Last Chance Highway: Shelly Bookwalter

20766_029A love of pets has been passed down from generation to generation in Shelly Bookwalter’s family. Raised in a multiple-dog home by parents who often rescued Rovers from the roadside, today Bookwalter spends her days finding homes for humans as a real estate agent and forever families for Fidos as a dog rescuer– a passionate pursuit for the past 16 years which she shares with her husband and son.

The dogs at the DeSoto Animal County Shelter may not have a place to live, but each one has a home in Bookwalter’s heart. Having found themselves at the end of the road, Bookwalter’s treks to the high-kill facility are a matter of life and death for the dogs, who many times are just hours away from being put to sleep. Taking on full financial responsibility for her rescues, the real estate agent/animal advocate continues to help the canines by placing their faces on, reviewing and contacting prospective pet parents and– with the help of faithful foster families and P.E.T.S LLC founder Kyle Peterson, who since 2004 has transported almost 30,000 tail-waggers from southern states where spaying/neutering pets is less prevalent to new families in northern US states– pooches are put on a path to a brighter future.

Each year approximately 650 dogs are given a new lease on life thanks to the efforts of Shelly Bookwalter. Watch the chronicle of her canine-saving mission when Last Chance Highway premieres on Animal Planet on June 19, 2010 at 8 E/P:

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Photos courtesy Animal Planet

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About Grace Sydney

Grace Sydney is the Assistant Editor of and, covering celebrity-related rescue news. She operates the @HollywoodDogs Twitter account sharing information on celebrity fundraising for rescues and shelters.

  • JoAnne Bigler

    God bless you, your family and Kyle and his family, the foster parents etc etc etc! Is there a way to make a dontation to help you out!?

    • The website for these rescuers (what an amazing job they do!) is: and here’s their contact page:

      Hooray for these rescuers!!

    • Thank you for all of your kind words. To learn more about Shelly and all the other volunteers at Double Dog Rescue please go to our website at We are a 100% non-profit organization and every dollar helps to save a dog’s life.

      • Louise Dostrow

        Shelly, I love you with so much admiration it’s impossible to express.
        Please tell me, did that young girl from NY ever find Hope. I was so angry about the outcome. I heard you tell her about slipping out of her collar and she should get a harness. I can say no more because I don’t want to pass out more guilt to her. Do you find some people do not listen very well?
        I live in Southern CA and can do no hands on help but I will give you the very best. I pray to our Father that he will restore time back to you and He will bless you aboundantly in everything you put your precious hands and heart to do. You have a perfect match in your marriage. And remember that Jesus holds all things together.
        Please let me know if there is anything I can ever do for you. Louise

        • Elaine

          So wondering if HOPE has ever been found? I think about that poor dog —from lost in the woods —to this big city now..SO Sad…Please does anyone know if she’s been found???? I so wish that young girl put a harness on HOPE. That last show broke my heart.
          How can we get Discovery to put Last Chance Highway back on tv? How do we contact them?

  • Pierce Bratton

    I have found 3 rottweiler/bulldog mix puppies, approximately 5 to 6 weeks old, 2 males, 1 female that need a home. If anyone can help, contact me at 850-593-4492

  • Beth Dupnak

    I love watching the show. You are doing such a wonderful thing for all of these dogs! We live in NJ and our rescue dog came from Leland MS. He is an awesome dog. It’s almost as if he knows that he got a second chance in life. I don’t know what we would do without him ! I am so glad that we chose to rescue and save a life! Good luck to you and all of your doggies that you are saving!

  • Robin Smith

    I was wonderfully surprised as I flipped through channels tonight and found the story regarding Shelly Bookwalter. We started out years ago rescuing dogs in DeSoto county. I worked on one side of the county and she on the other. But our paths crossed may times both while rescuing a dog or selling houses. Although we have not seen each other in many years our hearts are still working hard to take of “our” babies. I was holding a 5 week old kitten the mother had abandoned while my newest edition (a dog) was loving it when I found the show. Good work, Shelly!!

    We have to thank God that he gave us wonderful husbands. I bring the animals home but my husband just like Shelly’s won’t let them leave. But I think I have you beat, there at 31 critters at my house and/or office.

  • Jennie

    I am so thrilled with what Last Chance Highway is doing! Shelly and her husband have their hearts in a great place. HOWEVER, as I was watching today’s episode I am pretty sure that Shelly was wearing what looked like a real fur collar, perhaps wolf? Regardless, here is my plea….every dog you rescue is a relative of the wolf. Wolves, fox, coyote, what have you, please think before ever wearing fur again. There should be no line that you draw between the value of a dogs life and the value of the animals who still fend for themselves in the wild and whom all of our dogs are direct decendents of. If you would take the time to investigate the cruelty and horror of the fur industry, I believe, Shelly, that you would agree. Please don’t allow yourself to fall prey to thinking fur is lovely and separate from what you are doing. Go the whole way, wave the big flag for all these creatures who need love and help. Don’t wear fur, open your heart up to those animals too, make yourself picture where your fur came from that you have wrapped around your neck for vanity purposes. It’s ugly. And you have been given a gift of this show, this opportunity, so don’t allow it to be cheapened by a mistake in judgment. You have the heart, just please consider this. And good luck with the success of your efforts and this show. I have 4 dogs and two cats and also help with rescues. I did learn however, that every animal deserves not to give their lives for the sake of our fashion causes. And truthfully, it’s not a flattering look. Ok, I’ll stop now. I felt it was my duty to let you know my opinion so you could take it for what it’s worth. I saw too that you were wearing some fun/faux fur as well, go with that, it’s much kinder. Thanks so much for reading this. Peace to you and best of luck, Jennie

