Long-time Pigeon Advocate Talks Pigeon Shoots and our “Smidgey Pidgey” Book

smidgeycover-series18loSmidgey Pidgey’s Predicament, now out in paperback, kindle, and audio from WCY Books and author Tamira Thayne, is dedicated in part to long-time pigeon advocate Johnna Seeton, who has worked for many years in Pennsylvania to put an end to their horribly cruel pigeon shoots.

Who Chains You caught up to Johnna, and asked her some questions about this abusive practice and her efforts on behalf of the pigeons.

To make sure our audience is on the same page with us, what exactly are pigeon shoots?

Pigeon shoots are barbaric contests in which live pigeons are stuffed into small traps on the ground. These nine traps, which are electronically controlled by an operator, are situated within a scoring ring on a field. The shooter stands in a certain spot with his or her double barreled shotgun and yells, “Pull!”

The operator pushes a button which releases a single pigeon from the trap. The shooter gets two shots at the bird, as the pigeon desperately tries to escape. The scoring occurs if the pigeon lands within the balloon-shaped ring. It doesn’t matter if the bird is wounded or dead, as long as he/she falls within the ring.

This continues until the shooter has had the opportunity to blow away five pigeons, one at a time. Then the “Trapper Boys and Girls” run onto the field to gather up the dead and wounded birds, throwing them into nets they are carrying. As they are doing this, another trapper loads more pigeons into the traps.

Many of the wounded birds fly beyond the scoring ring. Hours may go by before the trappers conduct a “perimeter check”. Of course, they can’t possibly find all the wounded birds; they fly too far a distance. The trappers who collected the wounded birds from the scoring ring bring the birds back to a partially enclosed area where they kill the pigeons.

We have seen this done many times by various methods, such as pulling off their heads, using scissors to cut off their heads, and slamming them against a barrel.

We understand from reliable sources that large-scale gambling takes place at these cruel events. We have returned one day, two days, as many as five days after a pigeon shoot, and we have found live, wounded pigeons.

How did you first get involved with advocating for the pigeons?

johnnamiddle

Johnna Seeton, middle, in her work as a humane society police officer

I first learned about what was happening to the pigeons in 1986, through my attendance at a Trans-Species meeting in Grantville, PA. A woman named Judith Black, along with Doris Gitman, told the attendees about the Hegins Pigeon Shoot, which they’d attended in 1985. We were all horrified at the stories they relayed!

Trans-Species organized a huge protest at the Hegins, PA pigeon shoot on Labor Day, 1986. They also began to lobby bills to prevent pigeon shoots in PA at our State Capitol. That was the start of my dedication to ending pigeon shoots.

Have you ever rescued wounded birds after pigeon shoots, and if so, were any of them able to be saved and set free?

pigeoninjured

Pigeon with a broken wing, who was later able to be set free

I have rescued many, many pigeons from various shoots in PA throughout the years. Having attended over 100 shoots from 1986-2012, I transported the wounded birds to various veterinarians and rehabilitators in the state. Even though some of the birds died, or were so badly injured they had to be euthanized, there were a large number of pigeons who were able to be saved. These beautiful birds were eventually set free!

How many years have you worked on bills against pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania, and where does that effort stand now?

I have worked on bills against pigeon shoots for 32 years! Heidi Prescott, from HSUS, now leads the lobbying effort to stop these cruel events. She lets me know when there is a chance a bill will be voted upon, and I run right to the Capitol (only two blocks from my house) to help her. The bill to prevent pigeon shoots has been introduced almost every legislative session since 1986.

The current pigeon shoot legislation is Senate Bill 612, introduced by Senator Pat Browne. It currently has 16 co-sponsors, and sits in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It would be helpful if readers who live in PA would contact their own State Senator and State Representative and encourage them to ask for the bill to receive a vote. Also, please ask our PA Governor Wolf to support and sign the bill when it gets to his desk.

What did you think of our new children’s book, Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament? Would other pigeon lovers enjoy it as well?

smidgey1loI absolutely LOVED this book! Not only was the story well-written, but the vocabulary words are a perfect teaching tool. I appreciated the entire concept, and you gave proper direction how to get involved in protecting “pidgies”. The illustrations added a beautiful visualization. I am placing copies in the offices of my doctors, dentist, and local library, as well as giving the book to my friends’ children and grandchildren.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle
|
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pigeons

The author, Tamira Thayne, regularly feeds pigeons, aka doves, in her yard, and has always felt soothed by their calls. It breaks her heart to know they are treated so badly.

What can you do?

If you live in PA, get active against these cruel shoots! There were two that blatantly took place in the state June 3-4, 2018, and it’s well past time folks raised their voices in opposition to the cruelty. Learn more and get involved at this Humane PA Pac link.

Some recent articles:

This recent article features quotes from Johnna

Maryland bans pigeon shoots: Animal welfare groups push to end ‘incredibly cruel’ tradition in Pennsylvania

Biggest pigeon shoot in years follows PA cruelty law exemption

About the book

smidgeycover-series18loIt was a gorgeous summer day in Central Park, and Smidge and her brother Ridge had time to share one last adventure before it was time to grow up, as Mama Pidgey primly informed them. Yuk, where was the fun in that?!

