Every Dog Has Its Day: Dog Adoption Stories

May is finally here and that means summer, and summer break, are fast approaching. With beautiful weather making an appearance outside and a vast stretch of unoccupied time looming on the horizon, some kids might already be developing strategies to convince their parents to add a new, furry member to the family. Whether you are considering adopting a dog into your family, or have already rescued a furry friend long ago, check out these great stories of finding and adopting the perfect dog for a loving family. For more stories of adopting and rescuing shelter and stray dogs, try searching the keyword phrase “Dog adoption” with the phrase “Juvenile literature” for nonfiction books and “Juvenile fiction” for fictional stories. And if dogs aren’t your favorite potential pet, try searching “Cat adoption” instead for stories about cats or “Pet adoption” for stories of animals of all shapes and sizes!
Picture Books
Boelts, Maribeth.
Before You Were Mine. 2007.
A young boy imagines what his rescued dog’s life might have been like before he adopted him.
[SSHEL S Collection and Center for Children’s Books SE. B6333b]

Chall, Marsha Wilson.
Pick a Pup. 2011.
After observing different types of dogs in his neighborhood, Sam and Gram go to the local pet shelter to choose a puppy.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. C351p]

Frasier, Debra.
Spike: Ugliest Dog in the Universe. 2013.
When Spike, the winner of the Ugliest Dog in the Universe contest, is abandoned by his owner, Joe, the boy next door, is determined – against all odds – to adopt him. Things look grim until Spike foils a neighborhood catnapping plan and saves the day!
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. F864s]

Graham, Bob.
“Let’s Get a Pup!” Said Kate. 2001.
When Kate and her parents visit the animal shelter, an adorable puppy charms them, but it is very hard to leave an older dog behind.
[SSHEL S Collection and Center for Children’s Books Q. SE. G76717l]

O’Connor, Jane.
Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy. 2007.
Nancy wants to adopt a special puppy so that she is no longer the only fancy member of her family, but after a day of puppysitting a papillon, she realizes that being fancy is not always the most important thing.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. Oc53f]

Stephens, Helen.
Fleabag. 2010.
A stray dog and a lonely boy become fast friends at a neighborhood park, but everything changes when the boy’s family decides to move away.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. St441f2010]

Stuve-Bodeen, Stephanie.
A Small, Brown Dog with a Wet, Pink Nose. 2010.
Amelia will stop at nothing to convince her parents to let her adopt a very special dog.
[Center for Children’s Books SE. B6319s]

Swaim, Jessica.
The Hound from the Pound. 2007.
When lonely Miss Mary Lynn MacIntosh decides to adopt Blue, a basset hound from the pound, she gets far more companionship than she ever expected.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. Sw13h]
Intermediate Fiction
Cleary, Beverly.
Henry Huggins. 1950.
When Henry adopts Ribsy, a dog of no particular breed, humorous adventures follow.
[SSHEL S Collection and Center for Children’s Books S. C581h]

DiCamillo, Kate.
Because of Winn-Dixie. 2000.
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.
[SSHEL S Collection and Center for Children’s Books S. D547b]

Howe, Peter.
Waggit’s Tale. 2008.
When Waggit is abandoned by his owner as a puppy, he meets a pack of wild dogs who become his friends and teach him to survive in the city park, but when he has a chance to go home with a kind woman who wants to adopt him, he takes it.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H8388w]

Kehret, Peg.
Ghost Dog Secrets. 2010.
Sixth-grader Rusty, determined to help an injured dog that is chained outdoors in frigid weather, calls animal control then takes matters into his own hands, aided by his best friend and a ghost collie that leads Rusty to an even deeper secret.
[SSHEL S Collection S. K261gh]

Lucky Dog. 2014.
A collection of stories about the Pawley Rescue Center, where rescued dogs find their way into hearts and homes.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 808.83 L964]

MacLachlan, Patricia.
White Fur Flying. 2013.
A sad and silent nine-year-old boy finds his voice when he moves next to a family that rescues dogs.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M221wh]

Martin, Ann M.
Everything for a Dog. 2009.
In parallel stories, Bone, an orphaned dog, finds and loses a series of homes; Molly, a family pet, helps Charlie through the grief and other after-effects of his brother’s death; and lonely Henry pleads for a dog of his own.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M3633e]
Bial, Raymond.
Rescuing Rover: Saving America’s Dogs. 2011.
Discusses the welfare of dogs around the world, highlighting both regions where dogs are abused, neglected, and exploited, and the people and organizations seeking to improve such situations and rescue dogs from poor living conditions.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 636.0832 B47r]

Gutman, Bill.
Adopting Pets: How to Choose Your New Best Friend. 2001.
Pet Friends books are a practical way for children and their parents to learn about all types of pets, what makes them special, and what you’d rather know about their care before you bring them home. Adorable animal drawings illustrate the sometimes baffling behaviors of common pets. This wonderful series of practical how-to guides will educate all young pet lovers.
[Center for Children’s Books S. 636.70887 G985a]

Howey, Paul.
Freckles: The Mystery of the Little White Dog in the Desert. 2003.
True story of an abandoned dog that’s rescued from the desert and becomes a therapy dog working with the homeless, abused and otherwise at-risk children.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 636.7 H839f]

Jackson, Emma.
A Home for Dixie. 2008.
For as long as she could remember, Emma had wanted a dog. Instead, she got a fish, a hamster, and even a guinea pig. And although Emma loved all these pets, it was not the same as having a dog. Meanwhile, an abandoned puppy was brought to an animal rescue. This is the uplifting story of how Emma adopted Dixie, enhanced by adorable photography and bonus information on how to support your local animal shelter, and even adopt a rescued dog of your own.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 636.70832 J1337h]

Kehret, Peg.
Shelter Dogs: Amazing Stories of Adopted Strays. 1999.
Tells the stories of eight stray dogs that were adopted from animal shelters and went on to become service dogs, actors, and heroes.
[Center for Children’s Books S. 636.7 K261s]

Laidlaw, Rob.
No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs. 2011.
Discusses the welfare of dogs around the world, highlighting both regions where dogs are abused, neglected, and exploited, and the people and organizations seeking to improve such situations and rescue dogs from poor living conditions.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 636.70832 L141n]