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A Rare Breed of Love: The True Story of Baby and the Mission She Inspired to Help Dogs Everywhere

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When you meet Baby, the first thing you notice is her limp. She only has three legs, you see -- she lost one following years of mistreatment at a puppy mill. But spend a little more time with Baby and her irrepressible "Ma," Jana Kohl, and you'll hear the story of how this gentle creature has gone from puppy-mill victim to celebrity "spokesdog" -- hobnobbing with celebriti When you meet Baby, the first thing you notice is her limp. She only has three legs, you see -- she lost one following years of mistreatment at a puppy mill. But spend a little more time with Baby and her irrepressible "Ma," Jana Kohl, and you'll hear the story of how this gentle creature has gone from puppy-mill victim to celebrity "spokesdog" -- hobnobbing with celebrities, lobbying politicians, and inspiring an entire movement to end the kind of animal abuse she suffered for so many years. Several years ago, Jana decided she wanted to buy a toy poodle. But the nightmarish conditions she was confronted with at a breeder's farm -- hundreds of dogs confined to small, dirty cages for their entire lives until they were killed for the crime of being too old to produce puppies -- opened her eyes to abuses in the world of commercial breeding. There are thousands of puppy mills all across the United States, and most of those cute little puppies in pet store windows are products of such nightmarish places. Jana knew this was a wrong she couldn't ignore. Her first step was to adopt a rescued adult dog instead of buying a puppy from a commercial breeder. And that's how she found Baby, a roughly nine-year-old poodle who had been locked in a cage. But Jana's mission didn't stop there. Soon, Jana and Baby (whose sweet face and three-legged hobble attract attention wherever she goes) found themselves speaking to groups about the terrible conditions at many breeders' farms and urging politicians to change the lax laws that regulate this industry. Today, Baby is the unofficial spokesdog for the Humane Society of the United States on the topic of puppy mills, and she and Jana travel around the country lobbying for reform on this important issue. A Rare Breed of Love contains more than sixty photographs of Baby with many of her high-profile fans, from Barack Obama to Judge Judy to Patti LaBelle, as well as original essays from luminaries such as Alice Walker and Gloria Steinem about the special love we all have for the pets in our lives. In this heartbreaking, compelling, and ultimately heart-warming book, Jana Kohl and Baby offer practical advice on what each of us can do to raise awareness, make a difference, and stop animal suffering everywhere.


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When you meet Baby, the first thing you notice is her limp. She only has three legs, you see -- she lost one following years of mistreatment at a puppy mill. But spend a little more time with Baby and her irrepressible "Ma," Jana Kohl, and you'll hear the story of how this gentle creature has gone from puppy-mill victim to celebrity "spokesdog" -- hobnobbing with celebriti When you meet Baby, the first thing you notice is her limp. She only has three legs, you see -- she lost one following years of mistreatment at a puppy mill. But spend a little more time with Baby and her irrepressible "Ma," Jana Kohl, and you'll hear the story of how this gentle creature has gone from puppy-mill victim to celebrity "spokesdog" -- hobnobbing with celebrities, lobbying politicians, and inspiring an entire movement to end the kind of animal abuse she suffered for so many years. Several years ago, Jana decided she wanted to buy a toy poodle. But the nightmarish conditions she was confronted with at a breeder's farm -- hundreds of dogs confined to small, dirty cages for their entire lives until they were killed for the crime of being too old to produce puppies -- opened her eyes to abuses in the world of commercial breeding. There are thousands of puppy mills all across the United States, and most of those cute little puppies in pet store windows are products of such nightmarish places. Jana knew this was a wrong she couldn't ignore. Her first step was to adopt a rescued adult dog instead of buying a puppy from a commercial breeder. And that's how she found Baby, a roughly nine-year-old poodle who had been locked in a cage. But Jana's mission didn't stop there. Soon, Jana and Baby (whose sweet face and three-legged hobble attract attention wherever she goes) found themselves speaking to groups about the terrible conditions at many breeders' farms and urging politicians to change the lax laws that regulate this industry. Today, Baby is the unofficial spokesdog for the Humane Society of the United States on the topic of puppy mills, and she and Jana travel around the country lobbying for reform on this important issue. A Rare Breed of Love contains more than sixty photographs of Baby with many of her high-profile fans, from Barack Obama to Judge Judy to Patti LaBelle, as well as original essays from luminaries such as Alice Walker and Gloria Steinem about the special love we all have for the pets in our lives. In this heartbreaking, compelling, and ultimately heart-warming book, Jana Kohl and Baby offer practical advice on what each of us can do to raise awareness, make a difference, and stop animal suffering everywhere.

