May 11

10 Questions With…Author Becky Monroe

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Today at All the Write Notes, we have 10 Questions with author and animal advocate, Becky Monroe.

Becky’s incredible debut book, BARK UNTIL HEARD, was released last month.

1. Congrats on the new book, Becky! Give us a quick synopsis of BARK UNTIL HEARD

Bark Until Heard is my personal story of rescuing a puppy-mill dog I bought at an Amish dog auction in Wisconsin.  I was at the auction to report on the protest for Best Friends Animal Society.  I walked into the barn and hours later, emotionally spent, walked out with a little dog known only as #171.  The book details the next 4 years of rehabbing the dog I called Thorp and how I got involved with legislation to change things in WI.  In the end, #171 became a certified therapy dog and now we work with children who have emotional and behavioral disorders.

2. As one of your beta-readers, I knew it was an important and special book. As an animal advocate, what books or people inspire you?

The animal welfare movement right now is on the verge of complete overhaul.  There is a growing group of people who are demanding change from rescues and shelters.  The No Kill philosophy is really gaining momentum and showing up in municipal shelters – places that few people thought it would succeed. I am inspired by the people who are willing to break from the old regime and speak out in order to save more animals.

3. Tell me about your current pets and where they are from.

Well, I have 3 dogs and 3 cats.  Thorp is #171, an AKC registered Chinese Crested Powder Puff I bought at the auction for $65.  Penelope is an APR registered Shih Tzu that I bought at my 3rd dog auction.  She had been bred so many times that when the vet did her spay operation,  he said he had never seen anything like it.  Jack, is a mutt I rescued from Chicago Animal Control, who was hit by a car and left for dead.  He had 4 pelvic fractures and is now partially paralyzed – though you would never know when you watch him run a mile!

I worked at my county shelter for a few years and that is when I got the 3 cats: Martha, Delilah and Sampson.  Sampson came in with a bad eye infection.  The shelter vet literally placed a button in his eye to supposedly heal it, but after days and no improvement, I stole Sampson one night and got him to animal ophthalmologist.  They immediately removed the button and started aggressive treatment with various meds and saved his eye.  I guess you could say I pick the messes and love them until they are whole again.

4. I love dogs, too.  If your friend wanted to get a dog, how would you guide them to adopt one responsibly?

I am glad you said “adopt,” and not buy.  I don’t know why anyone would buy a dog when there are thousands in need of homes every day.  Usually, I suggest they check-out petfinder.com or adoptapet.com.  There you can search by breed, sex, age and zip code to find the dog you want to adopt from a rescue or shelter.  I would also highly encourage people to check out their local city shelter.  Dogs there have a hard time getting out and there are some wonderful dogs – even purebreds.  Plus, the adoption fees at city shelters are usually very cheap.

5. Let’s talk more about books. What was your favorite childhood book?

I am not sure if it would be a childhood book, but I think a book that really influenced me was WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams.  I think it has stayed with me.  The impact of man on the rabbits’ homes and the community the rabbits created really sparked something in me.  I definitely believe books like it and movies like Bambi shaped my empathy for animals at an early age.

6. Tell us about the first time you saw your name in a magazine.

I believe I was 11.  My dad subscribed to Discover magazine and I read an article on cosmetic testing on rabbits.  I wrote a letter to the editor saying something like, “If animal are so close to humans that we can use them for testing, then doesn’t that mean they feel pain like we do?”  They published it.

7. Amazing story! What other websites and magazines have you contributed to?

I was a web writer for Best Friends Animal Society.  I contributed a 3 part series to Fetch magazine detailing the puppy-mill auctions.  I was an editor for Animals Vote, a website dedicated to animal welfare issues.  I was a reporter for The Independent and did many feature stories on animal issues in the community.  I also have a blog, Tails and Truths.

8. Now to the music questions! What was the first concert you attended (without being dragged by your p’s)?

Though it was many years ago, I remember it like yesterday… my first concert was Def Leppard at Alpine Valley.  It was the Hysteria tour.  I can still picture the tank top I bought.

9. I just happened to be with you at that Def Leppard concert! Good times. What is your favorite current band or song?

Well, I am definitely a fan of true singer- songwriters.  Sarah McLachlan is my favorite.  But, recently, I have been really getting into Ron Pope.  And, I think I have a crush on Ed Sheeran.

10. Where can those interested in your book or animal advocacy find you on the web?

I have a website: www.beckymonroe.com.  There you can find links to purchase my book, info on my background, my blog, as well as resources for adopting a dog or getting involved with animal rescue.

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Thank you, Becky! You can purchase BARK UNTIL HEARD on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.