs, too.
Squeak the Squirrel
Written & Illustrated by Rhonda Van
Squeak’s family used to live in a big nest lined with leaves and dry grass. The little squirrel remembered a mother who loved and cared for them. But one morning there were loud noises outside the nest. “VRR VRRR! VRR VRRR!”
Their branch started shaking, then the whole nest fell to the ground . . . two men were trimming the tree! “Hey, look,” one said. “Baby squirrels!”
Squeak felt something big and wet lick him. Yuck, what was that? A dog’s tongue? The dog picked Squeak up in his wet mouth and ran happily around the yard. “EEP EEP!” Squeak cried. “EEEP! EEEEP!”
Oh, NO! What will happen to Squeak and his brother and sister now? Find out in Squeak the Squirrel, based on the true story of a rescue squirrel named Squeak. The book, beautifully illustrated in full color by author Rhonda Van, will delight any child or classroom, and fits perfectly into lesson areas for humane education or compassion discussions. Excellent for ages 7 and up, Squeak the Squirrel is a great choice for family bedtime, classroom, or solo reading adventures.
Blessings from My Cats: How I Discovered the Boundless Joy of Caring for Wild and Domestic Strays
By Janet S. Dumas
Blessings From My Cats is a collection of short stories about the rescued cats that share the author’s home and the feral cats that depend on her in the wild.
Author Janet S. Dumas became drawn to cat advocacy after her visceral reaction to a chilling expose in the newspaper about the thousands of animals being gassed to death each year by the City of San Antonio, Texas. She knew she had to take action, thus beginning her adventures into the world of Trap-Neuter-Return and caring for cats near her, both feral and domestic. Janet shares her experiences as a feral cat colony caretaker, how she came to understand the individual cats, and the relationships they built together.
The author takes the reader through the myriad of emotions she experiences in caring for the cats—from unmitigated jubilation to the depths of sorrow to a level of compassion that she never knew existed within her.
Blessings from My Cats provides a window into the secret lives of cats in the wild, and the surprising ways these cats demonstrate their profound appreciation for their humans on a daily basis, delighting and resonating with cat lovers of all ages.
Rehoming Love: Tail Thumping Adventures of Happily Adopted Canines
By Kate J. Kuligowski
Join author Kate J. Kuligowski as she brings us into the world of dog rescue through 37 heart-warming, tail-thumping episodes of the successful rescues and rehomings of an assortment of fantastic but hopeless, deserted dogs of all ages. We’ll travel through history from as far back as 1910 through today, and meet dogs of different breeds and sizes—some with physical impediments, all left in nearly impossible situations.
Rehoming Love provides a peek into a world and rehoming experience that can at times be convoluted, but also incredible and joyous. These are stories for any dog lover who has been enchanted or bewildered by their dog’s forever loyalty, or has experienced the intoxication that follows a successful rescue or rehoming of a pet.
Harley Saves the Day
By Karen Patterson
Illustrated by Nina Robichaud
Harley is a loving dog with a big body and a loud bark. When Anthony adopts him from the animal shelter in town, the two immediately become best friends.
It comes as a surprise when they encounter neighbors on their morning walk who are frightened by Harley’s physical features. Despite Anthony’s attempts to showcase Harley’s friendly personality, neighbors put pressure on him to keep Harley inside and away from their homes.
When a house fire threatens the life of an elderly neighbor, Harley jumps into action to save her life. Ironically, it’s Harley’s loud bark that alerts rescuers to their location and brings the help she so desperately needs. Through Harley’s heroic act, will the neighborhood begin to look beyond his physical appearance and see him for the caring dog that he is?
Join Harley as he proves that kindness and compassion can change the world. Harley Saves the Day is perfect for ages 7 and up, and makes a wonderful addition to humane or anti-bullying education programs.
Oliver’s BIG Problem
Farm Tales Series: Oliver & Friends
By Stephanie Itle-Clark
Illustrated by Jessie Miller
Oliver is one happy pig with a big personality! He loves his home, his friends, and the healthy food and exercise he gets at the farm. But Oliver did not always live on the farm. His first home was far too small!
Discover how he ended up at the farm and get to know Oliver in the first of the Farm Tales Series written just for early readers in grades Pre-K-2. The book text incorporates early sight words as well as discussion questions for parents and educators to support growth in critical thinking and empathy for others.
Raffy Calfy’s Rescue
Animal Protector Series Vol. 3
By Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by C.A. Wulff
The calf plopped to the ground, looking as grumpy as she felt. She had energy to spare, but nowhere to run and no one to play with. She was trapped! Her mom let out an amused snort, and then licked her little snout clean.
Suddenly there was a commotion in the barn, and a loud braying sent her scurrying under her mother, cowering and shaking. “What’s that noise?” The sound grew louder. Raffy peered through a gap in the wooden fence and saw a huge brown beast, with shiny fur and black trimmings on his feet and face.
