I was just watching Animal Cops/Philadelphia on Animal Planet TV. I watch this and other shows like it to see the work of unselfish Humane Assoc. workers around this country.

On this particular episode, the humane officers had assisted in a rescue of literally hundreds of dogs and fowl used for fighting. It was a very cold night and the workers collected animals from filthy, inhumane conditions all night. Most of the animals had battle scars and signs of past mutilations. There were dogs of all ages, shivering in the cold. One was a very pregnant female, wanting only to be given warmth and a good meal. One officer came out with his hands full of newborn puppies, their eyes not even open yet. The one that really got to me was a puppy about 6-8 wks old, with big sad eyes, shivering and looking very pitiful. His ears had been savagely chopped off, probably with a tin snips or maybe an ax or knife. The wounds were obviously infected. All he wanted was warmth and safety. Lucky for him, he found that in the coat of one of the humane officers. The show went on to show that this pup was one of the lucky ones. He was young enough and healthy enough to survive his wounds and go to a loving adoptive home and hopefully a happy life.

That puppy’s sad face sent me back more than half a century to a book I had read as a child, Beautiful Joe. I was not an avid reader as a child, so the books that I did read made a deep impression on me. Beautiful Joe was one of those timeless tales that touch the heart and bring out the best in people while showing just how cruel some members of the human race can be. I would love to see this book in EVERY school library in this country…in the world, for that matter.

This is truly a story for our times.
— Sincerely, Sally Dodge Birmingham, AL