New Children’s Book by SILS Alumna, Kelly Johnson Lee, Highlights Rescue Dog

Wags To Riches: Kassy Sue - Book CoverA news article was just published from the UNC-CH School of Information and Library Science about the first book in this series, Kassy Sue!

New Children’s Book by SILS Alumna, Kelly Johnson Lee, Highlights Rescue Dog

The first in a series of children’s books about rescue animals has been published by Kelly Johnson Lee (MSIS ‘05), an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS). The book, Wags to Riches: Kassy Sue, The True Story of a Dog’s Journey from a Landfill to Love follows the story of the puppy’s rescue from a landfill.

A short-haired black and white Terrier mixed breed dog, Kassy Sue went from spending her time alone and frightened in the landfill, to being rescued and provided a warm and caring home. The book describes her situation in the landfill and the outcome of being adopted by people who cared.

Lee says that she has always loved animals, especially dogs. She grew up with five black Bouvier des Flandres, a special breed that resembles small bears. In addition, she had a Peek-a-Poo, Shih Tzu and several cats. She adopted her first dog while in college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which she named Kassy, the heroin of her first book in the series of rescue animals. She has since adopted Emma, a Shih Tzu and three other dogs – Ginger and Zoey, Chihuahuas, and Lexi and toy Maltese.

“My parents started fostering rescue dogs when I was in college,” said Lee.  “My Aunt, Eve Roser, runs a rescue organization in High Point called Roser Rescue. My first two dogs, Kassy and Emma, came from her rescue organization. My other dogs have been adopted from the SPCA of Wake County.”

Kelly LeeLee not only rescues puppies who need a good home, she also works to make sure animals continue to be rescued and adopted by serving on the Board of Directors for the SPCA of Wake County. She helps with fundraising and hosting events to raise money for the organization. She also volunteers at other non-profit organizations to contribute to their causes.

Using some of the skills she learned as a student at SILS, Lee manages a Web site and contributes to the social media efforts of the Caring Community Foundation, a non-profit organization of which she serves on the Board of Directors that provides financial assistance for cancer patients in need.

“I studied Journalism and Mass Communications as an undergraduate student, but never imagined going into a computer-related field,” said Lee.  “At SILS I became interested in usability and the science of presenting information to people online. The knowledge gained during my time at SILS led me to a career in usability, search engine optimization and Internet marketing.”

Combining her talents of presenting information to people online and her love of animals has resulted in a book that children will enjoy. According to the Authorhouse Web site, “readers of all ages will enjoy this uplifting story of a true underdog coming out on top.”

Given Lee’s contributions to the charities she loves, it’s not surprising that the proceeds of the book will be donated to animal rescue efforts. Order your copy now at Authorhouse.

Watch for her second book in the series, “Wags to Riches: Emma Lu” which will be available soon.

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A Dog’s Prayer

Treat me kindly my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn. Speak to me often, for your voice is the worlds sweetest music as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear. Feed and water me so that I may stay well to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life. And my friend, when I am very old and no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently, I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.

– Beth Norman Harris

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SPCA Wake Assists in the Rescue of 47 Animals from NC Puppy Mill


(picture taken from the SPCA of Wake County’s website)

SPCA Assisted in the Rescue of Animals from a NC Puppy Mill

Thank you to the wonderful organizations that assisted in the rescue of these innocent animals. All animals deserve to be loved and cared for. The condition these animals were found in is horrible and will bring tears to your eyes.

Read about the rescue:

SPCA Article

Humane Society Article

The Puppy Mill Survivors Need Your Help!

The puppy mill survivors are currently being treated by the SPCA’s veterinary and animal care staff. SPCA Wake is looking for donations to help with the cost of the dogs’ care. To donate, please visit or call the SPCA at 919-532-2083. SPCA staff hopes to announce a date for adoption availability on March 31.

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Wags to Riches: Kassy Sue

Wags To Riches: Kassy Sue - Book COverWags to Riches: Kassy Sue

The True Story of a Dog’s Journey from a Landfill to Love

Wags to Riches is the true story of Kassy Sue, the author’s first rescue dog. This heartwarming tale follows Kassy as she is abandoned in a landfill, and then adopted into a loving home, where she happily lives out the rest of her days.

Readers of all ages will enjoy this uplifting story of a true underdog coming out on top.

Order Wags To Riches Kassy Sue



* All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to animal rescue and welfare.


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Susie’s Hope

Susie's Hope - Dog RescueSusie is a truly extraordinary dog. When she was eight weeks old, her owner beat her severely and set her on fire. She was found nearly dead ten days later in a park in Greensboro, NC.  Susie suffered from second- and third-degree burns on 60 percent of her body. Her jaw had been broken, her teeth had been knocked out and her ears had been burned to nubs. Read more about Susie’s story. 

Susie and DonnaAfter being nursed back to health at the Guilford County Animal Shelter, Susie was adopted by Donna and Roy Lawrence. Donna had recently been attacked by another dog.  She fell in love with Susie and chose to adopt her.

Their relationship is a true example of love, hope, and forgiveness. Read more about Donna’s story. 


Susie’s abuser, Lashawn Whitehead, 21, of Greensboro, was convicted of felony cruelty to animals and sentenced to probation. Citizens of the community were outraged that the state law allowed White to be sentenced only to probation. Legislators responded and began the fight for tougher sentencing. Susie’s Law was created to increase punishment for those convicted of animal cruelty.

Susie's Law On June 23, 2010 Governor Bev Perdue signed the new North Carolina Animal-cruelty law, which reclassifies the “malicious abuse, torture or killing” of an animal from a Class I to a Class H Felony.

Susie’s Law, or House Bill 1609, gives judges the ability to send people convicted of animal abuse to a maximum 10-month jail sentence.

Susie’s paw print is on the copy signed by the governor!

Susie’s Hope Non-Profit

Donna and Susie’s mission is to end animal abuse by providing education about animals and the proper way to care for them. Learn more about the incredible work they are doing in North Carolina and nationwide at Susie’s Hope Facebook and Susie’s Hope Website.

Susie’s Hope Movie

Susie's Hope The MovieAn extraordinary story based on true events, Susie’s Hope follows a family who triumphs over tragedy and changes lives in their community. A survivor of a horrific pit bull attack, Donna Lawrence, adopts a pit bull-mix puppy, Susie, that has been beaten, set on fire and left for dead. Together, they learn to heal, love and forgive as they lead a historic effort to seek justice and protection for all animals.

Starring: Emmanuelle Vaugier, Burgess Jenkins, Andrea Powell with Lance E. Nichols, Jon Provost and Megan Blake

“Wake Up Little Susie” by Vince Gill
“Susie Q” by Charlie Daniels
“Scars Like Mine” by Lacy Green

Directed by:
Jerry Rees

Screenplay by: Jerry Rees and Dan A. R. Kelly

Produced by: Susie’s Hope Movie, LLC in association with Stone’s Throw Films, Inc. and ALTAIR Casting & Production Services

* The above details about the movie were copied from

Vote For Susie!

Susie has been nominated for the Hero Dog Award in the Therapy Dog Category. Please vote for her!

Support Susie’s Hope Mission

Show your support for Susie and the incredible work they are doing to stop animal abuse!

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Ginger Loves The Kitchen Table

Any morning that the sun is shining, I am likely to find Ginger fast asleep on the kitchen table.



There are several reasons I think she likes this spot.

1. The sun comes in the window brightly in the morning, making the table very warm. The other dogs find sunny spots around the house on the floor for their morning nap. Dogs love the warmth of the sun.

2. The other dogs cannot jump onto the table, so it is the perfect spot for her to nap without being bothered. Ginger can jump onto anything. She has been known to steal a meal off plates if she’s not watched carefully. She once grabbed an entire steak and ran into the living room under the couch. I had vegetables and a salad that night!

3. Ginger prefers to think of herself as a regal family member instead of a dog. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to nap on the table?

As a dog owner, the reasonable solution would be to tell her “No” and “Get Down.” She does understand these commands. But, I am not always reasonable when it comes to my dogs. So, I just let her nap and giggle as I walk in and out of the kitchen. After all, we don’t really use that table very much, so why can’t Ginger use it if it gives her so much joy?

To any future dinner guests……I promise to clean the table before serving you a meal there.

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Welcome to the Wags to Riches Blog

I am extremely excited to launch the Wags to Riches Blog! This blog is all about dogs and the amazing ways they impact our lives on a daily basis. I will also share tips, information, and news about animal rescue and welfare.

I currently live in Raleigh, NC with my husband, Rich, and our four rescue dogs. Our sweet dogs enrich our lives and make us laugh constantly. They make our house a home. Here is a brief introduction to The Girls!

Emma Lu - Rescue DogEmma Lu
Emma is a sweet and calm Shih Tzu. She loves everyone and every dog. She was found on the side of a highway and eventually lost her eye due to an accident. Emma is the One-Eyed Wonder!



Zoey Doe - Rescue DogZoey 
Zoey is a very sweet tan Chihuahua. She is a Daddy’s girl! She loves everyone and greets all guests with an invitation to rub her tummy. She insists on being as close as possible at all times. Zoey is a little chubby because she loves to eat!


Ginger Lynn - Rescue DogGinger Lynn
Ginger is a crazy red-head Chihuahua that loves to play with toys. She particularly likes to play fetch. She was picked up by Animal Control in the cold winter at only 10 weeks old. Ginger barks at strangers, but it doesn’t take long to become her friend.


Lexi Lu - Rescue DogLexi Lu
Lexi is a very tiny toy Maltese. She was rescued from a puppy mill. Her Dad received her as a Father’s Day present! Lexi loves to give kisses and guard the house from the stairs.


Kassy Sue - Rescue DogKassy Sue
Kassy Sue was found in a landfill and became the most amazing, loving pet. She loved to play with toys and snuggle. She was Emma’s best friend. Kassy Sue is no longer with us, but her memory will live on forever!


The Wags to Riches book series is a collection of true stories about rescue dogs. The first book, Wags to Riches: Kassy Sue, is coming out soon. This is the amazing story of my very first dog.  I know you will love the story.  The story of Emma Lu is coming next and many more will follow!

My hope is that these books will entertain and warm the hearts of many, in addition to promoting the need for animal rescue and welfare. I hope you will enjoy the books as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Stay tuned to the blog for fun stories, cute pictures, news, tips, and information!

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