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Winner - Moonbeam Children's Book & CIPA EVVY Awards

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hurricane dog sunny weber author

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What people are saying...

My heart was transfixed in the story as I followed Gator’s narrative of his life. Sunny Weber punches incredible power into Hurricane Dog by using the dog as the narrator.

- Reader's Favorite 5-Star Review

Reader's Choice Review DTW 2020 5star-flat-web

. . . a compelling read for young readers and animal lovers alike . . .

Inventively told novel for young readers, the story features a well-balanced mix of action and drama, with emotional scenes as well as humor. It offers keen insight into a dog’s emotions and intelligence, while delivering an important lesson in forgiveness. The novel’s unique characters, thrilling story, and easy language make it a compelling read for young readers and animal lovers alike.”

- BlueInk Reviews

. . . “An engaging mix of adventure, anguish, and renewed hope for animal lovers.” . . .

- Kirkus Reviews

. . . inspire animal lovers of all ages . . .

“Hurricane Dog will inspire animal lovers of all ages to understand that he or she, as a caring individual, can make animals’ lives better through education and political action.”

~ Senator Daniel Kagan

. . . show children they have important places in the world . . .

Working to make the world a better place for animals is a noble job. Drafting legislation to add to animal welfare is possible. Hurricane Dog will show children they have important places in the world and can achieve needed changes to help all animals.

~ Faye Kagan, Esquire - Vice President, Colorado Voters for Animals

How a special relationship between a boy and his dog changed federal law regarding the rescue of people and pets during natural disasters.

Pit bull mix Gator and puppy mill survivor Magnolia are abandoned during a Louisiana hurricane. They suffer dehydration and starvation after rescuers take their people to safety but leave the pets behind.

Saved from their flooded house, Gator and Magnolia recover but remain homeless. Nobody wants a pit bull. Gator’s resentment festers into intense hatred for Gavin, the boy who left them to die. He vows to never trust again.

Transported to Colorado with other refugee pets, Gator and Magnolia face the uncertainty of a new life. Eventually they are fostered by a kind woman who seems mysteriously familiar. Both dogs relax in their new lives until upheaval again throws them into chaos.

Overwhelmed by trauma, Gator and Magnolia cling to one another through change after change.

Will they be separated?
Will Gator forgive the Great Betrayal and love again?
Will Gator & Gavin be reunited?

How A Law Was Changed

In 2006 the Stafford Disaster and Emergency Act was amended to include the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS).

The devastation of hurricane Katrina in 2005 was so remarkable that the media was able to highlight the plight of both humans and animals in a culture where pets have become members of our family. In particular, the story about a boy and his dog Snowball who were separated before boarding a bus captured the nation.

This prompted a loud and persistent public outcry for change. A grassroots movement formed as many people pushed, prodded, and demanded the Federal Government, through FEMA, include both humans and animals in their disaster plans.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

Hurricane Dog is about one boy’s personal struggle and determination to change the world for people and pets. Although a fictional tale, the story reflects true happenings and subsequent changes to Federal Natural Disaster Preparedness and Planning.

  • How would you feel if you were in Gavin's shoes?
  • Can a pet be like a family member?
  • Does your family have a plan for emergencies?
  • How would you find your dog if you went through an emergency?
  • Can you think of other laws you might want to explore and change?
  • What might you do to start making a change or improvements?

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ABOUT SUNNY

Sunny Weber has over 25 years of experience in animal welfare advocacy. She is a humane educator, animal behaviorist, and trainer. She believes compelling storytelling reflects her passion for seeing the world through the eyes of the animals she works with and teaches about.

Sunny has developed educational programs regarding compassion, respect, and care of domestic and wild creatures. She writes extensively on animal issues in fiction, non-fiction, and blogs.

Authors of Sunny’s own childhood books influenced her future work as an advocate and writer. Consequently Sunny seeks to provide rich, multi-layered stories featuring complicated characters with whom children can identify. Her characters and their unique worlds will not only bring more understanding for pets, but also motivate children to read.

Sunny lives in Colorado with dogs, cats and parakeets. Their yard is a Certified Backyard Habitat for birds, squirrels, rabbits, pollinators, and any other creature with fur or feathers who wanders in.

Her first book is the multiple award winner Beyond Flight or Fight. Learn more about all of her books below:

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Fiction Pups & Purrs Children's Series

Nonfiction Practical Guides