One Hundred Dogs and Counting by Cara Sue Achterberg is a must-read

Cover of One Hundred Dogs and Counting by Cara Sue Achterberg. Photo by Wesley Coburn
Cover of One Hundred Dogs and Counting by Cara Sue Achterberg. Photo by Wesley Coburn /

Cara Sue Achterberg’s new book One Hundred Dogs and Counting is a must-read.

One Hundred Dogs and Counting (sometimes written as 100 Dogs and Counting), by Cara Sue Achterberg, is a must-read for those who work with or want to learn more about rescue dogs.

Released on Tuesday, July 7, the book’s full title is One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, and it is published by Pegasus Books, available on Amazon for $20.99 for Prime members, $27.99 standard price, with a Kindle edition for $18.99 and an audiobook version on CD for $22.99.

As of this writing, it currently holds a 5-star rating on Amazon and a 4.69 average rating on Goodreads.

A member of the Dog Writers Association of America, Achterberg has also written a previous memoir about her adventures with foster dogs in 2018’s Another Good Dog: Fifty Foster Dogs and Our Family, a organic-lifestyle primer titled Live Intentionally, and three novels (with a fourth hitting stores in January 2021).

One Hundred Dogs and Counting begins in southeastern Pennsylvania on a rural-ish homestead strewn with dog hair, as Cara struggles with finding an adopter for an extremely-loving-but-troublesome foster dog named Gala. Along the way she introduces readers to various friends and colleagues in her community, and the challenges her mostly-grown kids face as Brady and Addie deal with college and Ian goes through high school.

With the release of Another Good Dog, Cara decides to make the book launch tour also double as a fundraiser for the various rescues and shelters across the South that the rescue organization she worked with, Operation Paws for Homes, supported.

As the overcrowding and impossible odds shelter workers and volunteers faced gradually became more apparent, Cara organized several trips to raise awareness, which evolved into a separate website and the creation of the One Hundred Dogs and Counting manuscript.

No easy answers are found, but amidst the horrors seen through visits to various rural shelters and pounds, rays of hope shine through with people like Dave, an elderly veteran along the Alabama Gulf Coast saving his “LAMBs” (a self-created acronym for Lower Alabama Mixed Breeds) or Laura, a tireless volunteer spearheading rescue transports across the country from her home in Nashville.

There are also several appendixes detailing ways readers can help their local shelters and a list of contact resources for various shelters mentioned throughout the book.

Achterberg combines humor, humility, vulnerability and intensity throughout, making it far more than a typical dog book. Everyone should read this as soon as possible, though it should be noted that due to the sheer amount of emotions raised, this is a slow read, though the pacing is easy to follow.

More of her writing can be found at and the blogs Another Good DogWho Will Let the Dogs Out? and My Life in Paragraphs.

Besides the websites, she can be followed on Twitter at the handle @CaraAchterberg, on Instagram at the handles @CaraSueAchterberg and @100DogsandCounting, and on Facebook at “Cara Sue Achterberg, writer.”

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