This book was the chosen book for the Celebration of Reading campaign, 2012
A Dog Named Worthless:
A Hero Is Born Children's Book
for K-6th Grade Humane Education
A Dog Named Worthless: A Hero Is Born
Written and illustrated by Rocky Shepheard
Welcome to Dogs Deserve Better's first Fantasy Action/Adventure Fiction picture book for kids and adults alike! Disney-esque in tone, the book is beautifully illustrated and written by Rocky Shepheard, a long-time supporter and advocate for chained dogs. The book is full color, hardback for better protection and sturdiness, and comes to life on 32 pages.
Worthless is a chained dog who has never lived inside the house. He suffers through cold winters and hot summers only with the help of his two friends—Otto and Sly Fox. His friends plot to free him and they set off on an adventure to look for a new life somewhere where there are no chains.
They search for days in snow and ice until they find a place on the edge of a pond to hunker down for the winter.
But fate intervenes and presents an opportunity for Worthless to finally prove to himself that he is worthy of love and a good home. Will Worthless have the courage to face his fears and become the dog he has always wanted to be?
About Worthless: Worthless was the name of a real dog, he was the reason that Dogs Deserve Better was founded and that's why the book was named after him. Someone actually named their dog Worthless, can you believe that? Read about his rescue here. It was fitting that the winning contest model for the book was another black lab named Maggie, beloved companion of Joe Maringo of SPARRO.
Dan Piraro - Internationally acclaimed cartoonist and creator of Bizarro:
"'A New Name for Worthless: A Hero is Born' is, like it's title character, anything but worthless. This is an exciting story with a full range of emotions that kids will love and adults will take pause to think about.
The same story that is lovingly illustrated within plays itself out in communities all over the world and the lessons learned from this story are simple but so important. This book will lead readers of all ages to more fully understand the true nature of "man's best friend" with a common-sense, compassionate approach that can change the world for the better."
– Dan Piraro, creator of "Bizarro"
Cia Bruno, Esq. - New York Animal Rights Advocate:
"A masterfully captivating illustrative theme! In A New Name for Worthless: A Hero is Born, the author skillfully introduces several elements of conflict and resolution that are rich in
opportunity for mutual exploration between parent and child.
The dominant message being that 'all' sentient creatures are worthy of our respect for their needs and existence."
— Cia Bruno, Attorney at law and advocate for all sentient creatures at www.meaningfuladvocacy.com
Lorraine Chittock -Photographer and Author:
"Wow. I love it. Finally a book appears which addresses a pressing dog
issue, but doesn't come across as preachy or pandering. From the first
page to the last, the reader is drawn into the troubles of Worthless,
and captivated by a wonderful story juxtaposed with exquisite
paintings. For children this book is a must. For adults, it signifies
hope and the progress being made for the lives of chained dogs all
over the world."
Travel books exploring our unique bond with animals
DDB Founder Tamira Thayne:
"When Rocky presented his idea, I was instantly intrigued by a story that is less about the reality of everyday chaining, and more a fun fiction tale featuring animal friends and foes. I was delighted with his storyline, and even more enamored with his illustrations. I hope that A New Name for Worthless: A Hero is Born ends up on every dog lover's bookshelf, because that's where it deserves to be!"
– Tamira C. Thayne, founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better www.dogsdeservebetter.org
Robin Helfritch Co-founder of Open The Cages Alliance:
"Rocky Shepheard's inspiring and delightful book, “A New Name for Worthless: A Hero is Born” will warm your heart and leave you smiling. Beautifully illustrated, it tells the tale of “Worthless,” a neglected dog who is callously left by his uncaring human “owner” to live his life chained to a rickety wooden box in extreme temperatures. This is, unfortunately, the fate for far too many dogs. Luckily for Worthless, he has good friends, Sly Fox and Otto the Otter. Through teamwork, bravery and a little luck, Worthless's life takes a turn for the better!
This book teaches the importance of compassion, friendship, collaboration, acceptance, and the fact that all deserve freedom from oppression. It is perfect for children and adults of all ages, and the life lessons learned in this book will resonate within all who read it."
– Robin Helfritch
Co-founder, Open the Cages Alliance
Catherine Hedges founder of Dont Bully My Breed, Inc.:
"A New Name for Worthless; A Hero is Born, is a wonderful combination of fantasy and reality, and a reminder that no dog is born "Worthless" but, any dog, in the hands of the wrong person, can be treated as worthless. The book shows children everyone has worth and is a great lesson in self esteem, as well as emphasizing the importance of loyalty and friendship and what can be accomplished when friends work together. It shows the importance of compassion and love and should inspire kids to ask questions about animal cruelty and neglect. It is evident in Shepheard's heartwarming story and stunning illustrations that he is a person with a great heart and one hopes that his message will impact every adult or child who reads it."
