The PS Brothers by Maribeth Boelts~ IN A NUT SHELL
The boys decide to get a dog to protect them from the bullies they have to deal with. They begin scooping poop one scoop at a time to make the $200 they need for one of Princess' puppies.
Princess, a Rottweiller, looks vicious, far from what her name suggest of her. She seems to always want to attack them when they see her and her puppies in the basement of the house owned by a scary guy named Nick.
One time, they arrive at the wrong time. It doesn't take much for Russell to understand something bad might be happening after hearing barking, growls, and cries from the dogs along with people seeming to be having a good time coming from the garage behind Princess' house.
On the next visit to see their puppy and make another down payment on it, the boys discover not only is Princess cut up and injured but so are the three pit bulls that are kept cages in the yard.
As the boys learn compassion for the dogs in trouble they see their vision of having a dog scary enough to protest them might not be the right thing at all. And that dogs can be in need of protection themselves not unlike Shawn and Russell.
I loved this story. The author's clever writing on a serious subjects and the well timed jokes make it a book worth reading for grades 5 and up.
That's THE PS BROTHERS by Maribeth Boelts IN A NUT SHELL!