Smidge slapped Ridge’s wing with hers. “Hey, you hungry? Wanna be real birds, and scavenge the park for seeds, or go see if Mrs. Laney is providing Pidgey Take-Out today?”

Ridge rubbed his belly. “Yum, Mrs. Laney’s for sure! Maybe she put out french fries again,” he grinned mischievously.

The two were so intent on their scramble for treats that when they heard the first squawks of protest, they assumed it was just a squabble over a savory morsel. Soon the cries became louder and more frantic, and more birds joined the chorus.

Finally realizing something wasn’t right, Smidge and Ridge looked up from their breakfast.

But it was too late—a black sack came down over their heads, engulfing them both and turning their world to darkness…

Who was stealing the city’s pigeons, and what’s to become of Smidge, Ridge, and the others? Find out in Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament, excellent for ages 8 and up, and perfect for humane education in today’s classrooms. Includes Vocab Builders, as well as information about the very real threat to pigeons, and what you can do to help these wonderful birds.

$12.97 Paperback$3.97 Kindle • Kindle Unlimited

This book is available for wholesale pricing on sales of ten or more copies
for nonprofits and humane educators. Check out the links to learn more.

Online sales of the book donate $1 each to Showing Animals Respect
and Kindness through 2018 for their efforts to end the shoots.

About the Author

tamijewelonyxloTamira Thayne is an animal activist, and the founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit organization seeking an end to dog chaining.

She is also the founder of Who Chains You Books, publishing titles for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. She is the author of Happy Dog Coloring Book, Capitol in Chains, Foster Doggie Insanity, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, The Knights Chain, The Curse of Cur, (upcoming) and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Tamira lives by a river in the woods of northern Virginia, with her husband, daughter, one dog, six cats, and hundreds of outside birds and critters she adores from afar.

About the Illustrator

abstract-meloC. A. Wulff has been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-four years, volunteering with Ohio humane group Valley Save-a-Pet. An author, artist, and animal advocate, Wulff uses her art and writing to spread the joy of the human/canine bond.

Her books, Born Without a Tail: the Making of an Animal Advocate and Circling the Waggins; How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness, chronicle her personal journey of animal rescue. Her books How to Change the World in 30 Seconds and Finding Fido. are guides for animal advocates and pet parents. You can follow her on her blog “Up on the Woof”, where she shares biscuits of dog-related info. [thewoof.wordpress.com]

Wulff currently resides in one of our nation’s National Forests with her lifemate and five dogs. She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.

Dog Mom v. Human Mom: Who’s “Got it Easier”?

By Tamira Thayne

mothersday18

 

It’s that sacred day of the year. You know the one—the one where we moms get to do whatever it is WE want to do. We get to be completely selfish, laze around in bed, and make inordinate demands on our family, like “Clean up your own mess”, or “Run out to the liquor store and bring Mommy a half gallon of whatever’s on sale, there’s a good lad.”

That kinda thing.

Except for some reason I’m already on my second load of laundry and contemplating whether I really DO want to vacuum the floor on Mother’s Day. [Pretty sure the answer is NO…Yes, it’s NO.]

As I was peeling away the hair-covered sheets from the dog and cat beds—and trying to contain the runoff within said sheets so it didn’t further hairify the floor—I contemplated how much of said fur was about to be deposited into my washing machine.

I acknowledged to the person I talk to in my head who is also me that I’m gonna have to make sure the washing machine is thoroughly sanitized before the hubby notices. [He likes to pretend the animal laundry gets magically poofed to the laudromat so our own machines don’t get sullied—we maintain this fantasy as part of our peaceful household.]

brynnan and bridgelo

The author’s daughter with a blind foster dog

Which got me to pondering…is it easier being a Mom to dogs and/or cats or to those of the human persuasion?

 

Let’s compare, getting right into the thick of it. The, ooey, gooey thickness of it…

Wretching. Horking. Vomiting.

Dog & Cat: OH, THE HORROR! The puke…the sound of which can strike fear into the hearts of many an intrepid dog or cat mom. You know that wretched wretching noise of which I speak….there you are, dreaming about Timothy Olyphant (Justified, not Santa Clarita Diet, although he is a very supportive husband in that role), when suddenly there it is. Yak…yak…YAKKKKK!

But where is it? Is it in your bed? On the floor? Between you and the bathroom? Can it wait until morning, or will you forget about it and definitely step in it then?

[Ponder the problem. If you’re one of those lucky moms, you roll over, go back to sleep, and vow to investigate at the break of dawn.]

Kid: “Mommy! I don’t feel so good.” Rubs belly. “I think I’m gonna frow up.” Rushes for the bathroom…

Odds are about 80/20 they won’t make it. At least when they miss you know exactly where it is, and sometimes it’s even on the bathroom floor, which means there’s not even carpeting. Score.

Plus, you’re telling me there’s a CHANCE.