“It’s a horse, honey,” replied Momma. Here at the Lazy M Rodeo Company, stories were passed from pen to pen about how the horses helped the humans rope baby cows for “fun and entertainment”; but it sure wasn’t fun for the calves, or their mothers who lowed in frustration as their babies were pulled from their sides.
Over the next few days, Raffy Calfy, Momma Cow, and Serge the horse developed a friendship, even making up silly jokes and playing tricks on one another. Finally, the time came for Serge to tell Rhonda and Raffy all about the rodeo, and the dangers it held for cows and calves.
Was all hope lost? Would Raffy and Momma Cow ever make it to the meadow? Find out in Raffy Calfy’s Rescue, The Animal Protector Series Vol. 3. The book and the Animal Protector Series is perfect for ages 8 and up, and includes a vocab builder and lesson starter questions, too.
One Eye: A Squirrel’s Tale
By Laura W. Eckroat
Illustrated by Greg White
There once was a bright blue house, with a slippery slate roof and a creaky crooked porch, that sat to the left of the fork in the road. The porch was a peaceful gathering place, and the man who lived there often sat and enjoyed the view and the humans and animals who so often stopped by.
The man scattered peanuts and seeds on the porch for the animals, who looked forward to their tasty treats. One day, the man in the bright blue house, with the slippery slate room, and the creaky crooked porch was watching the current summer storm, when he realized he was no longer alone.
A small, injured brown squirrel sat motionless just a few feet away…
Would the man in the bright blue house be able to help the wounded little squirrel? Find out in One Eye: A Squirrel’s Tale, by author Laura W. Eckroat. Includes the story of the real-life One Eye and White Ears, PLUS a wildlife sample lesson that can be used along with the book by teachers and humane educators for grades 1-5.
By Laura Koerber
“The world is coming to an end.”
I pushed the oil rags and cigarette butts off the seat of my friend Arne’s old pickup truck and climbed in. He threw the truck into gear, gunned the engine, and smirked. “What’s the point of being a fairy if you can’t wave a magic wand and get shit done?”
Yeah, I’m a fairy.
No, not that kind.
I’m half-human, half-forest spirit from the wild hare clan—what anthropologists call a trickster—and I live by the wild hare code of “feed, fight, fornicate”; except that’s using the nice word for it.
Maybe Arne had a point. Maybe I didn’t fight hard enough to better this world I so reluctantly belonged to. After all, my personal life was generally OK, so why get into a brawl about shit I couldn’t change?
What I didn’t know, as the ruined scenery brushed past, was that my personal life would soon go tits up too, and I’d get pushed into fighting in ways I’d never fought before. Lucky me.
Kindness to Animals Series Vol. 5
By Heather Leughmyer
Illustrated by April Pedersen
Under the big top, Elyse was born; from birth she was trained to obey. She would travel the country, perform for the crowds, but never got to play. Her costumes were extravagant; she wore feathers on her head. But she didn’t have a family, or a warm and cozy bed.
Each night Elyse would fall asleep exhausted and forlorn, wishing for the mom she hadn’t seen since she was born.
One evening when the crowds were gone and she was tethered for the night, Elyse noticed for the first time that her ropes were rather tight. She wasn’t quite the fragile baby that she used to be; she was stronger now, but could she break her binds and easily run free?
Find out in this lyrical rhyming story from author Heather Leughmyer, part of her Kindness to Animals Series. Perfect for ages 5 and up, and excellent for both humane education and library and family story time.
The Curse of Cur: The Chained Gods Series Book 2
By Tamira Thayne
An animal activist teenager continues her quest to save two dimensions in this sequel to The Wrath of Dog…
Baylee jumped out of bed, momentarily forgetting about her father slumbering in the chair next to her. Her heart gave a tug at his presence, but this was no time for sentimentality.
She couldn’t afford to be sidetracked from her vision—the vision that told her they needed to get to New York City, and fast.
Because she knew where the Akita they’d seen on screen yesterday, her father’s second in command, was chained…
And her mother was not gonna be happy about it.
Baylee had been instrumental in freeing her father, the king of Perrin, mere days ago from his own 18-year captivity as a chained German shepherd. Now it was time for Baylee, her father, and Perrin’s remaining top generals to buck up. It was her mission, their collective mission, to find the chained warriors, unearth the remaining four keys, and rescue both Perrin and Earth from the grip of Phoebus, The Scion, and their legion of minions.
Baylee leaned heavily against the bathroom wall, toothbrush hanging from her mouth. Oh, who was she kidding.
The future looked daunting, indeed.