– Catherine Hedges
Founder of Dont Bully My Breed, Inc.
Nikki Brown - The UK DOG WHISPERER from Canine Angel:
"'A New Name for Worthless: A Hero is Born' is just such a delightful book with a really simple yet powerful message about how these creatures that we humans call “Dogs”, can teach us all the important lessons of forgiveness, love, devotion, courage, bravery, living in the moment and never holding a grudge.
The story is about how this dog views his world after being chained up to a dog house all his life suffering all weather conditions and being given the name of “Worthless “ by his human owner, reminding us all that neglect and cruelty still exists in today’s world.
The beautiful illustrations help to ignite your imagination and take you into this dogs world where all he ever wants is the opportunity to show he can be the dog that he was born to be, and show that even though he has been mistreated he can still find it in his heart and soul to forgive, love unconditionally and become man’s best friend.
A great read for kids and adults, and every dog owner or potential dog owner needs to have this in their book collection."
– Nikki Brown – The UK DOG WHISPERER – Canine Angel
Leigh-Chantelle -Australian Vegan Activist/Singer Songwriter:
"Worthless the Dog is much more than his namesake. His friends Sly the fox and Otto the sea otter unite to free him from his unbearable life chained to a rickety wooden box, all Worthless has known as a home.
Beautifully illustrated by Rocky Shepheard and written in the first person from Worthless’ point of view, A New Name for Worthless: A Hero is Born is a wonderful story of courage, friendship and bravery.
Families can read this wonderful book together and learn lessons in patience, humility, forgiveness and respect, all taught by Worthless the dog.
This is a great resource book for Humane Education released by the not for profit organisation Dogs Deserve Better who believe in respecting, freeing and enhancing the freedom of all chained animals."
Founder of Green Earth Day, www.greenearthday.net
Viva La Vegan www.vivalavegan.net
Performing Artist www.leigh-chantelle.com
Veterinarian / Activist Dr. Armaiti May:
"What an inspiration! Engaging as it is educational, this children’s book brings to light the little-known problem of dogs being neglected and left to languish on the end of a chain rather than with their family inside the home.
This dog’s story of hardship, collaboration with his fellow animal friends, and ultimate freedom from unfair confinement warms the heart. It is beautifully told and fills the reader with empathy for the dog’s predicament as well as admiration for his determination to free himself and find a more loving home."
– Armaiti May, DVM
Using age-appropriate messaging,
this book targets the following Humane Education
aspects for coursework and can be used to stimulate discussion
about these issues with students and children:
• Dog Chaining
• Importance of friends
• Working as a team
• Wildlife education
book follows the success of Puddles On The Floor, by Lorena Estep and illustrated by Tamira C. Thayne, and is only the second children's book created specifically for Dogs Deserve Better. It can be bought in package with Puddles at a discounted price, see below for package deals.
book is perfect for family fun reading, and for humane
education from kindergarten-through 6th grades. If
you're a nonprofit who would like to buy wholesale for fundraising
purposes, please call us at 757-357-9292 for pricing options.
you'd like DDB to come to your school
or group for a reading/visit, please call 757-357-9292
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now Take Phone Orders at 1.877.636.1408
or mail your order to 1915 Moonlight Rd., Smithfield, VA 23430.
A Dog Named Worthless: A Hero Is Born Book
Written and Illustrated by Rocky Shepheard
Copy Pak of
A Dog Named Worthless: A Hero Is Born Book
Perfect for Gift-Giving! One Stop Shopping for all the kids in the family.
almost $4.00! FREE
Hero Kids' Pak
Includes: A New Name for Worthless,
Puddles on the Floor, and Happy Dog! Coloring Book. The Hero Kids' Pak is the perfect classroom or home
teaching aid, allowing parents, teachers, and facilitators
to give children the 'whole Hero experience,'
Hero Kids' Pak (FREE
Hero Unchained 3 Pak
Includes: A New Name for Worthless, Unchain My Heart, and Scream Like Banshee.The Hero Unchained 3 Pak is the perfect family pack, something for everyone in the family, and teaches about chaining, being a foster parent to a dog, and how you can get involved with making a dog's life better.
Hero Unchained Pak (includes
Hero Unchained Pak Plus
Includes: A New Name for Worthless, Unchain My Heart, Puddles On The Floor and Scream Like Banshee. The Hero Unchained Pak Plus takes the family pack above and adds in Puddles on the Floor, for those who want both children's books.
Hero Unchained Pak Plus (includes
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