Point=Kid

Grocery Shopping

Dog & Cat: “You’re leaving us here? At home? While you go to the place with all the delicacies, and the smells, and the beautiful decisions over what to bring home to this prison?”

You, ruefully: “I’m so sorry, my sweethearts. I will miss you incessantly, but alas, there are laws against bringing you with me into the grocery store, which we are of course greatly offended by and will make plans to protest another day.”

Kid: “I hate the grocery store. Why do I have to go? Ooh, can I have that? Mom!!!! But I want it! I need it. All the other kids have it.” [Slips said item into cart while you compare green beans.]

You, harried. “Why is it a big fight every time we come here? We have a LIST.” You clutch the list and thrust it emphatically and victoriously into the air.

[Kid is umimpressed. Throws him/herself onto the floor when you remove the item from the cart and screams that you’re the worst parent EVER. Repeat.]

Point=Dog & Cat

Play Dates at the Park

Dog [If you have any living gray matter, you won’t be taking your cat to the park—EVER]: You briefly ponder on the way to the park why you have a death wish. Rufus is pacing the back seat with excitement, spittle and fur swishing throughout the vehicle because you just had to open your sun roof, and even your iced tea has now sprouted.

Yeah, there was that one time you took the dog to the park and there was just the two other nice dogs and everyone got along and the other dog dad was actually hot and nice. 

But that was only one time. The other 3,098 times your dog peed on the sexy guy’s leg, fought with two dobermans and a rottweiler, and ended up with a $3098 vet bill and the cone of shame. You’re now facing two civil lawsuits because your dog’s an asshole, and you’ve had to move cities three times to find new dog parks.

Kid: You briefly ponder the weather, and hope this beautiful spring day will hold up. Did I forget my book? Darn it. Well, I’m sure I can find something on Kindle Unlimited to read.

I hope Betty Sue is there with that delightful Kenny. He’s such a good influence on Ralphie. I sure hope that Damian isn’t there, he tugged on little Kate’s hair braids the last time and made her cry. What a kerfuffle. I’m so glad I remembered some healthy snacks for Ralphie to share with his friends.

Point=Kid

Swearing

Dog and cat: You’re in your first real home, a young married couple, and fresh out of the military. You have a mouth like a sailor, but it’s all good, because Mom and Dad are five states away, and they aren’t technologically savvy enough to plant bugs in your house to monitor you from afar. You’re FREE!

You rush to the local rescue group to adopt Fluffy and Kirby, because you know you’re mature enough now, and Mom taught you how to care for your best friends. You pass the home visit with flying colors, and get that exciting call to come pick up your babies.

While driving home with your precious cargo, one of THOSE drivers cuts you off, and then stops right in front of you. “Why, you sonuvabeeyotch! You crazy mothereffer! I’m gonna shove this car so far up your rectum you’ll be spitting steel by suppertime!” you scream, really warming up to your topic.

Then, guiltily, you remember Fluffy and Kirby sitting patiently in the back, hoping this will be their FUREVER home this time—not like that last one.

You give them a tentative smile, and they look back at you with eyes full of hope and love, saying only two words: “Ruff” and “meow.”

Your secret is safe.

Kid: You’ve been in your new home for three years now, and, Thank Dog for your good genes, have managed to pop out a two-fer, TWIN boys! Waahoo! You love spending time with your sons, and regularly take the two year olds with you on jaunts about town.

While driving home with your precious cargo, one of THOSE drivers cuts you off, and then stops right in front of you. “Why, you sonuvabeeyotch! You crazy mothereffer! I’m gonna shove this car so far up your rectum you’ll be spitting steel by suppertime!” you scream, really warming up to your topic.

Then, guiltily, you remember Keenan and Keefer in the back seat, soaking up the atmosphere like the little sponges they are.

You give them a tentative smile, and they look back at you with eyes full of vinegar, and and then at each other, before screaming: “Sumbish! Mavaeffa! Sumbish! Mavaeffa!”

Horrified, you rush home to put on Clifford The Big Red Dog before they memorize the gutter talk you’ve inadvertently taught them, and realize your word salad freedom has come to an end.

Point=Dog & Cat

It’s a Tie!

Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

Truth be told: I could go on all day with this…and I’m sure you too can think of lots of fun comparisons. For some moms, there will be a definite pro/con list that lands to one side or the other of the pet/kid argument.

Having been lucky enough to birth two humans and become a mom or foster mom for hundreds of dogs and cats during my years of active rescue, I can tell you that, despite my jokes and lamentations, I’ve loved them all.

Now that my daughter is an adult, and I am down to life with one dog and six cats, I can say with some degree of certainty that the human child has become easier.

For example: Today’s Mother’s Day, and I still had to get up and take care of our companions and feed the outside critters, birds and squirrels. My old cat Una still yapped incessantly until he got his morning treats, and the dog still refused to do his business in the rain.

But Bryn got up at five, went to her job at the bakery, then brought me home two cookies and is taking me to dinner. I can drink wine with dinner and know I have a driver to cart my buttocks safely home afterward.

