ABOUT THE FILM
We are currently looking for funds to complete the production and post-production of this film!
If you can help please go to our donation page! One dog’s heroic act is caught on surveillance camera, drawing worldwide attention to the lost dogs of Chile.
A dog captures the world’s attention by performing a death-defying and heroic act. The incident, caught on surveillance camera in the capital city of Santiago, uncovers the epidemic problem of Chile’s homeless pet population. Exploring the extraordinary lives of street dogs, “Lost Dogs” uncovers another story – that of the inspiring activists who risk everything they have to protect the dogs.
The first time I saw the “hero dog” video was on YouTube in my home in Bend, Oregon. I was so moved I began researching dogs in Chile, only to discover the disturbing reality of 2.5 million strays, government programs to poison them, extreme levels of neglect and cruelty in “shelters” with little hope of legal prosecution. Before long I was on a flight to Santiago for a two-month investigation. As it turned out, I became less the detached reporter and more the involved activist. I returned to Chile a second time to bring back seven dogs. The film, a tribute to hero dog, tells their story.
I saw the 10-second video for the first time on YouTube. A surveillance camera had captured a dog running onto a busy Santiago highway in Chile to rescue his canine companion trapped against the center island. She had been hit three times in the stream of oncoming traffic. He weaves between speeding cars to reach her and then, looking left and right, drags – with his paws – his fallen friend to the side of the road. Road workers arrive, but the injured dog dies, while “hero dog” as he quickly becomes known, disappears into the city, lost amongst the homeless dogs of Chile.
I was not the first person to want to look for the hero dog. Bloggers were suggesting creating a task force to tackle the enormity of the search. There are roughly 220,000 homeless dogs living amongst 15.4 million people in Santiago, and to find one terrified individual would be almost impossible.
For nine months the highway workers, police and a television crew searched for the hero dog. Ironically, it was when they gave up the search that the video was released, first on Chilean television, then international stations and almost overnight it proliferated the Internet. When the video popped up on my computer I was ready for another big film project, and this was about to get bigger than I ever imagined.
Research into Chile’s stray dog crisis quickly uncovered a chilling reality of genocide, interspersed with, and sometimes overshadowed by, the joyful stories of profound love and rescue between humans and dogs. The bond can sometimes be stronger than to our own kind, as my story was about to reveal…
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