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Reviewed by Gary Stout for Readers' Favorite
Kate J. Kuligowski's Our Most Treasured Tails covers her sixty years of love, devotion, care and kindness while rescuing abandoned, mistreated, abused and neglected dogs. As a daughter, mother, wife, teacher and animal advocate, Kuligowski relates stories of her life-long struggle to rescue and protect animals. She interweaves anecdotes of her personal life throughout her stories of the animals she has known, growing up in New Mexico and losing her father when she was only four years of age. Yet, she always found comfort with her germinating ability to help animals. Later, finding a kindred spirit in her husband Wally, the author continued adopting and helping countless dogs in need of a home and love. As her family grew with the arrival of a daughter and son, Kuligowski instilled her love for animals into their children, ensuring a new generation would join in the struggle for animal rights. Kuligowski exposes the overcrowding of many animal welfare societies in New Mexico, lack of legislation for public education on the care of dogs, and the absence of strong punishment for animal cruelty.
Our Most Treasured Tails is a heart-warming, joyous, sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes humorous, and always thought-provoking book on the state of abused dogs. Although set in New Mexico, the problem is worldwide and Kuligowski's eye-opening stories are only her examples of what happens every day. Anyone who loves animals will appreciate this book, and Our Most Treasured Tails should be required reading for anyone who underestimates the tragic lives that so many pets experience. Yet, as widespread as the issue is, Kuligowski shows that just one person can make a tremendous difference, and her overriding message is that working together we can accomplish even greater changes to protect our most treasured friends. Kate's experiences are backed by the legislation, or lack thereof, needed to protect animals that cannot help themselves. Kate did this so well that the questions posed in the book are not needed and may become a distraction for the reader.