LUMBERTON — New Jersey native Kim Kavin didn’t just learn about deplorable shelter conditions in North Carolina when searching online for a four-legged companion — she wrote the book on it, one that chronicles her experience in Robeson County.
Kavin’s book, “Little Boy Blue: A puppy’s rescue from death row and his owner’s journey for truth,” tells the story of her investigation into animal shelters that began when she picked up Blue, a brindle hound, from an animal rescue group in New Jersey — and ended with her traveling North Carolina highways to find answers about conditions in county shelters which housed, and sometimes killed, healthy and adoptable animals.
Along the way, Kavin made a stop in Robeson County.
A chapter of the book titled “A Cool Breeze in Hell” names Faith Walker as being the catalyst that turned the Robeson County Animal Shelter from a dirt-encrusted 10-cage facility with a kill rate of 90 percent to the warehouse it is today, with the help of undercover cameras supplied to WRAL reporters by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“… Robeson County Animal Shelter has been like a murder suspect sitting in a police station with bright lights shined into his eyes,” Kavin writes on page 125. “… Somehow, under the glare of harsh public outcry, the shelter had found a way to turn things around.”
The book names former shelter Director Lori Baxter and former adoption coordinator Sara Hatchell as a team that turned the shelter into a facility more about saving animals and less about eradicating them. Kavin also credits the two for getting the shelter on the online map with a Facebook page and getting photos of dogs and cats up for adoption in the hands of animal rescue groups.
Kavin’s book can be found at Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and Amazon.com, where it recently made the list of top 100 sellers in the “dog category.”