One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues

100 dogs cover

Pegasus Books, July 7, 2020

A challenging foster dog inspires an experienced foster mama to explore where the endless stream of unwanted dogs is coming from—and how things could change.

After nearly a year struggling to find a home for a challenging foster dog, Cara wonders—when will all the dogs be saved? Even after the one-hundredth foster dog passes through her home, the stream of homeless dogs appears endless. Seized by the need to act, Cara grabs her best friend, fills a van with donations, and heads south to discover what is really happening in the rural shelters where her foster dogs originate.

What she discovers will break her heart and compel her to share the story of heroes and villains and plenty of good dogs, in the hope of changing this world.

From North Carolina where pit bulls fill the shelters and heartworm rages to Tennessee where dogs are left forgotten in pounds and on to Alabama where unlikely heroes fight in a state that has largely forsaken its responsibilities to its animals, Cara meets the people working on the front lines in this national crisis of unwanted animals. The dogs, the people and their inspiring stories draw her south again and again in search of answers and maybe a dog of her own.

One Hundred Dogs and Counting will introduce the reader to many wonderful dogs—from sweet Oreo to gentle Fanny—but also to inspirational people sacrificing personal lives and fortunes to save deserving animals.

Join Cara on the rescue road as she follows her heart into the places where too many dogs are forgotten and discovers it is within our power to save them.





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“Achterberg throws a blinding light.  This combination of personal story and heartbreaking manifesto will shock and move readers.”—Booklist

Full of passion and compassion, this is an urgent and eloquent call to arms for anyone who cares about the countless dogs who suffer and die in the nation’s shelters every year. Sometimes it’s painful to open our eyes to suffering, but Cara Achterberg insists that we do so for that is the first essential step in fixing the problem she so eloquently tackles in this fierce, insightful book. A tribute to the heroic, big hearted people across this country who give so much of themselves to bring love, safety, and peace to second-chance dogs. She may not say so, but Cara Achterberg is one of those people.
Peter Zhuetlin, NYT Bestselling author Rescue Road, Rescued, and The Dog Went Over the Mountain

 “It takes not just a special writer, but a special human being to go into the darkest corners of dog rescue and tell the story with so many glimmers of hope and light. Cara Sue Achterberg’s One Hundred Dogs and Counting documents a journey of compassion, curiosity and faith—that knowing and sharing the truth is worth the effort, for it’s what ultimately will save so many more dogs.”
– Kim Kavin, best-selling author of Little Boy Blue and The Dog Merchants

 “An inspiring, call-to-action story about one woman’s dedication to the solution. Through her candid and heart-warming adventures, Achterberg proves that even small acts of kindness can save lives. Her message is a beacon that shines light directly on the path to end suffering; her journey proves that together we can end the needless suffering of millions of shelter animals across the nation.”
C.J. English, author of Rescue Matters.