The Plague Dogs, by Richard AdamsRead about another entry on the list.
While best known for Watership Down, his mythological epic featuring a cast comprised mainly of rabbits, Adams’ The Plague Dogs deserves just as much of a place in discussions of his work, if only for being one of the bleakest things ever written with animal protagonists. The novel follows the exploits of Snitter and Rowf, two dogs who escape an animal testing facility somewhere in Northern England. As they attempt to find a new home and a human to take care of them, danger seems to follow them everywhere they go. Further complicating things are Snitter’s hallucinations (the result of experiments in the testing facility) and the possibility that the dogs are carriers of a bio-weapon, causing a country-wide man doghunt to bring them in. The Plague Dogs uses animal characters to explore the relationships between humans and beasts, leading to chilling scenes that only deepen its somber atmosphere.