Amy Sutherland


AFTER about a dozen years workinging in newspapers, I left the newsroom behind in 2000 to write Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America. For a year I crisscrossed the country interviewing chili heads, cowboys, state fair cooking champs, and a few cheats.  Along the  way I learned a lot about American ingenuity as well as a special variety of American lunacy.

For my next book Kicked Bitten and Scratched, I headed to Moorpark Community College in southern California, where the top school for exotic animal trainers can be found. My book chronicles the year I shadowed students through this improbable, magical, grueling program. I went on walks with the baboons, the cougars and a wolf named Legend. This understandably went to my head, which became apparent for all when I wrote a column for the New York Times on how I improved my marriage by using animal training techniques I had learned at the school. That insane outburst earned me a movie deal and the contract for my third book, What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love and Marriage. I still stand by using exotic animal training to improve your relationships with the humans in your life. And, yes I’m still married.

However, I cut my husband a break and began focusing my love of animal behavior on shelter dogs. Which explains my most recent book, Rescuing Penny Jane: One Shelter Volunteer, Countless Dogs and the Quest to Find Them All Homes, the one closest to my heart. This book is about what I have learned as a volunteer working with shelter dogs, two of which, Walter Joe and Penny Jane, pictured below, shared my home office in Boston while I penned that book. Miss Penny Jane saw me through four books in all and taught me everything I know about patience before leaving us in 2017. Now it’s up to Walter Joe to make sure I get out for my daily walks. And our new girl, Miss Bernice.

© 2013 Amy Sutherland, All Rights Reserved