    • Sandy in Syracuse

      Jennie and all – and Shelly, if you do read this blog.
      I watched the whole show of Last Chance Highway last Saturday, loving the heart of these people who rescue the precious lives of these dogs, interview a potential forever family to make sure he or she has a good home, and those who foster and transport the animals – and, of course, the families who give these dogs a loving home. I listened to Shelly and her love for dogs and animals, concerned that each and every animal she sees cared for and in a good home – and I want to give a heartfelt thank you and hug to Shelly. But I really could not understand what I was seeing. Shelly appeared in several different sets of clothes that were fur or had fur trim. Is this faux fur? If so – great – but I wish Shelly would tell her audience that faux fur is fine, but that real fur comes at the expense of enormous, unimagineable suffering of the animals. Imagine being trapped by a heavy steel leg trap, in pain and exposed to predators and the elements for hours, or days – perhaps chewing your own foot off to get free. And imagine the possibility that it is a mother trapped or killed, leaving her babies to be killed or starve to death. Imagine spending your entire life pacing back and forth in a tiny metal cage, surrounded by dozens of other suffering animals, often too hot or too cold, never touching the grass, never seeing the sun. Imagine being an animal in many countries, most likely China, which is outstripping all other countries in the size of its fur industry, its lying about labeling on fur, and its appalling cruelty. This is a link to a video graphically showing that raccoon dogs in China are skinned alive. (It takes a few moments to load, but more importantly, what you will see is heartbreaking and very very graphic.)
      Dogs and cats are taken from the streets (sometimes even with collars still on), raccoon dogs and other animals are killed in huge numbers to make fur and fur trim, and even toys and novelties. Even St. Bernards are not spared – they make a very expensive rug. The fur is then intentionally mislabeled – the U.S. and other Western countries do not allow dog or cat fur (although items under $100 can be exempt), so the labels say things like “rabbit” (for cat fur) or various wild animals (for dog fur). Please Shelly, we love you and what you are doing. Please – on TV – let us know that you do not or will not wear genuine fur – and why. Thank you so much from all your big big fans.
      Sandy in Syracuse

      • Denise Judge

        It looks exactly like real fur. I am saddened and shocked at what I saw. I sent her an email asking about it, and did not get a reply. No surprise there. However, I have stopped watching the show, and am blown away by her schizophrenic beliefs regarding which animals she allows to suffer and be tortured. What is she thinking? It’s a show that draws animal lovers in only to show the person rescuing animals is wearing their tortured kin. I recommend bombarding Discovery and Al Roker production, along with anti-fur groups with letters and emails saying this is hypocritical and not o.k.

        • Sandy

          Hi Denise,

          Thanks for commenting. I am disappointed on so many levels – why would a person who cares so much and does so much, wear fur? It’s sort of like leaving your little child in a car in the summer – 20 children have died from the heat in vehicles so far THIS YEAR! There is NO excuse for not knowing how horrendous this is – under NO circumstances would you do such a thing, and pleading ignorance just doesn’t cut it.

          I am also disappointed that you have not received a reply. I am going to email her as well, to more than one email address if I can find them. I was hoping that she would read this blog since it is about her and her work, and get the message. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, but I still think that you are absolutely right – we need to bombard the show’s producers, politely, of course. I can only hope that this can be used as a way to reach many more people about the absolute horrors of the entire fur industry. What I would like to include in all of our letters, is to ask them to respond – hopefully Shelly herself – as to why fur is wrong. Faux fur is great, but it is important to send the message that ONLY faux fur has any place in our world. (Is there a way that we can communicate about actually doing this – one possibility is a chat room I know of – we could pick a time, and I could give you my contact info.)

          (Side idea – there is a great clothing site for young women and girls – Alloy. I don’t think that they carry any real fur, lots of faux fur, and almost no leather – lots of shoes, boots, belts that look like leather, but aren’t.)

          • Denise Judge

            Hi Sandy,
            I got a reply!! I started to be a bit more aggressive because I was being ignored. This is what Double Dog Rescue sent me…enjoy!

            The fact of the matter is that Shelly is not wearing real fur. I Know radicals like you say that Shelly should not wear any fur real or not. But to say something stupid like Shelly lacks compassion for all animals is truly a statement made of true ignorance. You do not know Shelly, you only have your radical ideas to fall back on. To say that you are going to do all that you can to make sure Shelly does not have a second season do to the fact that she wore fake fur will result in more animals being killed than it would ever save. What have you done in your life to save animals? Not wear fur? Give a donation? March in a protest? Shelly has saved thousands of dogs over the last 16 years and paid for it out of her own pocket with out any help from so called do-gooders like you. Do you live with 24 to 30 animals in your house? I doubt it. Do you spend at least half of every day running dogs to the vet and worrying weather some will survive heart worm treatments and major surgeries?
            People Like you mean well and do some good work, but for you to go off with a email like this is counter productive to everything you say that you stand for. Why don’t you crawl off of your pedestal and reach out in a civilized manner to people like Shelly and talk about your feelings instead of going off and sounding stupid yourself. There is a wise saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, you may want to try this in the future. Sounds to me like you are a bit jealous of Shelly. By the way if you are so smart you may want to re-read the third line for your second paragraph. It makes no sense!!

            Double Dog Rescue

        • Tanya Warner

          It’s faux fur Denise. I’ve seen the coat. Go rescue some dogs and spend some money on vetting like Shelly does. 8 to 12 thousand dollars a month. Go out in the dead of winter and catch a mangy dog. Try fostering and caring for a dog through heartworm treatment because some lowlife couln’t be bothered with preventative.

          • Rose

            Yoga and meditation will help your nasty attitude!

      • Tanya Warner

        Sandy, Shelly can’t reply to any of these but those of us who work with her can. It’s fake fur. How many of these haters have rescued dog to the extend Shelly does. I foster for her and I know the lengths she goes to to save a dog.
        Tanya Warner

        • Denise Judge

          If I was a dog needing love and care you are the last person I would want to be with!! Stop focusing on animals and focus on yourself for awhile. It will make the world a better place, and give the animals a break from your insanity. You know they have meds. for that! You should check into, Tanya!

          • Rose

            Hahahaha You go girl. I suggested yoga and meditation but medication works too….

          • Tanya Warner

            I repeat. So what Shelly does. Rescue some dogs. Go for it.

  • kassie hilts

    Dear Shelly:
    First off I want to say that it is a wonderful thing that you are doing for all those babies. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
    I have a quick question if you don’t mind. Why would our pure bred german rottweiler want to bite all the time? I am not understanding it. We have done all that we can and she bites me, my sister , and my step son. but, myself and my sister are not mean to her at all and my step son is. Her name is Ace-sa . she is a pure bred German Rottweiler. She is 2 yrs old and has been fixed in march I want to say. My husband walks her all the time and she is so full of energy that she tires out the kids. Hope that you can answer my question.
    Thank you for your time,
    Sincerely a pet owner,
    Kassie Bull

    • Tanya Warner

      Kassie, Shelly can’t reply. Have you tried Dr. Nicholas Dodmans’s website? He’s an animal behaviorist. Good luck.

  • Chloe Brooks

    Dear Shelly,
    THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for what you are doing.I think you are an angel from above for these dogs. My family has adopted 2 dogs from our local shelter and they have turned out perfect. When I saw your show, it brought me to tears. I have always wanted to save dogs and now I’m glad that someone cares just as much as I do.Please let me know if you need donations or if there is anything I can do to help!I look forward to seeing all your episodes and thanks again for what you do!!If you ever get the chance to.. please email me at I would really appreciate it!! BEST OF LUCK AND THANKS AGAIN!!

  • Hi everyone! We wanted everyone to have Shelly’s website address (we’re not affiliated with her at all but just reporting on her new show). She’s at and her online contact form is . Just wanted to make sure she got everyone’s notes and comments on the show!! Thanks so much! –Paris

  • Denise Judge

    This is the first email I sent Shelly that got no response.
    Hi Shelly,

    I am from the South and am very familiar with the plight of all animals down there.
    I also use to rescue animals when I lived there. I think you, your family, and volunteers are amazing for the work you do for dogs.
    I would love to adopt a dog from you, but unfortunately now is not a good time.
    I have one serious question I hope you can find the time to answer for me.
    I realize how busy you are, but I would like to know are the furry hats and coats you wear made from animals?
    Thank you for your time, and dedication to dogs.



    This is the response I got from Double Dog Rescue, (Not going to watch the show anymore):
    The fact of the matter is that Shelly is not wearing real fur. I Know radicals like you say that Shelly should not wear any fur real or not. But to say something stupid like Shelly lacks compassion for all animals is truly a statement made of true ignorance. You do not know Shelly, you only have your radical ideas to fall back on. To say that you are going to do all that you can to make sure Shelly does not have a second season do to the fact that she wore fake fur will result in more animals being killed than it would ever save. What have you done in your life to save animals? Not wear fur? Give a donation? March in a protest? Shelly has saved thousands of dogs over the last 16 years and paid for it out of her own pocket with out any help from so called do-gooders like you. Do you live with 24 to 30 animals in your house? I doubt it. Do you spend at least half of every day running dogs to the vet and worrying weather some will survive heart worm treatments and major surgeries?
    People Like you mean well and do some good work, but for you to go off with a email like this is counter productive to everything you say that you stand for. Why don’t you crawl off of your pedestal and reach out in a civilized manner to people like Shelly and talk about your feelings instead of going off and sounding stupid yourself. There is a wise saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, you may want to try this in the future. Sounds to me like you are a bit jealous of Shelly. By the way if you are so smart you may want to re-read the third line for your second paragraph. It makes no sense!!

    Double Dog Rescue

  • Denise Judge

    Below is the email I sent and the delightful,professional response I got from double dog rescue
    It looks like real fur, and I do not believe you. Faux fur isn’t always faux either. I appreciate finally getting a response, but the fact of the matter is I emailed Shelly a VERY thoughtful, appreciative email about what she does and asked her about this. It’s not just me either, other people have concerns and are talking about boycotting AP. It’s because we love all animals. I begged Shelly to respond and she didn’t, so then I got nasty, and look it got a response!! This should be a lesson to all of you. You do not know me and stop calling me a radical, and you have no idea what I have done for animals all of my life. I’m not ignorant or even stupid because I would have never let this become such an issue, I would have responded immediately. I think your response was so over the top, you are just as bad as me then, or maybe worse. If you are smart then you may want to re-evaluate how you respond to people. I would love to publish your response on the internet, and send it to AP and Al Roker. Again, I have the original email that I sent to Shelly thanking her volunteers, family, and herself. She would not respond to the question so many have asked about wearing fur. Oh, I’m in the process of getting a Master’s Degree so I guess I’m not that stupid!

    DD Rescue Response to the above email:
    So you can call Shelly Stupid and you do not know her, but you have a problem with being called radical. So you are getting a masters degree they are a dime a dozen and I have met many PH D’s that I would not adopt a dog too. I have advanced degrees as well and I am not impressed, I only responded back to you based on the intelligence of the email that you sent. Shelly has gotten on average 1200 emails a day. and still has a career, a child and the dog rescue work. She is trying to get back to all the emails but it is just not passable. The reason that you got a response this time is do to the fact that it came to a mailbox that I cover, not do to the immature name calling and assumptions. I can assure you that the fur is synthetic regardless of what you think you can see on TV. If you can prove the fur is real, be my guess. Anything else will not hold up in court.
    It is very easy to say what you would do, it is another to not have the time or bandwidth to get it all done. You are right I do not know what you have done for animals, I could not find anything that you have done on the web. You are more than welcome to tell me everything that you have done for animals. It would make for more interesting reading than the emails that you have been sending. I maybe as bad as you, but remember you started it by sending the “over the top” email to me first. I have known Shelly for eighteen years. I know what she has done for animals and I do not know anyone else that has come close to doing with there hands and money what she has done. If you say you love animals then you will accept the fact that the fur is synthetic. Anything else would do nothing but try to derail a good show that is already making a big difference in the lives of hundreds of dogs in this area alone. The number of dogs getting adopted since this show aired has trippled. Do you really want to mess with that. I guess we will see how much you really like all animals. By the way if you really want to help animals we could always use more good intelligent help.

    Let us know if you would like to really help!

    • Lori

      Thanks for posting that email Denise. I had the same reaction when I saw her wearing that fur, I quit watching the show.

      • Tanya Warner

        It’s faux fur. I know her. This is about saving lives, not fashion statements. Would you take in a mangy dog?

      • I thought I was watching Last Chance Highway a show about saving animals……not Last Chance Highway Fashion, what not to wear when saving animals.

    • Tanya Warner

      It’s faux fur Denise. How about fostering some dogs and show us you really care. Get down and dirty with dogs.

    • Rose

      I saw the show and assumed it was faux because I couldn’t have imagined a dog advocate of her stature wearing real fur. I am disgusted by your response to the question. There were about 100 more professional ways to respond to the question. Think about the irony of you representing a woman who owns close to 30 dogs and your attempt to slander someone as a “radical” because of her concern regarding fur. Many animal advocates would not wear fake fur so as not to glamorize the look. The question and concern was quite rational but your response was in the poorest of taste! You had an opportunity to be professional but chose to be over the top with emotion. If your intention was to ostracize viewers it seems as if you were successful in your efforts. That’s a sad shame!


  • Alot of stupid people can obtain a Master’s Degree….I just read a comment from one of them. Who cares what Shelly wears!!!! People are going to continue killing animals for their fur whether she wears them or not. The real story is how Shelly and her family are unselfishly saving hundreds of animals!!! Anyone who says that they “would like to adopt an animal, but it’s just not a good time,” fits in the category of all talk and no action.These people can give praise ,but always follow it with criticism. If we all thought that way no animal would be saved!!
    God Bless Shelly and her family!!

    • Denise Judge

      Wow, you must work for dd rescue with a response like that. As for it not being a good time for me to adopt a pet….I’m waiting to have a surgery that is going to significantly limit my mobility for months.

      • Cindy Bawtch

        Denise you are a freaking dumb ass. If you’re so save the earth why don’t you go vegan? that way you don’t hurt anyone! waaa! You are just jealous that Shelly is making a difference and you’re just making excuses! Go jump in a lake.

        • Tanya Warner

          Cindy I think I love you. Those people are haters and we don’t care if they watch the show or not. I foster for Shelly. I had Jack and Daniel. I bet Denise Judge wouldn’t have been out in the middle of night in the winter fixing a kennel so the big goober couldn’t get out and run into my big hound dog.

          • Cindy Bawtch

            Well I love you for helping Shelly with those little chocolate blessings. Wish my bf and I could go up there to help or foster ourselves. We plan on fostering after college and once our newly adopted pup is bigger. Wish yall the best!

        • Cincy,
          Love your first sentence!!! Straight to the point and oh, so on the mark!!!

      • Excuses,excuses……

      • Rose


        Thank you for asking the question regarding the fur. You do not have to justify what or why you do anything regarding saving dogs. Don’t feed into the guilt these people feel about their lifestyles. They know dogs are not the only animals that need saving and advocacy and inside their conscience they know they are too lazy to truly put in the effort to help animals of all kinds. Feel bad for them, I do.


        • Denise Judge


          Your intelligent and amazing! Thank you. I have never and will never post my resume of what I do for animals for these people. I will say that animals of all species have touched my life for the better, and I will help them always.

          Thanks for speaking out in defense of animals and people.


          • Rose

            Thank you for your persistence in getting an answer to a question that was clearly on the minds of many who watched that episode. So, Denise, do you think Shelly and her producer are aware of how she is being represented by the people who have responded to you and others?

            Rose πŸ˜‰

          • Denise Judge

            Hi Rose,
            Here’s what I can tell you, and my take on it. First, I feel Shelly and her rescue people never thought about being under the TV microscope. The show is controversial on several levels. When the fur issue arose Shelly made a huge mistake by never commenting or having someone comment for her. The fur issue is valid, but she couldn’t be bothered with it. So look what happened. I contacted both PETA and the HSUS because I couldn’t get an answer from Shelly. When I finally got an answer well you read it!! PETA is the one who got in contact with me, and asked questions. They are also the ones who then contacted Animal Planet about the issue. All of this could have been avoided if Shelly and Double Dog rescue just simply addressed the issue with a statement to the public because this question was asked from the first time the show aired by numerous people. Some of these people emailed Shelly directly, and they were ignored.
            Then if you look at another one of my post there is a blog about a cocker that Shelly place which bit numerous people, including a child(this is what happens when you adopt animals over the phone). The response from at least one of her fosters T. Warner and someone else (these people state in the blog they foster for Shelly) are outrageous. They claim the woman who adopted the dog did something to it to make it turn mean. They are so angry I would never let them foster anything, no animal should be with them. So I realize this is long, but the short of it is yes I think Shelly knows and approves of their responses. I think Animal Planet has a little bit of a clue, but not much. I wrote the person at Double Dog Rescue who sent me those emails, and apologized for being wrong about the fur. Because if she truly is wearing fake fur then I was wrong. I never got one response back because I was nice, and Shelly and her team don’t understand nice. They only do angry!

    • Tanya Warner

      You are so right. Where are they when Shelly is out trapping a dog some lowlife dumped. Shelly works to pay for her dog rescue. She has an enormous vet bill every month because we don’t send these dogs up without vetting.

      • My husband always tells me that God has a special place for people that help the poor animals.God bless you and Shelly for all you do.

        • Rose


          Please shed some light on what God told your husband regarding which of the animals he created are indispensable.

          Written by Shirley Abercrombie “Who cares what Shelly wears!!!! People are going to continue killing animals for their fur whether she wears them or not.”

          Thanks, Rose

  • michele

    Im sure this issue is getting old… BUT… πŸ™‚

    I agree about the fur issue! I noticed it immediately during the first episode and it shocked me. I didnt know what to think. Here is an AMAZING, WONDERFUL, GIVING person doing such great things for dogs… but is wearing fur???

    I love the show (get teary every time), but even if shes wearing fake fur… it still bothers me.

    Obviously there are many viewers who are VERY sensitive to her fashion choices. As already mentioned – even fake fur can actually be DOG fur… how ironic (and horrible) if that were the case?

    I just hope she becomes aware of what even fake fur represents. The animals that suffer horrible deaths deserve just as much respect and dignity as the dogs she works so hard to save.. and she may agree with that. BUT i personally think she should avoid wearing even fake fur on tv. Because when no one can tell whether its real or fake… it either IS hypocritical or just looks that way.

    Hopefully it will be addressed next season..

    • Do you know where the majority of the clothes we wear are made? Is it shocking to know that most of the stuff that’s not made in the USA is made by the very poor who work all day to earn maybe $1 a day!!! And most of them live apart from their families and can’t even afford to visit when and if they get the once a year allowed time for a break!! If you’re wearing clothes made in China or another foreign country you’re supporting child labor, slave labor, etc. Isn’t is shocking that people will dump a dog on the side of the highway without food or water? Isn’t it shocking that people shot the family dog just because they can? Isn’t it shocking that people will see a stranded stray on the highway and just leave it to die? Instead of wasting time and thoughts on what Shelly is wearing, why don’t you do something productive and support Shelly and all that she does. It’s pitiful that people care more about her fake fur then her mission to save these helpless animals.

      • michele

        Yes, this world can be a horrible place.

        I do support Shelly 100% – I wish there were more people like her in this world! BUT I am offended by her choice of clothing. Sadly, there are many situations where somewhere down the line even a human or many humans are harmed or killed from manufacturing what most of us consume or utilize -this of course is not ok or acceptable! BUT fur IS obvious outright torture – theres no way around avoiding promoting it when purchasing/wearing a fur. And I do understand that Shelly is wearing fake – BUT as stated, it just looks bad. Im sorry – as incredible a person as we ALL know she is – thats how some of us feel.

        And although I certainly dont give to animals to the extent that Shelly and the others on the show do – Im not just running my mouth on the subject. I do contribute to the cause by feeding and supplying medical care for 20 feral cats daily. Im also a vegan.

        But with that said – I truly wish Shelly and everyone else involved future success with what they do. God bless them all!! \

  • Nancy

    The reason I found this site is because I was upset watching Shelly wearing fur on the show and searched for an answer on Google. I wouldn’t watch a show about a kind and generous person who rescues dogs if I were a “hater” or a nasty person. It looks very real. Glad to learn it’s only faux fur. Thank you, Shelly, for all you do for these beautiful creatures.

  • rb

    I agree that fur sucks. I’m glad to hear that it’s fake.

    But seriously, if you’re going to boycott an animal planet show how about “River Monsters” or one of those fishing shows where they are ACTIVELY KILLING animals right before your eyes.

    oh right I forgot, dogs and fox are more worthy of life than fish.

    • michele

      Uh, I dont think anyone tried to compare the worthiness of life…. and how do you know were not boycotting those shows?

  • C.

    First of all, I think that Shelly is such an amazing woman! All of these lives she has saved, and most of the cost comming out of her own pocket. She’s just amazing its hard to come up with any other words.

  • Heather Stone

    I also hope that the fur issue is addressed on the next season.

  • Pam

    I’m delighted that this show and the whole concept of transport/rescue are being publicized on Animal Planet. However, I must say that the producers of Last Chance Highway seem to be entirely clueless as to the broader spectrum of animal welfare/rights concerns. They continually portray behaviors which are dangerous, ill-advised, or, in one way or another, insensitve to animal welfare. Besides the worrisome issue as to whether Shelley’s garments are made of faux or of real fur (it’s been reported that they are fake, and I hope that that is true), consider the following:

    1.) Shelley’s dogs seem to be running free in what looks like an unfenced yard. If there’s an electric fence, a statement to that effect should have been made since, believe me, viewers are noticing and wondering.

    2.) Shelley’s dogs are running around the car as she pulls into her garage. It only takes one little mistake and you’ve got a dead or seriously injured dog on your hands.

    3.) Shelley introduces dozens of dogs at a time to one small newcomer. Ok, so the poodle turns out to be ok with the pack, but what if she HADN’T been and a fight had broken out?

    4.) Shelley encloses a new dog in a bedroom behind a baby gate, but fails to make sure that the dog can’t get out. If it was important enough to isolate the dog in the first place, it was important enough to ensure that Raggedy Ann coudn’t climb or jump it.

    5.) Shelley, after having been told by shelter staff that the little poodle is snappy, insists on introducing the dog to her small son, allowing the dog’s teeth to come within inches of the child’s face. My blood ran cold as I observed the obviously stressed dog being presented with what easily could have been a trigger for her to strike.

    Seriously, one of these days, Shelley, a family member, and/or some of her dogs is going to be badly bitten. Animal rescuers cannot allow themselves the vanity of thinking that they have some kind of special ability to read and interact with dogs which will always ensure that nothing bad will happen. If an error is going to be made, it should be on the side of caution and COMMON SENSE. Especially where children are concerned. In addition to the obvious worry for the welfare of the people and animals involved, it can also get enormously expensive to pay the vet and/or doctor to try to repair the damage brought about by nervous/food aggressive/animal aggressive/child aggressive dogs.

    Finally, I think sensitive viewers could easily have done without the close-up of meat sizzling on the grill, and Shelley and her family digging into their meal with gusto. Regardless of your position on the need for vegetarianism in an animal welfare worker, it should be admitted that this subject was out of sync with the program’s underlying concept of respect for animals and of efforts to eliminate their suffering. Think, people, think about what messages you are including in your program!

    • Denise Judge

      You bring up some great points, and thank you for doing so. Here is a blog about an aggressive dog that Shelly placed which later bit a child and several others. The people Shelly works directly with claim the woman made the dog aggressive. Here is the site….
      It also brings up an interesting point about if she can legally adopt animals out to different states without being licensed.

    • michele

      I agree also Pam! I saw that episode and noticed the dogs running around her DRIVEWAY!!!! REALLY??

      And the baby gate was almost laughable. Of all people, she should know the intelligence and determination of dogs. The size of that gate was ridiculous and as we all witnessed – it didnt work and the result COULD have been horrible.

      Shelley certainly has a huge heart – but needs to be a bit more careful.

  • Denise Judge

    I contacted The Humane Society of the U.S. about the fur issue a month ago. I just got the response, they watched a few episodes and they believe the fur IS FAKE.
    I am deeply sorry Shelly.
    Not trying to take away from the apology, but I did contact her directly first before I became aggressive and never got a response. Hopefully we both learn something from this.

    • Marie

      Did you think for one minute that maybe she gets hundreds of emails a day plus she works, has a family, and rescues dogs?! Maybe, just Maybe she didn’t see it or God forbid was tired and didn’t have the time to respond?! I mean seriously?!?!? I don’t know Shelly, and before you even say it I’m not affiliated with her at all. But I watch the show faithfully and I don’t give a crap if she wears faux fur. I knew it was fake so I didn’t feel the need to rant and rave like a mad person. How did I know its fake? Anyone who does what Shelly does or loves animals the way she does would rather die before wearing real fur. I wont stop watching her show nor will I boycott. That’s just stupid. By doing that all you people are doing is ruining a very good thing. I never knew how many dogs in the south were being put to sleep or how many people in new england wanted these dogs or that there were people that give so much and ask for so little til I watched this show. And think about this, if the show gets cancelled, what about the other people? What about Kyle and his employees? With this show comes publicity with publicity comes recognition with recognition comes more donations with more donations comes helping more animals. But oh well. Lets let these people and animals suffer because we don’t like the idea of someone wearing a faux fur hat. Cause God knows there’s no other shows on that are worse than that. Get over it people! Go out and do something productive with your life and stop bashing. If she took the time to deal with everything you people have a problem with, there wouldn’t be a show. What’s next? People whining about the dogs being transported in a trailer and cages?! GET OVER IT AND GET A LIFE. OR BETTER YET HAVE A CAMERA CREW FOLLOW YOU AND SEE IF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIKE YOUR LIFE!!

      Love You Shelly and everyone who helps you and all others like you!! Ignore the haters and keep doing what your doing!! There’s more of us that love and support you than there are that want to tear apart your every move!! God bless!!

      • Amen to that, Marie!!

        • Marie

          Shirley, its just ridiculous. I myself have 3 dogs and a cat that “adopted” us when we moved into our house over 2 years ago. On August 5th, my husband, our 5 year old daughter, my sister, her husband, their 3 daughters, and our mom went to the carnival. We took home a big plastic hammer and a dog. “Buddy” walked right up to my daughter and was just as sweet as he could be. We asked around thinking maybe he was someone’s that worked at the carnival. Unfortunately no one claimed him. Walking back to my husband, I prayed “please let him say we can take him home til we either fin his family, find him a new family or possibly even keep him.” As soon as I said no one claimed him, my husband said let’s take him home. I put an ad in the newspaper thinking this is such a sweet and well behaved dog, maybe he just got out. I’ve had one person call, but its not the right little guy. He had a few accidents in the house (but that’s to be expected!!) but other than that, he’s a wonderful dog. He did great when I gave him a bath, just laid there when I trimmed his nails, has grown somewhat accustomed to his cage, and lets my daughter carry him around like a baby doll. Now, I don’t know if any of you remember the tiny toons or any of the characters, but we have affectionately nicknamed our daughter elmira. She looooves animals and just wants to hold them and squeeze them and love on them. She can get a little rough but never intentionally hurts them. Now that she is getting older she is getting better. I see another Shelly in my daughter. Even tho I knew nothing about this dog nor could we afford another one, we still took him. If we find his owners, I hope they take better care of him. If we don’t and we adopt him out, I’m gonna do everything in my power to make sure he goes to a wonderful family. And if we keep him, well that’s one more baby to love and spoil rotten!! He has a lump that I’m worried about, but hopefully in the next week or so I can get him to the vet. I’m one of those people that even tho I really CANT afford it, I’m still gonna do what I can to help. Whether its saving an animal or even just getting aspca checks (which I did, thanks to my daughter picking. It was a tie between breast cancer awareness or aspca, she picked the animals!!)

          • Marie

            Sorry, my phone messed up!! To begin where I left off……I’m not one of those people who say I would help if I could. If I say I’m gonna help, I do it. I was raised that way and I was raised to help those who can’t help themselves or can’t speak for themselves, whether its animal or human and I do my best. And Shelly seems to be the same. There are so few people that can honestly say “I helped”, but Shelly does more than help. She risks everything to do what she does. Her health, her safety, her wallet, everything. And for a few whiny babies to sit there and nitpick every little move she makes is just as disgusting as someone harming an animal. You people wanna boycott something? Boycott all the sex on TV. Boycott all the violence on TV. Boycott things that aren’t good for kids to see yet they see it everyday. Not someone wearing faux fur who does everything she can to save a dogs life. That’s just a little selfish to me.

            Like I said before, don’t accuse me of knowing Shelly or being affiliated with her. I live in Kansas, far away from her. I just think what she’s, and everyone else like her, doing is amazing. I’d love to meet her, get some tips from her and others like her, and even donate when I could. But I don’t, so don’t say that’s why I’m sticking up for her!! Just a loyal fan of other animal lovers!!

            God bless all those who do what they do to help an animal in need!!

          • I would have taken Buddy home,too!! Sounds like you have a caring husband like me. I have 9 indoor rescue animals, 2 dogs and 7 cats. The vet bills can get pretty high especially with surgeries. I can’t not help a stray kitten or dog. They bring so much love and companionship to our lives…..glad to hear there’s a bit of Shelly in your daughter….we need more Shelly’s.

    • We’ve learned you should never go into fashion designing.


    Friends, please support our end to end initiative to stop killing animals as well as benefit the community. Join us at Facebook group “HappyEndings” and vote for us to make this happen. Thank you.
    .-= Barry´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • Jessica C Smith

    Denise Judge. More like Denise Judgemental. Geez lady. Everyone’s a critic. If you don’t want to watch the show, then don’t watch it. But don’t call Shelly names or judge her. Until you haters (Sandy, Michele, Lori, Denise, etc) out there can prove that you save 500 animals per year, with your own two hands, and your own money, keep your comments to yourself. Shelly is a kind lady who works everday of her life to make a difference.

    • Rose

      Hmmm… apparently Shelly agrees with Denise, Sandy, Michelle, Lori etc… or she would be wearing real fur. It seems that Shelly would be more in agreement with the anti-fur people than with those of you who are unsuccessfully attempting to minimize their love for all animals.

    • I ditto that,Jessica!!!!

  • Hannah Harris

    Too bad some like you know who can’t recognize FAKE fur.Sheesh.The fur issue is NOT important.Some people really need to get a life.

    • Rose

      Some people have a life. Their life includes the humane treatment of animals at all levels. Apparently, you don’t have a life because you choose to look the other way and live in the land of lalalalala.

  • Hannah Harris

    I’m reading the posts here,some are plain silly.Someone was whining about Shelly’s clothes.Hello???I bet some people don’t have a life and do nothing but nitpick about TV shows and the people on them.Get off the computer and go volunteer at a aninal shelter.

  • Evelyn Hammock

    After watching the show tonight I was so upset to learn that Hope had gotten away. Please tell me that he was found. After all the love and help given to her I just can’t believe that she is on the streets again.

  • Denise Judge

    Poor Hope. Shelly did tell the new owner to use a harness, and she also wanted her to go to a quiet home. Why was she sent to the largest, busiest city in the U.S.? Shelly also clearly stated the dog had been a country dog, but that she thought she would be fine in New York City. Clearly she wasn’t, and I don’t think Shelly is qualified to make those decisions about animal behavior.
    That poor dog. I wish you the best sweet girl.

    • Denise,
      Do us all a favor and just don’t watch the show anymore!!!

      • Denise Judge

        do us a favor and go play in traffic!! Why are you skirting a once again legitimate issue. Does it make you uncomfortable? What about Hope? Do you think she is comfortable right now? If she is even still alive?
        Witch I hope your spayed, and I feel sorry for anything that has to live with you.

        • Rose


          I came on this site because I googled the whereabouts of Hope. After reading the responses to your inquisitions, from the DD representatives and the people claiming to be fosters for Shelly, I have removed it from my DVR. Rescue Inc. and Pit Boss have administrators monitoring their pages who are attentive and sensitive to the concerns of their viewers regarding all animals. They do not allow people to disrespect others on their site in the manner in which these people have responded to you.

          Four paws up to you for sticking with your views and airing your concerns. It is obvious that you are inquiring into issues that are shared by others.


          • Denise Judge

            Thanks for the kind words Dorrie! That is good to know about Pit Boss and Rescue Inc. I wish you the best.


      • Rose


        God must have a special place for your poor husband for living with you.


        • What a RESPECTFUL comment. Did you learn that from Rescue Inc. or Pit Boss?

          • Rose

            No, I learned it from your poor husband’s less better half.

        • He can’t get away…because he’s in a harness instead of a collar.

          • Tatsuki

            Rose you need to just shut up.

  • Christine

    I love what Shelly and her friends do. What energy to help all these sweet animals. I was wondering if they ever found the dog, Hope, that was adoped and then ran away in Manhatten, NY (I think). So sad. I was hoping they found her.

  • Rica Schoenlein

    I hope and pray that maybe the HSUS or ASPCA have found Hope in NYC. It actually made my heart ache when it said that after only 3 weeks, she pulled out of her collar. That poor girl – she was already so timid and afraid.

  • Tamela

    Please tell me did you ever find Hope that ran away? Did someone from your team go to help find that poor scared baby? This broke my heart to the point of feeling like I was going to throw up! I have a rescue named Saddie. She was very shy and scared. One day she darted out of her harness, darted across 4 lanes in morning rush hour traffic. It took us and about 20 people “ALL DAY” about 9-10 hours of looking for her non stop. Fearing she got ran over and killed, I prayed like I never Prayed before. Finally someone spotted my baby drowning in a 4-5 ft drop off. She had no way of getting out. A group of God sent angels held each others legs to drag her limp body out of the water. To this day I hold her with harness and collar on. I am Blessed I got a second chance with my rescue. I pray you find Hope and never give up on her. Shelly you are an Angel for what all you and your team does to help these poor dogs

  • Michele

    I hope for a positive update soon. Maybe someone will see the episode and get Hope back to her new home. Very sad!

    AND… because this annoys me – Im not a hater. Ive mentioned many times that I think Shelly is an incredible, wonderful person to do what she does.

    The fur conversation is basically over – but I must say – this IS a place to voice our opinions – no? And maybe the fur issue actually IS important to US – you obviously dont care – we do!!! You are not being fair to think that YOUR opinion is what’s right – and because of that belief we therefore have no life???

    Are you not posting here also… its not the opinion that would determine what type of life someone has but how they spend their time – and we’re all on this site reading and responding…. right?

    And I actually do a lot for animals – especially feral cats.

  • Rose Edwards

    After watching Last Chance Highway last week I have some concerns for the placement of the animals. Hope, a feral dog was sent to live in an apartment in New York City. The dog slipped her collar and is now lost in New York. Even a beginning adoptee person would know that was a receipe for problems. A feral dog should have been placed in a nice quiet rural area with a subdued family not sent in a semi to a busy city only to live in an apartment. I’m sure Shelly has a good heart when it comes to dogs but I question her placement of some of the animals after just a phone conversation.

    • It’s not Shelly’s fault the dog slipped it’s collar. It could happen to any dog owner. I have a great idea for proper dog placement. Instead of Shelly calling them on the phone, she should fly to their home and live with them for at least a week or maybe a month, a year? Exactly how much time would be enough to evaluate proper placement of a dog? Does anyone really know? Oh, I bet your not better half Denise does.

  • Rose

    Hope’s status…

    There is a Facebook page; Help find Hope. There is information on that page that Hope had been found and adopted by another family in Upstate New York but sadly, ran away again. If you are on Facebook you can go to the page and stay updated.


  • We wanted to pass along the URL for the rescue Shelly works with; it is

    We’re an online publication and several people have asked us about her contact information so we believe that’s her best contact info!

  • Tatsuki

    Rose and Denise,
    You two are so funny, i can’t help but laugh.
    you both are always making such a big deal of such small things.

    • Rose

      I do not find the promotion of skinning and killing animals for their fur by glamorizing it on television to be a small thing. I do not find the ignorance of the people who attack someone for their concern regarding whether the fur worn on the show is real or fake to be a small thing. I can choose to ignore the personal attacks made by the bullies on this blog or I can do what I teach my children to do and not stand around doing nothing when a bully attacks. I most definitely will not sit back when anyone minimizes the concerns of another where animals are concerned, at any level. I realize that you got involved in this so you could come back onto the blog and look to see if I responded. You now have your day of glory. And thank you for giving me the forum to reiterate that fur is a disgusting waste of an animal regardless of whether it is a dog or fox. It is disgusting to be worn by anyone regardless of whether they rescue dogs or save spiders by bringing them outside. It is also not acceptable for anyone who represents love for one animal to wear a fake fur. Regardless of whether it is real or not, it is glorifying the look of dead, skinned, and harmless animals. You have your Karma and I have mine. Mine is looking pretty good to me right now. Respond, attack, and minimize. When you have something useful to discuss I would love to hear it. Btw, shut up? Really? You couldn’t come up with anything more productive than shut up? You, DD, Shirley, Tanya, Jessikiss my rearend Smith, and anyone else who has shown nothing but ignorance are not capable of saying anything useful.

      Talk the talk, walk the walk. If you all claim to be dog lovers than step up for the rights of all animals. Questioning the fur issue comes from the heart. All of your responses come from the evil within.


      • Tatsuki

        Honestly, i get your point. And i understand, the only reason i put that comment was to see what you were going to say.:) you did’nt have to type all that. i don’t care what shelly wears, but oh well if your going to complain… oh and i don’t think killing animals is good ether.


        • Denise Judge


          Your a trainwreck!!

          • Tatsuki

            not really, don’t take it personaly,
            besides it was my cuz who put, the last two comments. sorry bout that.
            but oh well, i’m done talking so bye. oh and just in case u don’t know what i ment buy that, i proboly will not comment back. so don’t commet back to me ether.

            The REAL Tatsuki

      • Tatsuki

        oh and i forgot, shut up was nothing. i realize that.:) so i leave the standing up to you, i’m not allowed.

      • Tatsuki

        just, forget i said anything. i just don’t want to argue any more, sorry.

      • Denise Judge

        I appreciate and respect your beliefs. Thanks for not backing down.

  • I wanted to pass along the URL of the “Help Find Hope” Facebook group for everyone who would like an update on Hope, the lost dog in New York:

    Even if you are not a member of Facebook, I believe you can view this public page (although not comment on it). –Paris

  • Elaine

    Please everyone write and do what you can to get Last Chance Highway brought back to Animal Planet. Shelly B. does a fantastic thing with her life. So many dogs need to be rescued from the South. We need more people like her in this world. We need to focus on saving these dogs (like Shelly does)..and not pick on what she does right or wrong – or what she wears. The dogs are at stake. The country needs to hear more about all the dogs in the South. As well as getting people not to buy in Malls – and to learn the sorrow in Puppy Mills. You’d be so surprised as to how clueless people are as to what is going on. Shelly’s show helped open up a few eyes. AND – – dogs lives have been saved. Dogs that would be dead. So think about that instead of picking on how Shelly operates. She has saved lives!!!!! It’s hard work what she does and expensive…not to mention gut wrenching. Unless you do it – you have NO idea!!!!
    Also – If you are seling real estate – rescuing dogs – bringing to vet – caring for them – along with family life. Trust me you don’t have time to even sleep. Never mind answer emails! I sell real estate –and when I’ve got several deals going at one time – – tons of needy customers – – – showings –I’m running like crazy and you just can’t get it all done. Sometimes in real estate alone you aren the phone 24/7 …and just don’t get to everything. Add this into all Shelly does besides…It’s enough to make you go crazy! So have patience with the woman –she’s CRAZY busy!
    Bravo for finding Jewel who got lost in transport!!!
    And Please – – – We need to find that beautiful dog HOPE!!! Has there been anyone that has seen this dog at all?????

  • Good question, Elaine! To contact Animal Planet, you go through the Discovery Communications site; their contact page for viewer relations is:

    They also list this address for letters:
    Discovery Communications
    Viewer Relations
    One Discovery Place
    5th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910

    The latest I’ve seen on Hope is that she was found by Animal Control in NYC, adopted to a family in upstate New York State, and then she became lost again. The search continues for her; this Facebook group has frequent updates:

  • I want to apologize to Denise and Rose and anyone I may have responded to in a rude way. Everyone on this blog must be an animal lover…and for that I am grateful. We all have that in common. What we might have done to help an animal in need, Shelly does a thousand times over. It’s heartwarming to know there are people like her…….I hope there’s a little bit of Shelly in all of us.

    • Tatsuki

      Right, i’m sorry too. So, sorry to denise and rose. and the same as Shirly said.
      Thanks πŸ™‚

  • I was wondering on the last episode. Was Hope ever found? Can someone please write and let me know. That was such a heartbreaking show. I cannot wait till it comes back on. Hopefully!!

    • Help Find Hope

      Please see “Help Find Hope” on Facebook. Hope has not been found & it appears that no efforts have actually been made to find her..nor has it been confirmed that she was actually lost a second time. No information has been forthcoming from Animal Planet/Last Chance Highway or Animal Haven.

  • What happended on the very last show? Can someone let me know

    • Help Find Hope

      Please see β€œHelp Find Hope” on Facebook. Hope has not been found & it appears that no efforts have actually been made to find her..nor has it been confirmed that she was actually lost a second time. No information has been forthcoming from Animal Planet/Last Chance Highway or Animal Haven.

  • Hannah Harris

    I wonder if the show will be back in the fall?There are a few shows on A P I am sick of seeing,Whale Wars.etc.I miss the Animal Cop shows the most,esp.Detroit and NYC.

  • rita hoffman

    Gotta have the Last Chance Highway fix in the fall. I PRAY they bring all of you back. No way in the world can we register the wonderful impact this show has had on everyone. From large Rescues to the person who stops on the road to pick up, care for and find the/a home for the stray. Shelly’s personality is SO beautiful,she attracts people, makes them Want to help. Thanks to all of you. Rescuers, Transporters, Vets and their families for opening up the eyes of people who never would have known about rescuing and fostering. GOD BLESS All OF YA.

  • Brittany

    I honestly cannot watch this show without crying when I see the dogs in such desperate states…but also when I see all the people waiting for their pups and seeing the pups meet their owners for the first time. It just absolutely warms the heart. Bless Shelly and her family, Kyle, his family, all the fosters, and everyone that I can’t think of right now involved in this effort, whether they are with Shelly or anywhere else in the country fighting to help save these precious babies. I hope one day when I am older and on my own, that I’ll be getting a call from Shelly, or someone like her, saying that I would be a good match for a dog and being amongst the crowd waiting for that truck to meet the new love of my life and to know I can help this pet by giving them the forever home they deserve.

    Much love to all and Bless you,