Yet, a cat is snuggled on my lap as I type, and the dog lays contentedly at my feet. And therefore I acknowledge—to the voice in my head that is also me—that I am, indeed, ONE LUCKY MOTHER.

Happy Mother’s Day, from myself and the rest of the authors at Who Chains You Publishing. Whether you’re a mom to humans or to the fur-covered variety, we wish you a little time to sit back, put your feet up, and read a good book today. Here’s to you! http://www.whochainsyou.com.

About the Author

mommybanmanlo3Tamira Thayne is an author, animal activist, and the founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit organization seeking an end to dog chaining.

She is also the founder of Who Chains You Books, publishing titles for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity, Happy Dog Coloring Book, Capitol in Chains, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Tamira lives by a river in the woods of northern Virginia, with her husband, daughter, one dog, six cats, and hundreds of outside birds and critters she adores from afar.

“Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament” Shines a Spotlight on Pigeon Shoots

smidgeycover18lo-dropNew Release, from Who Chains You Books:

Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament

by Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by C.A. Wulff

smidgey1loIt was a gorgeous summer day in Central Park, and Smidge and her brother Ridge had time to share one last adventure before it was time to grow up, as Mama Pidgey primly informed them. Yuk, where was the fun in that?!

Smidge slapped Ridge’s wing with hers. “Hey, you hungry? Wanna be real birds, and scavenge the park for seeds, or go see if Mrs. Laney is providing Pidgey Take-Out today?”

Ridge rubbed his belly. “Yum, Mrs. Laney’s for sure! Maybe she put out french fries again,” he grinned mischievously.

The two were so intent on their scramble for treats that when they heard the first squawks of protest, they assumed it was just a squabble over a savory morsel. Soon the cries became louder and more frantic, and more birds joined the chorus.

Finally realizing something wasn’t right, Smidge and Ridge looked up from their breakfast.

smidgey5-1But it was too late—a black sack came down over their heads, engulfing them both and turning their world to darkness…

Who was stealing the city’s pigeons, and what’s to become of Smidge, Ridge, and the others? Find out in Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament, excellent for ages 8 and up, and perfect for humane education in today’s classrooms. Includes Vocab Builders, as well as information about the very real threat to pigeons, and what you can do to help these wonderful birds.

$12.97 Paperback$3.97 Kindle • Kindle Unlimited

$1.00 from each Paperback and $.50 from each Kindle
sale will benefit the nonprofit Showing Animals Respect and Kindness through the end of the year.

What are pigeon shoots? Well, they’re as bad as you can imagine. From a June 5, 2017 article in the Philly Voice by John Kopp, titled “Pennsylvania clings to pigeon shoots that have nearly vanished nationwide”:

“During such shoots, live pigeons are placed into spring-loaded boxes and propelled into the air at the shooter’s command. The shooter then fires at them from a distance of about 30 yards. Hundreds of birds are wounded or killed.”

From that same article: “One group, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) has protested the Philadelphia Gun Club shoots by posting videos of wounded pigeons and aerial videos of the shoots.

“We’ve really been pressing them hard and exposing the people who have been participating in it,” SHARK activist Stuart Chaifetz said. “We treat it the same way as if you saw someone dogfighting – it’s inexcusable.”

About the Author

tamijewelonyxloTamira Thayne is an animal activist, and the founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit organization seeking an end to dog chaining.

She is also the founder of Who Chains You Books, publishing titles for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. She is the author of Happy Dog Coloring Book, Capitol in Chains, Foster Doggie Insanity, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, The Knights Chain, The Curse of Cur, (upcoming) and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

Tamira lives by a river in the woods of northern Virginia, with her husband, daughter, one dog, six cats, and hundreds of outside birds and critters she adores from afar.

About the Illustrator

abstract-meloC. A. Wulff has been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-four years, volunteering with Ohio humane group Valley Save-a-Pet. An author, artist, and animal advocate, Wulff uses her art and writing to spread the joy of the human/canine bond.

Her books, Born Without a Tail: the Making of an Animal Advocate and Circling the Waggins; How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness, chronicle her personal journey of animal rescue. Her books How to Change the World in 30 Seconds and Finding Fido. are guides for animal advocates and pet parents. You can follow her on her blog “Up on the Woof”, where she shares biscuits of dog-related info. [thewoof.wordpress.com]

Wulff currently resides in one of our nation’s National Forests with her lifemate and five dogs. She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.

Books Addressing Dog Chaining? We’ve Got ‘Em. Ten, to be Exact!

Blacky (3lo)

Blackie, before his rescue, chained in filth.

Dog chaining is one of those issues that grabs an animal lover by the guts and clenches until all that remains is a lifeless hull, seeping out the last vestiges of hope in the goodness of mankind and muddying the field with its tears.

Too much?

Ever live next to a chained dog?

If so, then you know of which we speak…and you’re nodding your head along with us, screaming YES, YES! at your monitor. We hear you.

Chained dogs suffer in any myriad of ways—including a lack of food and water to go with the loss of freedom, parasites, and injury. But, on top of their physical distress, each and every chained dog is painfully ostracized from the human companionship he/she needs and craves.

