Friday, February 5, 2016

'Hero to the Rescue' Book Launch Feb. 14, Blank Park Zoo

At its 2016 "One Heart, Four Paws" Valentine's Day celebration, Paws & Effect is pleased to host the book launch for Missouri author Heddie Wittlin-Leger's "Hero to the Rescue."

The 78-page non-fiction children's book tells the story of a Rotweiller named "Hero," who survived multiple hardships and heartaches, to become a much-loved therapy animal, Dog Scout, and friend.

Heddie and Hero served as an animal-assisted therapy team with children with cancer in hospitals; families in domestic-violence shelters; and families and rescue workers in after-disaster situations. They also taught children to read in libraries and schools.

According to the publisher, "Courage in the face of obstacles, survival no matter what life throws at us, and loving to be around people—especially children—are resounding themes on every page. Readers will find themselves drawn to this gentle giant, a people-loving teddy bear of a dog that will live on in the memories of all he touched."

The "One Heart, Four Paws" event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Blank Park Zoo, 7401 S.W. 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa. The author will read at approximately 2 p.m. Winners of this year's "One Heart, Four Paws" haiku contest will also be announced.

"This beautiful children's book focuses on the human-animal bond, humane education, and the value in cherishing the special dogs in our lives," says Paws & Effect Executive Director Nichole Shumate. "We are thrilled to help celebrate Hero's and Heddie's story, and to share it with others."

Persons wishing to attend "One Heart, Four Paws" event can R.S.V.P. via e-mail nicoleshumate AT paws-effect DOT org. There is no charge for the event.

Established in 2006 and based in Des Moines, Paws & Effect is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and regularly hosts NADAC-sanctioned dog-agility events for fun and fund-raising. Its Beaverdale neighborhood storefront also serves as a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America.

The book was published earlier this month by Paws and Claws Publishing, LLC, High Point, N.C. Copies of the book will be available at the "One Heart, Four Paws" event. The book is also available via on-line retailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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