The incredible memoir of how Wilma Melville turned a band of shelter dogs into one of America's foremost disaster-response assets in catastrophes from 9/11 to Katrina.
Ana and Hunter were failed service dogs. Recon was left for dead on the train tracks. Cody was returned to the shelter seven times before he turned two. To most, these dogs were unadoptable. Unsalvageable. Irredeemable. To retired gym teacher and grandma Wilma Melville, they were the heroes America needed.
Having volunteered as a canine search-and-rescue handler during the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Wilma had seen how ill-prepared the country was to respond to disasters. Then and there, beside her loyal Black Lab, Murphy, she makes a pact. Wilma singlehandedly founds the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) and begins a journey that will change the face of search-and-rescue in America forever.
But even Wilma could not predict how desperately her idea would soon be needed. With 9/11, the scope of disaster response in America changed in an instant, and people across the country realized how crucial these dogs were, launching the SDF to a national stage.
In this gripping, heartwrenching story, Wilma and writer Paul Lobo trace the paths of the incredible dogs, firefighters, and volunteers who brought her dream to fruition. Wilma recounts struggles and triumphs as they face off with hurricanes, bombings, and other disasters. Along the way, we witness the unshakeable bonds that develop between humans and these incredible dogs.
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