And that, THIS—all of it—is incredibly WRONG.

Yet, so often authorities and those with power and control could care less about the plight of our companion animals rotting away in backyards all across America.

One of the ways to address this WRONGNESS? Education of ourselves and our youth, through books that discuss the issue and let us put ourselves in the paws of that dog for even just one moment in time.

To that end, Who Chains You Books has excelled in creating tools for use in classrooms and libraries, for sale at nonprofit booths, and for family bedtime story reading. We’ve currently got ten published books that address dog chaining, with selections for both children and adults.

And, we offer wholesale discounts to nonprofits for resale in their work for the animals, as well as humane educators and independent bookstores.

Below is a synopsis of our current anti-chaining lineup, with suggested ways the books can be used to address dog chaining. Happy Reading!

happydogloHappy Dog Coloring Book is brand-new, and is intended as a workhorse for childhood education on chaining. It is an excellent tool to bring humane education into the classroom, and keep the kids attention on the issue while they color.

This book includes 25 pages of whimsical black and white drawings from illustrator April Pedersen grace this wonderfully thought out and caring coloring book about a dog named Ranger, chained in the backyard and—like all dogs—wishing to be free.

The coloring book also features 6 pages of Happy Activities for kids, including a maze, connect the leash, and draw a tail on the pup. Perfect for all ages from 3 and up, this makes an incredible addition to any and all classroom humane education efforts.

Happy Dog can be purchased singly or in bulk at discount prices. Purchasers can also get a FREE bonus download of 8 extra coloring pages!

In addition, this book is available for licensing to interested nonprofits. What does licensing mean? It means we will add your logo and contact information to the book, and provide you with the print-ready files to take to your local printer for even greater bulk savings, giving you the right to sell and distribute the coloring book in your area as a fundraising and educational tool. Contact us at info@whochainsyou.com if interested.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

Want Higher Quantities for Classroom Use? Order Direct From Us.

capitolbookcover16loFighting chaining, and seeking inspiration and ideas? Read Tamira Thayne’s Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues, a chronicle of the time she and others spent chained to a doghouse on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps, advocating for passage of a state law providing more humane treatment for man’s best friends.

The book gives an important overview of the issue, as well as some “outside the dogbox” thinking that just might inspire you with new and creative ideas to address chaining too.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

aboutadogcover-loIt’s About a Dog views the life of a chained dog through an unusual set of eyes: Oliver the Owl, who narrates the story, and brings it to life in a way that is both poignant and far-reaching. This story is perfect for family bedtime, for  classroom humane education, and library storytime. It will reach anyone with a heart from age 8 to 108. The book is also available in audiobook, for those who prefer to listen.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

honeycoverloHoney’s Second Chance, from the Second Chance Series by author Brandy Herr, brings to life the true story of Honey, a beautiful golden retriever who spent all her days on a chain in Texas before her rescue by Second Chance Farm. Perfect for kids young and old, Honey’s Second Chance is a wonderful way to educate that a dog deserves to be a happy and beloved member of the family.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

Foster Doggie Insanity is a important read offering emotional support and ideas for doggie foster parents, with the author providing a 29-day chained dog foster diary as example of the hardships and joys that doggie fostering can bring.

When things go wrong as doggie foster parents, it’s all too easy to blame ourselves, and either quit or spiral into depression. Her goal is to allow you to go a little easier on yourself, in order to get back to the place where you can provide the safe cushion animals need to get back on their feet and find a new home.

This book is narrated in audio by Lee Ahonen, who does an excellent job of channeling the author’s emotions and style, too!

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook | Watch Trailer

doggieherocover-loA Doggie Hero is Born, by Rocky Shepheard, is a good old-fashioned animal fantasy tale. Join “Worthless”—a chained dog who is rescued by his animal friends—as he, Sly Fox, and Otto romp through the woods in search of a new, and more loving, home. Will he find happiness and a new name in the end? Only time will tell.

The book is full of excitement and rich illustrations to thrill your audience and teach a lesson in compassion and humane treatment of man’s best friend.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

kingstethercoverlodropThe King’s Tether is a prequel novella in the Chained Gods Series, written by Tamira Thayne. In the author’s first jump into the fiction genre, she puts her fixation on chaining to use as the topic for a series of young adult books.

The series features immortals who shapeshift into dogs; as dogs, they end up chained and forced to guard keys to the destruction of two dimensions by “the bad guys”. Mwahaha. This series makes a fun and unusual read for teens through adults—and educates a bit along the way, too.

In The King’s Tether, you’ll meet Randulf, king of Perrin, living as a chained shepherd in a small Virginia town—yet in his sleep he remembers and yearns for a grander life that’s been lost.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Or Get Yours FREE! | Buy Audiobook

wrathcover-lodropIn The Wrath of Dog, the first book in the Chained Gods Series, you’ll meet Baylee, a young girl who is unaware of the part she’s to play in the upcoming war with those who are holding the king in chains.

