Hero Dogs: How a Pack of Rescues, Rejects, and Strays Became America's Greatest Disaster-Search Partners

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Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 1.2 X 8.3 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author

WILMA MELVILLE is a retired physical education instructor and the founder of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF). She served as a FEMA-certified canine search specialist deployed in response to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Though formally retired, Wilma is actively involved with the SDF's National Training Center in Santa Paula, California. Not prone to slowing down, she still stays in constant motion, bouncing between duties as a mother, grandmother, dog trainer, pilot, and horse enthusiast. PAUL LOBO is a writer, army veteran, and part-time volunteer for the SDF. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, newborn son, and a duo of rescued pit bulls, all of whom constantly expand the bounds of his affection (and, occasionally, his patience).


"A harrowing, often heartbreaking, yet inspirational tale as Melville eloquently explores the small victories and wrenching losses of the dogs' much-needed work." --Publishers Weekly

"This book has wit, warmth, and humor but also moments of heartbreak and tears of joy scattered throughout. It is a testament to what a dream can become and how it takes a group of committed people to realize it. Readers will fall in love with the descriptions of the various rescue dogs and delight in the personalities, of both the people and the animals, that jump off the page." --Library Journal

"[An] astonishing story....Melville shares her story in straight-talking prose that evokes the tension and emotion reflective of the high stakes. She is also slyly funny, offering delightfully ironic thoughts on dog humor. When the pilot teams are thrust into the national limelight during their first real-life disaster on 9/11, the results are both triumphant and throat-closing. A fascinating read for animal lovers, thrill-seekers and rescue-hounds alike, Melville's work is proof that some good can rise from the ashes of catastrophe." --Shelf Awareness