The Dogs of Avalon • Laura Schenone, Dec 3
The hero of The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril is Marion Fitzgibbon. After a decade of marriage and life in Dublin, the Fitzgibbon family returns to their native Limerick where, driving through the city center, Marion notices dozens of homeless, starving, and sick dogs curled into every other doorway and alley. Devastated, she decides to take action and joins forces with likeminded women to form Limerick Animal Welfare, beginning a lifelong career of rescuing and advocating for animals. Marion’s family phone becomes a hurt-animal hotline. Soon she is rescuing everything from swans to abused circus tigers.
But after becoming director of the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, she can no longer ignore the plight of greyhounds—mass produced and exported by a government-backed industry. Thousands seem to disappear after injury or peak racing years. Marion’s quest takes her across Europe and to the U.S. where she finds assistance from people determined to change the perception of the misunderstood breed (often thought dangerous and not suitable as pets) and save the majestic dogs.
The Dogs of Avalon is a captivating story, and a multi-faceted narrative, illustrating the clash of rural and urban values, and the ripple effect of difficult economic times on humans and animals alike. Part memoir, part history lesson on greyhounds, Schenone sheds new light on a neglected breed and entertains with tales of prancing dogs, undercover infiltration of Spanish racetracks, and a band of women who are part of a growing worldwide movement to change the way we understand and care for animals.