When she encounters Randulf, a chained and angry shepherd living only two blocks from her, her life becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

Reaching adulthood sure wasn’t what she thought it would be…

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

puddlescoverpuppy16webThe Puppy who Left Puddles on the Floor addresses many of the ways our best friends can be treated inhumanely, and as such is a wonderful all-round education tool.

Chance is dumped at the shelter because he leaves “puddles on the floor”. Even though he’s lucky enough to find another home, he soon ends up chained outside, as his guardian doesn’t want to spend the time teaching him. A twist of fate sets him free to seek a better life on his own. Will Chance finally find the loving inside home and family he deserves?

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

rescuesmilescoverlodropRescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation offers a look into the lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Through these tales, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek into the relationships between rescuers and not only dogs and cats, but horses, goats, pigs, rats, mice, and birds.

Four of the fifteen true life tales within feature chained-dog rescues and the happy endings they deserve.

This book won a Best Book Award from the Dog Writers Association of America.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle | Buy Audiobook

At Who Chains You we publish books for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. Our mission is singular: to amplify the voices of the animals through the empowerment of animal lovers, activists, and rescuers to write and publish books elevating the status of animals in society.

Who Chains You Publishing brings you books that educate, entertain, and share gripping plights of the animals we serve and those who rescue and stand in their stead.

At our deepest levels, we explore what chains we humans must break within ourselves in order to free the animals. Visit us at http://www.whochainsyou.com.

Release: Culpeper County, VA Publishing Company Wins Best Book Award for Animal Rescue Tales

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AMISSVILLE, VA (February 23, 2018)—A Culpeper County, Virginia book publisher, Who Chains You Books, was awarded the Maxwell medal in the Best Book: Human/Animal Bond category for their title Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation.

The award, presented in February by the Dog Writers Association of America, is the first for the young publishing company, which was founded in 2016 by Tamira Thayne—animal activist, book designer, author, and founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better.

Since its inception, the company has already grown to 24 titles from various authors, with more in the works.

Those who love both animals and books now have an up and coming publishing company to fulfill their needs, as Who Chains You Books releases only books that promote the notion that both people AND animals deserve to be free.

According to their mission, they seek “to amplify the voices of the animals through the empowerment of animal lovers, activists, and rescuers to write and publish books elevating the status of animals in society.”

“As a small publisher—only 1.5 years into our efforts to put out books by and for animal lovers, activists, and rescuers—every small milestone counts. Our first award tells us our work CAN make a difference, CAN bring awareness for animals and those who love them and work on their behalf. It brings us hope, and the will to keep going,” said Thayne.

“I am so excited to be filling this niche, because my passion lies with the animals and those who serve them,” Thayne continued. “Animal lovers need a place where they can read stories from like-minded individuals, stories that can delight, enchant, and inspire them to do more to save the animals in their community.”

Who Chains You Publishing offers books in a variety of genres, from children’s picture books to personal memoirs, educational books, and young adult fictional series.

To ensure books can make a meaningful difference for the animals, wholesale pricing is available to non-profits, humane educators, and indie bookstores.

For more information on current and upcoming titles from Who Chains You Publishing, visit www.whochainsyou.com. Tamira Ci Thayne can be reached at info@whochainsyou.com.

Our Maxwell Award for “Rescue Smiles” Arrived Today!

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You know how it is when you win your first award…you wait and wait for it to come in the mail, tell yourself it’s not a big deal, know it probably doesn’t matter to anyone but you, anyway…

Yet you still just can’t wait.

That was us, waiting for our Maxwell Award to come for Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation, which took the award for Best Book: Human/Animal Bond.

Because to us it DOES mean something. As a small publisher—only 1.5 years into our efforts to put out books by and for animal lovers, activists, and rescuers—every small milestone counts.

Our first award tells us our work CAN make a difference, CAN bring awareness for animals and those who love them and work on their behalf.

It brings us hope, and the will to keep going.

And for that we are extremely grateful.

So thank you, Maxwell Award, and those at the Dog Writers Association of America for reading our book and giving the nod to our efforts.

Thanks to our editors, Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne, who pulled stories together for the book, and are already in the planning stages for our second one, More Rescue Smiles.

And most of all thanks to our story authors for trusting us with your tales and letting us share them with the world.

The book is available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook, at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Smiles-Favorite-Stories-Liberation/dp/1946044105/

We hope you’ll read it, enjoy it, and pass it along.

Want to submit your own rescue story for More Rescue Smiles? We’d love to see it! Submit here: http://whochainsyou.com/mystoryform.html

“Happy Dog!” Coloring Book Highlights Dog Chaining and Happily-Ever-Afters: Plus, FREE Bonus Coloring Pages

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Happy Dog! Coloring Book

From Chained to Cherished

Written and Designed by Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by April Pedersen

25 pages of whimsical black and white drawings from illustrator April Pedersen grace this wonderfully thought out and caring coloring book about a dog named Ranger, chained in the backyard and—like all dogs—wishing to be free.