30 review for A Rare Breed of Love: The True Story of Baby and the Mission She Inspired to Help Dogs Everywhere

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    If I could give this book more stars I would! This was such a great book. The author, Jana Kohl, had a toy poodle and when he died she wanted to get another one. After visiting a breeder and seeing the horrific puppy mill conditions, she started looking for a rescued dog to adopt. She found Baby on the Petfinder website and when she read that Baby had been rescued from a puppy mill Kohl knew she had found her new companion. Because of all that Baby suffered as a breeding dog in a puppy mill, she If I could give this book more stars I would! This was such a great book. The author, Jana Kohl, had a toy poodle and when he died she wanted to get another one. After visiting a breeder and seeing the horrific puppy mill conditions, she started looking for a rescued dog to adopt. She found Baby on the Petfinder website and when she read that Baby had been rescued from a puppy mill Kohl knew she had found her new companion. Because of all that Baby suffered as a breeding dog in a puppy mill, she became a mascot for the evils of puppy mills and Kohl was determined to work towards ending this cruel business. This book was created to draw attention to puppy mills and expose this cruel business. Baby got to pose with lots of celebrities in order to add those pictures to this book and also help spread the message of ending puppy mills and all forms of animal cruelty. Anyone who has ever had a pet, especially an adopted one, will love this book and be inspired by Baby. On their website, www.rarebreedoflove.com, you can even buy a stuffed Baby dog complete with only 3 legs! I have already decided to buy this book for some Christmas gifts this year and would highly recommend it to anyone!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sharron

    This book took me a while to read. It wasn't because it was a bad book but I had to keep putting it down because I would start to cry. Baby, the adorable dog on the cover, is the product of a puppy mill. She was kept in horrible conditioins and about to be killed because she had reached an age where she could no longer reproduce. A loving stranger was able to rescue her and place her with a rescue group and she was eventually adopted by the author. Baby lost her front leg due to the abuse she su This book took me a while to read. It wasn't because it was a bad book but I had to keep putting it down because I would start to cry. Baby, the adorable dog on the cover, is the product of a puppy mill. She was kept in horrible conditioins and about to be killed because she had reached an age where she could no longer reproduce. A loving stranger was able to rescue her and place her with a rescue group and she was eventually adopted by the author. Baby lost her front leg due to the abuse she suffered during her confinement in a small, wire cage. I absolutely think everyone should read this book. I admit it does seem to lose focus and the author has a lot of ideas to share. But the emotional impact of this book and baby's story is devestating. And the author actually gives you some suggestions on how you can make a difference. I dare you to read it without shedding a tear and wondering what is wrong with some human beings. I myself have five animals, all adopted from shelters, rescue groups or straight from the street. They are the most loving and wonderful beings I could ever want to be with. They all have some type of baggage due to their prior circumstances but it is never difficult to love and even adore them. I loved this book and I think you will too. My favorite photo is taken with Baby and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. It's priceless.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Astrid Yrigollen

    I liked this book since it had little pieces from different people who are animal lovers. I especially liked Judge Judy's contribution and her statement on how she would deal with someone who abused animals. For people who are not aware of puppy mills and that buying dogs online is only the fore front of a ugly and scary world for animals please read this book.Plenty of pictures to keep anyone interested but the story of Baby itself is just one in a million since there are so many other animals I liked this book since it had little pieces from different people who are animal lovers. I especially liked Judge Judy's contribution and her statement on how she would deal with someone who abused animals. For people who are not aware of puppy mills and that buying dogs online is only the fore front of a ugly and scary world for animals please read this book.Plenty of pictures to keep anyone interested but the story of Baby itself is just one in a million since there are so many other animals that need our help.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    ADOPT! ADOPT! ADOPT! Everyone should be informed and concerned about what bad humans are doing to our four-legged friends!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    One of my picks for group that the others did not like. They felt it was a little too preachy about animal rights. I had to skip some parts to graphic about animal abuse.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    The first part was sad, but the author and the dog have an amazing life!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Kim

    Not an easy read for me because of the bleak subject matter but a fast read. Included much more about factory farming and foie gras bans than I expected. Would have been nice to focus on the puppy mills. Would have also liked it hear more about Baby and her every day life. Also, liked when she “spoke” in the first person. Her impression on everyone she took a pic with would have been fun! Liked the message it spread but thought it fell slightly short of inspiring or greatly interesting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Zavala

    I wanted more legal specifics, but what a heartwarming story of love leading to action for change. ADOPT!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Sad but realistic window into Puppy Mill industry

