Readers credit her articles for calling attention to dogs in need and helping to save lives.
"WatchDog Mary" is an investigative journalist with more than 20 years experience.
Mary Schwager aka "Watchdog Mary" has won more than two-dozen local, regional, national and international journalism awards for investigative, consumer, feature reporting and writing, including 14 Emmy Awards and 7 Edward R. Murrow Awards and numerous Associated Press honors.
Mary has worked as a television reporter, investigative reporter and investigative producer at network affiliated stations across the country including Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Indianapolis, Indiana and in Boston, Massachusetts.
Working in television she's gotten high profile interviews, gone undercover with hidden cameras and done round the clock live shots during breaking news events, including reporting thousands of feet above the ground in a chopper. (Not fun while hovering over giant, flaming explosions.)
Watchdog Mary also conducted criminal and insurance fraud investigations as a state licensed detective after graduating from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Marquette Magazine (page 34) featured some of Mary's accomplishments.
Now Watchdog Mary is using her talents to write about animals. She's written dozens of national columns for Examiner.com and some resulted in changes being implemented in municipal shelters.
Watchdog Mary's inquires sparked web giant Amazon.com to remove a sales category it called "animal breeders" from its website.
She was one of the first to write about a change in federal tax rules which made fostering an animal for a nonprofit rescue tax deductible.
Mary always had a love for animals. Growing up she had parakeets, chameleons, fish, dogs and guinea pigs. In college she and her roommate had a cat and a rabbit. The pair actually got along! The cat would "bat at" the bunny's nose, he took it as a sign of affection and loved it, the two made for some wonderful moments. Both were litter box trained.
In her early 20's Mary started volunteering with dog rescue organizations. Her first "very own" dog showed up abandoned on her door step when the pup was about 3 weeks old while she was working as a TV reporter in Indianapolis. Ever since she has always adopted rescue dog after rescue dog. So has the rest of her family.
Mary still volunteers in animal rescue and says out of all the things she's ever done it's one the toughest.
One reader wrote this incredible note to Watchdog Mary: "I would like to extend a heartfelt "THANK YOU" in appreciation of you, Mary Schwager, for being a true advocate for animals everywhere, whose voice is heard through your tenacious spirit, diplomacy, and passion, which reaches the hearts of those who join you for the sake of all the precious furbabies left behind in shelters. You give us hope and cause to continue to speak for the animals we love." -Elizabeth Barrera