Ranger tells the kids about his hopes and dreams, and how he was ultimately saved from a life no dog should have to suffer. By the end of his tale, his fans will be smiling and proclaiming themselves to be Happy Dogs right along with him.

bonusThe coloring book also features six pages of Happy Activities for kids, including a maze, connect the leash, and draw a tail on the pup. Perfect for all ages 3 and up, this makes an incredible addition to any and all classroom humane education efforts.

The book can be purchased singly or in bulk for classroom use, birthday parties—you name it! Find out all your options here: http://whochainsyou.com/happydog.html

Purchase single copies directly from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946044210/

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Plus, get a FREE .pdf Booklet with 8 additional coloring pages and activities by emailing your receipt to info@whochainsyou.com, or by signing up for our bi-monthly e-news through our page link: http://whochainsyou.com/happydog.html

About the Author:

tamijewelonyxloAuthor and designer Tamira Thayne rescued and fostered over 250 dogs, giving them the happiness they deserved instead of life on a chain, during her time leading Dogs Deserve Better—a nonprofit who freed dogs from chains and pens.

Now she is the founder of Who Chains You, publishing books for those who believe people—and animals—deserve to be free. She is the author of Capitol in Chains, Foster Doggie Insanity, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, The Knights Chain, The Curse of Cur, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

About the Illustrator:

aprilpedersenApril Pedersen is a freelance artist based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, geocaching, science fiction, video poker, and chess. April is the illustrator of the Happy Dog! Coloring Book, Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, and Bravo’s Freedom.

“Rescue Smiles” Wins Best Book: Human-Animal Bond Category—Will Put a Smile on Your Face Too!

rescuesmilescoverlodropWe’re very please to announce that our 2017 release, Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation, won the Dog Writers Association of America “Best Book: Human-Animal Bond” Category.

Explain co-editors Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne: “We titled the book Rescue Smiles because we wanted to remember—and for all of our readers to remember, too—that despite the inevitable heartache that comes from opening ourselves to animals in need, there exists such a magical connection that one cannot help but fall in love anew each day.

“We give our heartfelt thanks to all our contributing authors for opening their hearts to our readers and making the book so memorable and poignant.”

Rescue Smiles features the following tales and authors:

The Bandit and the Engineer: Alice, by Laura Koerber
The Beauty of Rescue: Una, the Biggest Ish, by Tamira Thayne
Home at Last: Sarge, by Reg Green
Heart of a Rat: Sabre, by Heather Leughmyer
In the Beginning: Blue and Ranger, by Joe Maringo
Coming in From the Cold: Misty, by Patti Lawson
For the Love of Blind Dogs: Dimitri, by Sarah Barnett
Mind of a Mouse: Pez, by Heather Leughmyer
Everlasting Love: Hope, by Joe Maringo
Inseparable Surprises: Cissy and Missy, by Barb Michael
Catalysts for Change: Cinnamon and Spice, by Sunny Aris
Her Gift to Me: Miss Rat, by Christopher C. Barnekov
Dying to Live: Gene-O, by Gayla Frances Evans
Uncompromised Compassion: Layla, Ricky, and Lucy, by Andee Bingham
A Feral Princess: Bootsie, aka Tootance, by Tamira Thayne
And All Things Nice: Cinnamon and Sugar, by Tamira Thayne
Finding Sanctuary: Von Truman, by Rachel Ogden
No More Chains: Gator, by Melody Whitworth
The Church Ladies: Lonestar and Tejas, by Joe Maringo
Sparrow in the House: Birdie, by Liz Woloski

Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation is available in paperback, kindle, kindleunlimited, and audiobook, at this link, and makes a wonderful gift for the animal lover in the family:

Who Chains You Books Receives Two Nominations in the Dog Writers Association of America 2017 Writing Competition

Color us excited to announce that our publishing company, Who Chains You Books, has two nominations for our titles in the Dog Writers Association of America 2017 Writing Competition.

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In the Rescue or Adoption Books Category, author Laura Koerber’s I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue received our first nomination.

The book chronicles the story of not only one rescued dog, Daisy, but all one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found is available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook. Learn more at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Once-Was-Lost-But-Found/dp/194604413X/

rescuesmilescoverloOur second nomination came in the Human/Animal Bond category, where Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation received a favorable nod as well.

The book is edited by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne, and offers a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Join us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon steals Spice’s puppies, Alice steals everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspire to steal our hearts.

Through these tales, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek into the relationships between rescuers and not only dogs and cats, but horses, goats, pigs, rats, mice, and birds, in this delightful first installment of Rescue Smiles.We hope you’re as captivated by the kinship between human and animal as we are.

With contributions by: Laura Koerber, Tamira Thayne, Reg Green, Heather Leughmyer, Joe Maringo, Patti Lawson, Sarah Barnett, Barb Michael, Sunny Aris, Christopher Barnekov, Gayla Evans, Andee Bingham, Rachel Ogden, Melody Whitworth, and Liz Woloski.

The book is available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook. Learn more at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Smiles-Favorite-Stories-Liberation/dp/1946044105/

We’re extremely honored and grateful to be nominated, and we wish all the nominees in all categories the best of luck. Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of our beloved companion animals!

“I Found Myself Laughing and Crying”: Narrator Lee Ahonen on Creating Audio for “Foster Doggie Insanity”

fdinsanityaudiocoverloAuthor Tamira Thayne wanted to take her book Foster Doggie Insanity into audio, but needed to find a narrator who ‘got’ her voice. She was thrilled to find Lee Ahonen, telling her: “Your reading is EXACTLY how I would have wanted it to sound if I did it myself. You got right into the character and created all the nuances and inflections the way I would do it or want to do it. Thank you!”

We asked Lee some questions about her narration and how she chooses her books.

Q & A with Lee Ahonen, Narrator and Producer of the Audiobook for “Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent” by Tamira Ci Thayne

Q:        How do you choose the books you audition for?

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A:        When it comes to nonfiction, I look for books that interest me and that have a positive message. Then I review the writing itself. Does it flow when I read it aloud? Does it make sense? Will the listener be able to connect with it? I don’t expect all books to be written perfectly when it comes to grammar, punctuation, and spelling. However, the author’s meaning needs to come through so that I can inject the correct feeling behind the words and the listener can get caught up in the narrative.

Q:        Is it difficult to interpret the meaning and feelings behind the author’s words

A:        Well, sometimes, yes. That happens when books are poorly written, meaning there are incomplete sentences, the use of pronouns makes it confusing, and the information is disorganized, which makes it difficult to follow the story. I don’t audition for those books. But when a book is well written, the story flows and it is easy to get into character. That’s why I enjoyed narrating and producing Foster Doggie Insanity. I felt Tamira’s personality in every word, and she was consistent throughout the book.

Q:        What does that mean – that you felt the author’s personality?

A:        The author was able to express her feelings with words. Her caring nature and sense of humor were interwoven with the gritty, day-to-day work of rescuing and fostering dogs. Also, she made herself vulnerable by sharing some of the bad stuff she experienced during her many years of service to dogs. It was very real. I could feel what she experienced, and I hope listeners will feel it, too. It’s powerful.

Q:        Was there anything in particular that stood out in this book?

A:        There were a couple of things. First, there were many emotional moments in this book – happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, and more. Somehow, Tamira was able to balance the good and the bad with humor. As a result, while there was tension in the book, it was not overwhelming. However, this is the first book in which I found myself laughing or crying too much, forcing me to do more takes so that I didn’t sound too emotional in the recording. Second, I realized that much of her advice could be applied to anyone – not just people who foster. There are many great “life” tips in the book that can help people take care of themselves so they are healthy and happy while caring for others.

Q:        To whom do you think this book will appeal?

A:        I think this book has a very broad audience – not just people who foster or rescue, but anyone that has ever had a dog or thought about having a dog in their family. It certainly would make people think about adopting a rescue dog rather than “buying” one from a pet store or a non-reputable breeder. And for anyone who currently has a dog in the family, it will make them appreciate their doggie even more!

Q:        When you do take time off, what are your favorite hobbies or things to do?

A:        I love to read. I read all types of fiction – mysteries, romance, science fiction, etc. – and I read nonfiction, which includes self-improvement, health and nutrition, business topics, and more, while lounging with my dogs, Bella and Bear (both rescues). I also spend time with my granddaughter, which now that I think about it, also involves reading! Reading has always been a big part of my life. I guess it’s not so surprising that I got involved with audiobook narration.

Q:        And where can we find you online? Do you have a narrator page link we can visit?

A:        You can find me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/leeahonen/, ACX at https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A28X5JDMI20RBN, and AudioFile at https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/referenceguide/detail/6193/.

Q:        Do you have a couple other favorite books you’ve narrated our readers can check out?

A:        Yes, I do. “Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals,” by Lori Gruen; “Don’t Stay Stuck!: Eliminate Your Excuses and Gain the Confidence to Achieve Your Dreams,” by Lori Chavez-Wysocki; and “Sport Is Life with the Volume Turned Up: Lessons Learned That Apply to Business and Life,” by Joan Cronan and Rob Schriver. Although, honestly, they’re all my favorites because I’ve learned something from every nonfiction book I’ve worked on. That’s another reason I enjoy the process so much – continuous learning.

About the Narrator, Lee Ahonen

I began my audiobook narration and production career a year ago. It was a couple of years after finishing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (with a concentration in management) and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology while working full time. I tried to enjoy my free time after being so busy, but I became unhappy with so much time on my hands. I needed to be productive, and I wanted a creative outlet. Narration provides the creative outlet, and production satisfies my detail-oriented nature. I’ve completed 23 books to date while continuing to work full time as a legal assistant, and I have six books currently in production. It’s been a very busy year, and I love it!

Foster Doggie Insanity is available in paperback, kindle, kindle unlimited, and audiobook at the following links. For a limited time, buy Foster Doggie Insanity on Audiobook, and get the code to any of our other audiobooks FREE. Just forward your receipt to info@whochainsyou.com:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue | Buy Audiobook

Author Tamira Thayne lives in Northern Virginia, and is available for speaking engagements and author visits. She can be reached at tami@whochainsyou.com.