Ashleigh Rose Bottorff of Interlochen has been rescuing animals for as long as she can remember and now she wants to share her stories with others. Her new self-published book “Amazing Grace, Our Littlest Hero” is 182 pages of heartwarming and inspiring rescue stories as well as resource information for pet owners including spay/neuter information, animal welfare resources, feral cat information, pet friendly travel information and more. Bottorff explains that the book is dedicated to raising awareness and the importance of rescuing and spaying/neutering of animals including feral cats, while also recognizing the plight of homeless animals due to overpopulation.
A pet owner since childhood, Bottorff is a Midwestern farmer’s daughter who was given a horse as a young child in exchange for the promise of cleaning out the stalls by herself, even in the harshest of Michigan winters. She went on to own many animals and to this day, lives in a rescued “zoo.” She has received phone calls from hundreds of miles away about animals in need of rescue and has risked life and limb while trying to save the lives of cats and dogs. She has worked for two veterinarians and an animal shelter and is always on the lookout for dumped animals who need help. To help feed her “zoo” she has also been a self-employed marketing consultant for over 35 years. She has volunteered at her local hospital emergency room and physical therapy department, worked with seniors in adult foster care homes, tutored English and other subjects, volunteered at a local elementary school and all the while continues to rescue critters and works to make the world a better place for everyone. Her motto for life is simple, “kids and critters make the world go ’round. Live, love, hug and pray!”
Amazing Grace, the book’s namesake, is a brave mamma cat who was dumped and pregnant. Bottorff was tipped off about the cat by the owner of a Black Lab named Reggie who was walking near her home in 2010. The mamma cat had been dumped on this woman’s mother’s property in Bottorff’s neighborhood. The cat was terrified and would not let anyone go near her. Reggie’s mom was able to feed the cat but was worried about her. Bottorff went to the owner’s property and was given permission to rescue the cat. The momma kitty had given birth and was in a collapsed garage with a lot of debris around. In addition to living in an unsafe structure, there were also hundreds of bees nearby. After many visits to this garage, Bottorff was able to rescue all the kittens and the momma cat as well, who was named Amazing Grace because as Bottorff says, “without the grace of God, I never would have been able to rescue her.” The story of Amazing Grace and her kittens is one of many adventures that Bottorff writes about in her book.
Local veterinarian, Karen Reabe, has this to say about the book, “All pet parents will be able to relate to tales and trials of rescued pets shared in these pages. If even one animal is rescued from a shelter or taken in from the streets as a result of this book then it will be a success! Ashleigh, a true pet lover, has written a very clever collection of stories which will benefit pets around the country.”
Bottorff will have 20 copies of her book available at a book signing at Horizon Books in Traverse City on Saturday, February 14th from noon to 2 pm. Horizon Books is at 243 E. Front Street. The books are $19.95 each and a portion of the profits will go to spay/neuter programs. If you cannot attend the book signing or if they are sold out, you can also order them directly from the author by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email her and request a PDF version of the book so you can read it on your computer. The digital Acrobat file is only $10.00.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ourlittlesthero