Virgil Films // 2012 // 57 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dawn Hunt // May 11th, 2013
Improving lives, one shelter pet at a time.
Don't watch this show if you don't want a pet. It really is that easy. Shelter Me documents some of the paths shelter pets may take with a specific focus on dogs.
During a quick 57 minutes we meet two dogs who are living on the streets until they're taken by animal control to the local shelter. We follow them as they're adopted by new owners. Next we learn how shelter dogs can be trained to become guide dogs for people with different needs. And finally we visit with two veterans. Both are suffering from their time overseas and credit their continued lives to the shelter dogs who were trained to help them and who are now their constant companions.
I was surprised by how much I learned from Shelter Me. I thought I was going to see some pet profiles and maybe a run-through of what the adoption process usually is, and I prepared myself to ooh and aww over the puppies and kittens. And there was some of that to be sure but I had no idea what sort of training processes there are for animals that become guide dogs. Seeing how much time and effort goes into their training as well as just how much the animals are able to do in terms of commands recognized and actions performed was really interesting.
Watching veterans suffering from PTSD who were able to give a guide dog a home and yet credit the animal with saving their lives was incredibly moving. It had never occurred to me that a shelter dog could be trained to deal with PTSD, and knowing there are programs working to help our veterans get paired up with dogs is wonderful. There's even a bill in Congress which focusses on this issue. Shelter Me is not for someone who has no need for a pet in their life but it's an incredibly easy recommendation for anyone on the fence about adopting.
Any technical issues there may have been were overshadowed by the stories being told and the dogs we're learning about. I really didn't notice any outstanding problems with either the video or audio streams. There are no special features.
Shelter Me is a great movie for kids to convince their parents a dog is what the family needs. It's also fantastic to help convince people a shelter animal should be their first choice. It's also a wonderful film to show any veterans who may have PTSD or know someone who does and are wondering what some other therapies are. It's really easy to recommend a purchase; chances are there's someone in your life that would enjoy this.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Virgil Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 57 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated