Midnight at the Shelter

Midnight at the Shelter
Age Range
Release Date
November 01, 2022
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Rescue dog MahDi is happy helping his human partner, “MomDoc,” with the important work at her vet clinic and the local animal shelter. The two of them make a good team, caring for the town’s pets and matchmaking rescue animals with the families who need them.

When the shelter is suddenly down a staff member, the animals have to deal with a new caretaker: Huck, an unpleasant man who seems to have no problem threatening the animals he’s supposed to care for. As more dogs crowd into the shelter than are going to new homes, MahDi begins to worry that if MomDoc isn’t around, there is no telling what Huck might do.

With three perfectly good legs, the heart of a true leader, and his pack mates by his side, MahDi is willing to risk everything to save his shelter-friends from an uncertain future.

Editor review

1 review
MahDi Saves the Day
Overall rating
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MahDi lives with MomDoc and helps "supervise" her veterinary practice, consulting with the dogs who are being taken care of. He also goes with her to the local dog shelter to help the rescues there feel more comfortable, and he and MomDoc do a lot of "matchmaking". The shelter is a no kill one, but is very crowded. The man who runs it with his wife, Mike, has to go in for surgery, so a new manager is hired from a temp company. Huck doesn't have an affinity for dogs, and thought there would be less work at a shelter. He is more interested in the possibility of euthanizing the dogs to clear them out than in placing them with loving homes, which doesn't go over well with anyone. We learn how MahDi lost a leg and ended up in rescue, and meet a lot of dogs. Their stories are interesting, and the successes in matching them with humans is heart warming. Lilah, a dog crush of MahDi's, needs help when her owner, Mr. Crandall, has to go to the hospital. Walter loses his dog Bailey to cancer and eventualy ends up with the sweet Koda. Squirt is rescued by a college girl, but needs help when she leaves the dog in a hot car because she couldn't leave the dog in her apartment while she was away. Tobey, who works at the shelter, and new hire Beth do their best to help the dogs, but Huck, who is supposed to be in charge, does not do a good job caring for the dogs. MomDoc talks to him, but isn't his boss. Things go from bad to worse, and MahDi knows that he has to make a move to save the dogs in the shelter before it is too late. Will he be able to convince Ozzie, another of MomDoc's pets, to work with him to make sure that Huck can no longer hurt the already vulnerable animals?
Good Points
This is told from MahDi's perspective, but doesn't veer too far into the limitations of what dog's understand in the way some books do. MahDi's voice is definitely more understanding and almost human. His backstory is sad, and provides excellent motivation for him to step up and resist Huck. Huck doesn't have a lot of nuance, and I wondered how he lasted even a day at the shelter!

There are a lot of dog books that run the spectrum from Maple's cheery Roxbury Park Dog Club and Fairbairn's graphic novel PAWS to heart wrenching tales like Lee's 2008 Dog Lost. My favorite is probably Crimi's Secondhand Dogs, that also has a cast of interesting characters and a lot of feel good stories about dogs finding their fur-ever homes. This has a darker mood to it, with the evil Huck, who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a dog shelter, much less in charge of it. It's hard to read about his treatment of the animals, but a villain means there will be a hero, and MahDi harnesses his grief over past circumstances to save the day.

Many of the books about dogs are for younger readers, like Robertshaw, Danta's Life in the Doghouse books or Miles' Puppy Place tales. Grabenstein's Dog Squad offers a goofier, celebrity focused adventure. Midnight at the Shelter will be a good fit for readers who are able to handle some sadness in their dog books and have worked their way through Cameron's A Dog's Purpose novels and Mason and Stephens' excellent Rescue Dogs books.
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