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    An odd book. Not so much about the dog but about a lot of other people and finally it just degenerated into a bunch of pictures of the dog with a famous people.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    This is a terrific book and very moving story of Baby, a poodle who was rescued from a California puppy mill. The purpose of the story is to raise awareness about the horrible conditions of puppymills across the United States. Baby, who until she was nine years old, was kept locked in a filthy cage and produced litter after litter of puppies to be sold for a profit. Her owner was terribly cruel. She even cut Baby's and the 100's of other dogs in the mills vocal cords so they could no longer bar This is a terrific book and very moving story of Baby, a poodle who was rescued from a California puppy mill. The purpose of the story is to raise awareness about the horrible conditions of puppymills across the United States. Baby, who until she was nine years old, was kept locked in a filthy cage and produced litter after litter of puppies to be sold for a profit. Her owner was terribly cruel. She even cut Baby's and the 100's of other dogs in the mills vocal cords so they could no longer bark. Baby's only value to the mill owner was her ability to produce puppies. When she was too old to breed anymore, the mill owner was going to have her and some other mothers killed because they were no longer useful to the owner. A good samaritan resuced the dogs, and Baby was adopted by Jana Kohl, the author of the book. Jana and Baby wrote the book to bring attention to the plight of dogs in puppy mills. They have enlisted the help of many people, who help in animal causes. Be forewarned that some the information in the book is fairly graphic, but necessary for the telling of Baby's story. There are many heartwarming parts to the book also. It may not be the best written book you will ever read, but it may be one of the most touching books you will ever open. As a foster mom to many, many dogs, I already knew about the horrors of puppymills. I have fostered my share of mill dogs and most are like Baby, forever greatful for the love of an owner.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Awesome book to educate people about puppy mills and encourage the adoption of shelter dogs. Isn't it awesome what even just one person and a three-legged dog can do? In this book I would have liked to hear more about Jana and Baby's daily life and maybe less celebrity pictures but it's hard to be critical about a book where all the proceeds go to charity! I will leave this in the free bookshelf at my work in hopes of educating someone about puppy mills and animal abuse. Thank you to the author Awesome book to educate people about puppy mills and encourage the adoption of shelter dogs. Isn't it awesome what even just one person and a three-legged dog can do? In this book I would have liked to hear more about Jana and Baby's daily life and maybe less celebrity pictures but it's hard to be critical about a book where all the proceeds go to charity! I will leave this in the free bookshelf at my work in hopes of educating someone about puppy mills and animal abuse. Thank you to the author for your passion with this cause.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Smith

    This book was in a prize package I received from an adult summer reading program at the library. I think this book would have been better in the format of a coffee table book. The chapters were so redundant. The only part that was interesting to me were the pictures of the celebrities with Baby/their dogs. I think there should have been a brief introduction about Baby's story and the horrors of puppy mills and the rest should have been pictures of celebrities and their dogs/Baby and maybe a blip This book was in a prize package I received from an adult summer reading program at the library. I think this book would have been better in the format of a coffee table book. The chapters were so redundant. The only part that was interesting to me were the pictures of the celebrities with Baby/their dogs. I think there should have been a brief introduction about Baby's story and the horrors of puppy mills and the rest should have been pictures of celebrities and their dogs/Baby and maybe a blip on the celebrity's dog(s) or why they support the cause. The end! The author humanized dogs and animalized humans in this book. I like dogs, but I don't believe they should be treated like humans. They do not need to have a birthday cake on their birthdays as they don't even have the cognitive function to know what a birthday is or recognize that it is their birthday. This is simply an expression of love by dog owners. I do think dogs enrich lives and should not be mistreated, but they are pets and not people. The writing was also poor. I just didn't enjoy the presentation of this information.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Grey853

    This is a lovely book. The story is very compelling and reading about how Baby, the three-legged poodle, is rescued and inspires the author to go to war against animal abuse is very well presented. There are also photos galore of celebrities, lawmakers, and artists holding Baby. This is a book I picked up and couldn't put down. I cried through several sections and smiled through others. I would've given it five stars, but for one thing. The light colored print and italic fonts of some of the per This is a lovely book. The story is very compelling and reading about how Baby, the three-legged poodle, is rescued and inspires the author to go to war against animal abuse is very well presented. There are also photos galore of celebrities, lawmakers, and artists holding Baby. This is a book I picked up and couldn't put down. I cried through several sections and smiled through others. I would've given it five stars, but for one thing. The light colored print and italic fonts of some of the personal accounts was very difficult to read. Even the black print seemed smaller than it needed to be considering it's got wider than average pages. So, the story itself is five stars, the layout 4.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Being an owner of a 3 legged dog myself I was truly expecting something different here. I wanted Baby's story, not a picture book. I felt the book was focused more on preaching about Puppy Mills and what a horrible person you are if you buy a dog that might have been bred at a puppy mill, I do not believe the people that pick up this book and share this book will be the people she is intent on targeting. I am a strong supporter to end puppy mills and all 5 of my dogs are rescued dogs either from Being an owner of a 3 legged dog myself I was truly expecting something different here. I wanted Baby's story, not a picture book. I felt the book was focused more on preaching about Puppy Mills and what a horrible person you are if you buy a dog that might have been bred at a puppy mill, I do not believe the people that pick up this book and share this book will be the people she is intent on targeting. I am a strong supporter to end puppy mills and all 5 of my dogs are rescued dogs either from the shelter or from local rescues. I just felt the story could have been 100 times better than it was and would have educated a lot more of those people that turn a blind eye to puppy mills!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathya

    I remember reading a short story about this book in an issue of 'People' and of course something about it caught my eye and I made a mental note to read the book at some point. This book really touched a nerve with me especially because I do not believe puppy mills should exist at all. Reading some parts made me start crying but more so because some people do not care about animals at all. This book is a great way to begin a call to action to ending puppy mills and advocating for animals who can I remember reading a short story about this book in an issue of 'People' and of course something about it caught my eye and I made a mental note to read the book at some point. This book really touched a nerve with me especially because I do not believe puppy mills should exist at all. Reading some parts made me start crying but more so because some people do not care about animals at all. This book is a great way to begin a call to action to ending puppy mills and advocating for animals who can not speak for themselves and are at the mercy of humans.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Louzilla

    This is a really good book for getting the word out about the horrors of puppy mills, and why you should really adopt instead of purchasing a companion animal. It wasn't superbly written, but I still encourage everybody to read it because it points out facts that many people do not know about where that doggie in the store window came from, while not being overbearingly horrific or hard to read. I hope that this book will help get the word of puppy mills out to common people, not just animal lov This is a really good book for getting the word out about the horrors of puppy mills, and why you should really adopt instead of purchasing a companion animal. It wasn't superbly written, but I still encourage everybody to read it because it points out facts that many people do not know about where that doggie in the store window came from, while not being overbearingly horrific or hard to read. I hope that this book will help get the word of puppy mills out to common people, not just animal lovers, so that puppy mills can once and for all be abolished!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue Caldwell

    This book was amazing, it was really hard to read, heartbreaking, but full of hope and courage. Baby use to live in a puppy mill in the USA, but a kind women she was recused and then both of them took a couragous journey to expose the truth about pupply mills in the USA. There are many puppy mills in the USA, and all dogs endure horrific conditions and are treated like breeding machines. Since this book has been published many puppy mills have been closed down and dogs helped and rehomed with hel This book was amazing, it was really hard to read, heartbreaking, but full of hope and courage. Baby use to live in a puppy mill in the USA, but a kind women she was recused and then both of them took a couragous journey to expose the truth about pupply mills in the USA. There are many puppy mills in the USA, and all dogs endure horrific conditions and are treated like breeding machines. Since this book has been published many puppy mills have been closed down and dogs helped and rehomed with help from the Human Society of the United States. We can make a difference!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    A former mill breeding dog who escaped death by a whisker, Baby is helping to put a face on the story behind all of those "doggies in the window." Although parts of this book are a little too celebrity-focused for my taste (I really don't care if this or that TV star thinks Baby is cute), I enjoyed reading about the poodle's antics and her guardian's journey from being completely unaware of puppy mills to vociferously crusading against them. Also, Kohl got the snapshot of a lifetime when she pho A former mill breeding dog who escaped death by a whisker, Baby is helping to put a face on the story behind all of those "doggies in the window." Although parts of this book are a little too celebrity-focused for my taste (I really don't care if this or that TV star thinks Baby is cute), I enjoyed reading about the poodle's antics and her guardian's journey from being completely unaware of puppy mills to vociferously crusading against them. Also, Kohl got the snapshot of a lifetime when she photographed a pre-Presidential Barack Obama cuddling the dog in front of the Lincoln memorial.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sidney Rodriguez

    I'm tossed up on this one. On one hand - great message, tons of passion, lots of rational thought on different angles. On the other than, there were times were it was very obvious that this was written by someone with a degree in psychology. Lots of analyzing about how animal abuse relates back to a lack of love and affection from one's own parents. There were also portions of tbe book where the author used a lot of 'cutesy' talk (OMG the dog's toesies smelled like popcorn!!) Over all: Glad I read I'm tossed up on this one. On one hand - great message, tons of passion, lots of rational thought on different angles. On the other than, there were times were it was very obvious that this was written by someone with a degree in psychology. Lots of analyzing about how animal abuse relates back to a lack of love and affection from one's own parents. There were also portions of tbe book where the author used a lot of 'cutesy' talk (OMG the dog's toesies smelled like popcorn!!) Over all: Glad I read it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Bailey

    I chose this book after reading a much heavier book hoping it would be lighter and more positive and uplifting. While this book had it's uplifting moments, i didn't realize it was going to be all about puppy mills and how to get rid of them and all of the horrers of puppy mills. While I'm completely against puppy mills, I was not in the mood for another depressing book. It was a nice easy read with tons of pictures and celebrity notes. All funds do go to an animal rescue so it is for a good caus I chose this book after reading a much heavier book hoping it would be lighter and more positive and uplifting. While this book had it's uplifting moments, i didn't realize it was going to be all about puppy mills and how to get rid of them and all of the horrers of puppy mills. While I'm completely against puppy mills, I was not in the mood for another depressing book. It was a nice easy read with tons of pictures and celebrity notes. All funds do go to an animal rescue so it is for a good cause.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lauri

    This book touches on the cruel & inhumane conditions that exist in the puppy breeding industry. There are thousands of dogs across the country that are kept in cages for years and are only valued for the money the owner can get for the puppies. Jana, the author takes her 3-legged friend & victim of a puppy mill around the country with her to raise awareness about buying purebred puppies. Adopt a shelter dog!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I learned a lot about the horrors of puppy mills. I wish every single state in the US would abolish these dungeons of torture. What person in their right mind would even consider buying a puppy knowing the awfulness of the puppy's origins. I am so glad that I read this book and I hope anyone considering buying a dog would read this book. I learned a lot about the horrors of puppy mills. I wish every single state in the US would abolish these dungeons of torture. What person in their right mind would even consider buying a puppy knowing the awfulness of the puppy's origins. I am so glad that I read this book and I hope anyone considering buying a dog would read this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    I love animals! So I tend to read a lot of books about dogs and cats. So that's what attracted me to this book. Baby was a breeder dog. She didn't even have a name ... she had "94" tattooed in her ear which served as her "expiry date", which had arrived. Thankfully she found a good home with the author who is now campaigning to raise awareness of puppy mills. I love animals! So I tend to read a lot of books about dogs and cats. So that's what attracted me to this book. Baby was a breeder dog. She didn't even have a name ... she had "94" tattooed in her ear which served as her "expiry date", which had arrived. Thankfully she found a good home with the author who is now campaigning to raise awareness of puppy mills.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I just read an excerpt of this book on the publisher's site and just KNOW it's going to be an inspiring, touching book. For local readers: The author, Jana Kohl, will be speaking at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ on 6/18. I just read an excerpt of this book on the publisher's site and just KNOW it's going to be an inspiring, touching book. For local readers: The author, Jana Kohl, will be speaking at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ on 6/18.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kellie

    Hey, anything that helps raise awareness and create change is worthwhile and maybe this book is another way to bring the puppy mill situation to the mainstream. There were some nice pieces and pictures in the book. I especially liked the photos of the interviewee's own rescue dogs. Hey, anything that helps raise awareness and create change is worthwhile and maybe this book is another way to bring the puppy mill situation to the mainstream. There were some nice pieces and pictures in the book. I especially liked the photos of the interviewee's own rescue dogs.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Renate Simone

    This book is about a cause I truly believe in, but as a readable book it is sorely lacking. It reads like a grade 6 homework assignment - what I did this summer. Couldn't stand it. Read the first 30 pages or so and that was more than enough for me. This book is about a cause I truly believe in, but as a readable book it is sorely lacking. It reads like a grade 6 homework assignment - what I did this summer. Couldn't stand it. Read the first 30 pages or so and that was more than enough for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

    I LOVED this book! It was very inspiring and I don't think it gets as much publicity as it should. It's one of those feel good books that makes you really want to make a difference. I very much enjoyed every page of this book and would recommend it to anyone. I LOVED this book! It was very inspiring and I don't think it gets as much publicity as it should. It's one of those feel good books that makes you really want to make a difference. I very much enjoyed every page of this book and would recommend it to anyone.

  29. 5 out of 5

    SouthWestZippy

    This was a hard read due to the subject. Very intense but so hard to put down. LOADS of celebrity pictures and stories. It was done to help sell the book and get the story out to the world horrific life in a puppy mill farm.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbie

    Heartwarming true story of Baby, a 3 legged rescue. My cousin, Jana Kohl, took her all over the world meeting celebrities of all kinds. This is a beautiful book that raises conscientiousness for the horrible reality of puppy mills.

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