The Returned: Rocky’s Story, Book Two
By Samantha K. Riggi
Anna and her best friend Molly run a blog and podcast called The Returned, helping returned shelter dogs find new, loving homes and families.
With four successful adoptions through their program, the girls discuss choosing their next dog to feature. Unbeknownst to Anna and Molly, their mission will find them—in the form of a chained dog named Rocky.
Rocky is a pit bull mix who is forgotten in the summer heat in an overgrown backyard next door to the town library. When the girls and their friend Erin stumble across Rocky and his dilemma, they are faced with moral and ethical decisions.
How can they free the dog from a bad situation and get him into a loving home?
In the meantime, they discover a local family has been living homeless, and they too are in need of assistance. Will Anna, Molly, and Erin find a way to work through the challenges to find a happy ending for both Rocky and a family in need? Find out in this second installment of The Returned: Rocky’s Story.
Perfect for ages 10 and up and grades 4-8, the series also makes an excellent humane education tool for nonprofits and humane educators.
Fiona Finds Love
By Rhonda Lucas Donald
Illustrated by Erin Nielson
They call me the trash cat. But my name is Fiona.
That’s what my family used to call me before they moved away. “She’ll be fine,” they said. “She’s a cat, after all.”
Now I’m on my own.
Fiona is an abandoned cat trying to survive and feed her kittens. Like so many other felines, she faces the dangers of life outdoors on her own: speeding cars, sickness, parasites, hunger, and cold. Will she beat the odds and find a better life for herself and her babies?
Fiona Finds Love dispels the myth that cats can fend for themselves and ought to be outside. Cats deserve our love and care—and have so much of both to give back. The book is perfect for early readers from age 5 and up, and works great in the classroom and as part of humane education efforts, too.
Hachi and Friends
By Anastasia Ormeron
Illustrated by Chiara Intropido
If you happen to be passing through Shibuya Railway Station, in the chaotic heart of Tokyo, you are certain to come across a small bronze statue of a dog.
This is Hachi-kò, the ‘Loyal Akita Inu of Japan’, who waited faithfully at that exact spot for almost ten years in the hope of his master’s return.
Shibuya Station is a focal point in this delightful tale combining fact and fiction, and every afternoon our hero unfailingly meets the incoming three o’clock train, seeking the one familiar face which means so much to him—that of Master Ueno.
A mysterious kidnapping sets Hachi and friends on a trail that twists and turns through the Tokyo of the 1920s, and Hachi comes face to face with his worst fear. Will he overcome it to win the day?
You’ll meet some of Hachi’s many human and animal friends, including Maro, the vagabond mixed breed who is proud to live as a street dog, Goro, who was abandoned as a puppy outside the police station and now acts as police dog, and Debbie, Hachi’s special fox terrier friend who lives next door.
This illustrated story for ages 9 and up is dedicated to Hachi, on his eighty-fourth Memorial Anniversary.
Ouzo the Greek: A Year in
the Life of a Greek Rescue Dog
By Lisa Edwards
After being hit by a car and left for dead on the streets of Greece, I was rescued by my heroine and first love, Ermioni. With broken bones and open wounds so severe my flesh was beginning to rot, the only option was to amputate my leg.
Ermioni nursed me back to health and I lived for a time at the Diasozo Animal Rescue shelter. However, I was becoming depressed, as the healthier dogs were pushing me out of the way when there was food to be had.
My guardian angel continued to look out for me and share my story on social media all around the world, until one day I found my very own Mama and Papa, in little old England.
And this is where my story begins. . . .
Clarabelle Comes Clean
By Timothy J. Verret
Illustrated by April Pedersen
Clarabelle Pig was drinking from the school water fountain when Barrett Frog hopped in front of her, blocking her. He stood with Andrea Fox and Ferdinand Rabbit, all laughing.
“Pigs shouldn’t drink out of fountains!” said Barrett, leaping and chuckling.
“They’re too dirty,” Andrea said, wrapping her gorgeous tail around her neck.
“Oink, oink, stinky piggy!” chimed in Ferdinand, holding his whiskered nose.
Clarabelle shook her head and stomped off to her next class. “I’m so tired of those meanies saying pigs are muddy and smelly,” she thought. “I’m gonna prove them wrong, once and for all.”
Find out how Clarabelle stops the hurtful name-calling in its tracks in Clarabelle Comes Clean, a wonderful addition to humane education classwork and lessons in bullying and societal stereotyping. The book is perfect for ages 6 and up, and the illustrations keep the attention of younger students too in parental, library, and classroom read-alongs.
Tiffany Rolls On
By Stephanie Itle-Clark
Illustrated by Rhonda Van
Meet tiny Tiffany and her big personality in this touching story of compassion, determination, and triumph. Readers will discover the dark and dank place (a puppy mill) where Tiffany began her life, and experience her rescue and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Yet even after her rescue Tiffany struggles to play like the other dogs, due to her injuries and weak legs. With the help of her foster mom Ashley, Tiffany gains strength in both body and spirit while she waits for her adoptive family.
