#994 – Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field by Ginger Wadsworth

poopdetectivecover Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field
Written by Ginger Wadsworth
Charlesbridge  10/11/2016
80 page    Ages 8—12

Junior Library Guild Selection

“Camas is searching for grizzly-bear scat. ‘Go find it!’ her handler calls out, over and over. With her nose leading the way, Camas races along rough roads, riverbeds, and ridgelines. Suddenly she stops. There it is: a fresh, heaping pile of dung.

“In the race to save endangered species, finding solutions now is critical. Canine detectives like Camas are on the case, using their super sense of smell to locate the scat of target animals. From loose bear dung to gooey whale excrement, scat can tell scientists a lot about an animal—without harming the animal or putting the researcher in danger.

“Scat-detection dogs are conservation heroes on the cutting edge of science, helping to save the world one poop at a time.” [PRESS RELEASE]

Dogs are amazing animals, no question. All dogs have powerful noses, yet a handful have the characteristics needed to help humans at work. And dogs with those characteristics often found in rescues and shelters/dog pounds, sometimes days before euthanization. Some dogs patrol the borders; others check incoming baggage for illegal animals, plants, and drugs; others help children with seizure disorders. Poop Detectives is about waste material, aka poop and dung.
poop-detectives-12-13The photographs are nothing less than stunning, not so much artistically as they are for their content. Yellow sidebars give readers additional information. Also inside its 80 pages, Poop Detectives offers readers a glance at the different ways these dogs can help.I love scientists’ desire to train rescue dogs, proving once more, how valuable these dogs really are; how trainable, lovable, and loyal rescue dogs are, but their numbers continue to grow. When adopting, adopt a rescue dog or cat.

Admittedly, I love books about dogs, but one about dogs and scat, well it seemed a bit too much. And why give my dog any ideas, he already enjoys . . .ahem, what amazes me is how well trained these dogs become, and how well each wants to do his job. The dogs want to do their jobs well . . . even on the ocean, in the open sea. Dogs who do very well on land can become exhausted and need a break. One new option is a career change from land to sea locating whale scat. From the ocean to the desert, scat-detection dogs track down hard-to-find desert tortoises. On sandy beaches, scat-detecting dogs track down sea turtle eggs, allowing experts to save them, especially the rare Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles.
poop-detectives-34-35The scat-detecting dogs’ depths of applications may increase over time. Along with the above, these dogs have been trained to find owls—specifically the Northern Spotted Owl—harmful insects, and low-odor snails, such as the harmful rosy wolf snail. Amazingly, scat-scenting dogs can also find snakes such as (former pet) pythons owner s threw into the everglades. Kids who love animals will enjoy Poop Detectives. It will not lay on library and store shelves long.

Kids will love Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field, a good descriptive title for the book. “Hey, Mom wait, I want to get Poop Detectives.”

“You want WHAT?!”

Title (and all kidding) aside, kids will love the content beginning with Freddie’s fictionalized journey from pound pup to rescued dog, taught to smell out scat. Generally, dogs such as Freddie are high-strung with large emotions and loads of energy to spare. Because many families find these dogs difficult to manage, especially when young, many end up in dog pounds and rescue, where they may never leave.
poop-detectives-28-29Back to the basics, Poop Detectives is organized into seven easy-to-read chapters, which are further divided by helpful sub-headings. The text adds in conservation as often as possible and how scat-detecting dogs help in that effort. Back matter includes an author’s note, glossary, resources, sources, bibliography, and an index. An introduction—fictional Freddie—opens the doors to Poop Detectives with an interesting, “I-want-to-know-more” tale. Teachers and homeschooling parents take note, Poop Detectives’ binding has been reinforced (for library usage), meaning the book you buy in a bookstore it is built to withstand most rough everyday lending and extends the book’s life.

What these many pound dogs need is a job, which the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington gives them. While they help us with finding needed objects, the dogs who cannot stand still are now running free with purpose. Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field is a wonderful way for kid to learn about new and exciting jobs. It will at least get kids thinking about their and the Earth’s future and about life out of the ordinary.

POOP DETECTIVES: WORKING DOGS IN THE FIELD. Text copyright © 2016 by Ginger Wadsworth. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Charlesbridge, Watertown, MA.

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Add Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.
Teachers’ Guide is HERE.

Reprinted with permission from POOP DETECTIVES: WORKING DOGS IN THE FIELD © 2016 by Ginger Wadsworth, Charlesbridge, Photographs © 2016 by various individuals.




Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field
Written by Ginger Wadsworth
Charlesbridge 10/11/2016


8 thoughts on “#994 – Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field by Ginger Wadsworth

  1. Pingback: Book Review – Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field

  2. For some, it’s chocolate. Others swoon at roses. But the way to Sue’s heart is a big pile of… middle grade books about scat. You’re right, Sue. I think kids will greatly enjoy this book while actually learning quite a bit amid their bouts of snickering.


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