Tiffany discovers independence and positivity when she gets a wheelchair that allows her to run and play like the other dogs.
Tiffany Rolls On promotes perspective building and empathy for others, while also supporting conversations about both animal welfare and the fact that our commonalities outweigh our differences. Perfect for ages 4 and up, Tiffany’s story can be useful in a variety of humane-themed lessons, including discussions about disabilities, animal welfare, adoption, and companion animal care.
Spittin’ Kitten’s Speed-Away
Animal Protector Series Vol. 2
By Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by Rhonda Van
The little orange kitten stopped and scratched his neck. “Fleas,” he mumbled to himself; he could feel the bugs wandering around in his fur, stopping for a bite every now and again. Yuk! He was hungry, too, but he knew his mother was struggling to feed him and his four siblings.
Spittin’ plopped himself down in their nest beside the barn. Had the humans simply forgotten to put food out? he wondered. Maybe he could be the one to remind them.
Spittin’ had never been around people before, but—pushing his fear aside—he bravely left the den in search of help. When he reached the other side of the barn, he jumped back in shock. In front of him splayed out a whole big world he’d never known existed!
Soon Spittin’ finds himself on an unexpected adventure—he flies through the air, scrambles for a hiding place, and even takes an unexpected ride in the engine of a car. Where will the little kitten end up, and will he get help for his family?
The Trial of the Outlaw Collie Sam
By Dale Seddon
“I was born,” he began, “by a dumpster at noon,
In a broken down doghouse with only one room,
With only one window we used as a door,
With rats in the rafters and mud on the floor.”
Raised by a single parent, the outlaw collie Sam and his seven siblings run wild and free, feasting on castaway food in garbage cans and chasing after humans to scare them, all for the fun of it. Then one day disaster strikes. Sam and his brothers and sisters mistakenly frighten the wrong human. The Catchers arrive at the dilapidated doghouse in the middle of the night, guns in hand. Sam is wounded. But he manages to escape.
The next day, Sam is found by a Keeper, a kind human who takes the dog home and sets about training him.
“He healed my wound and he purchased a tag.
I trained to the collar and re-learned to wag.
It wasn’t all easy. Oh no, to be sure.
I yearned for the smell of the pack and the poor.
I longed for my snout in the wind and the fun,
For the thrill of the free in the rush of the run.
But slowly I learned that I had to obey.
The Keeper was mine if I wanted to stay.”
The Trial of the Outlaw Collie Sam is so far outside the box that it’s difficult to label as anything but absolutely unique. Part poem, part fantasy, part courtroom drama, and part—a very large part—the true story of the real outlaw collie Sam, a Heinz-57 variety mongrel dog whose life and adventures were the inspiration for the story.
The Trial of the Outlaw Collie Sam and its companion story about the real Sam are both captivating tales. The story of the trial itself is beautifully told. It bounces along in an almost musical fashion—especially when the narrative poem describing it is read aloud. It provides an intimate glimpse into how “guilt” or “innocence” is established for our animal friends.
And the story about the real outlaw collie Sam? Well, that is worth reading too, if for no other reason than to avoid making the same mistakes that the author did when Sam chose him to be his Keeper.
The Moody Pencil
Samantha K. Riggi
Illustrated by Richard Clark
Connor’s pencil has been acting out lately; in fact, he’s become especially moody!
When Pencil purposefully ruins Connor’s math paper AND his book about whale sharks, Connor tries to reason with him. Connor even apologizes for biting him on the butt and sharpening him roughly, but Pencil refuses to listen.
Soon Connor realizes that Pencil has run away. Will Pencil continue his life on the run? How will Connor get his work done without his friend Pencil?
Find out in this funny take on the daily grind of the school pencil. This full-color, comic-style book is perfect for ages 7 and up, and the back and forth letters between Connor and Pencil will engage even the reluctant reader.
The Never Ending Thank You
By Samantha K. Riggi
Illustrated by Niki Stage
“My birthday will be fantastically flawless!” Meghan declared from the center of the room she had just decorated with her mother.
Meghan was so excited for her birthday party that she had planned out every detail, including the thank you cards. After she hand delivers her thank yous to her friends, she’s surprised when her best friend Sidney writes a thank you card back.
“It’s beautiful,” Meghan said earnestly, though she was beginning to worry.
Meghan writes Sidney another card, but when Sidney writes back again, Meghan can’t help but wonder if thank you cards are ever supposed to end!
The Never Ending Thank You is simple and beautifully illustrated by artist Niki Stage, and yet presents a lesson that’s never too early to learn about the ins and outs of friendship and communication.