When a Hollywood movie goes over budget, it’s no big deal.
When one being paid for by taxpayers — or even toll violators — does, it is.
So, as snarky as this investigative report by the 13 Undercover team at Houston’s KTRK is at times, it makes some valid points.
The Harris County attorney’s office hired director Fleming Fuller to produce a public service documentary about the dangers of dogfighting, offering $10,000 for the finished product.
The movie was intended to show the horrors of dogfighting, and get across Ryan’s message that he was going to be tough on people who take part in it.
Normally, we’d applaud something like that, but the movie went 10 times over budget, the county attorney seems to be taking credit for a previous county attorney’s dogfighting bust, and the movie’s director was a good friend of the Harris County attorney’s top assistant.
As the report points out, County Attorney Vince Ryan campaigned as an ethics watchdog: “So you’d figure his office would the first to make sure your money wasn’t wasted, reporter Wayne Dolcefino says. “Instead, they spent money like they were in Hollywood.”
On top of that, the report says there hasn’t been a big dogfighting bust since Ryan took office.
And, in yet another criticism offered by the news report, the documentary includes scenes of Ryan frolicking with his dog at the beach, which gives the film the appearance, at times, of a campaign ad.
The director charged $500 for his time on an overnight trip to Galveston — apparently just to obtain that beach footage — and expenses there included multiple hotel bills and a pricey dinner.
Fuller is a North Carolina-based director who has made a few horror movies, including Prey of the Chameleon and Stranded.
While the county’s contract specified $10,000 would be spent on the film, and that it would be completed in one month, the final pricetag came out to more than $100,000 and the film took nearly a year to make.
The movie was paid for from a special fund consisting of fines imposed on drivers who fail to pay tolls.
Ryan said the video has been used to train law enforcement officers and to show high school students and others that dogfighting is inhumane and illegal.
KTRK says the documentary ended up costing cost $13,000 a minute, and that only 171 people have watched it in on YouTube.
The original documentary, as it appears on YouTube, is in three parts, which, combined, add up to nearly 30 minutes, not seven minutes, as the news report says. (The version being distributed for education purposes has been shortened.)
Here’s part one:
To see all three parts, click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, animal cruelty, animals, budget, county attorney, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dangers, director, documentary, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, education, fleming fuller, fund, harris county, heart of texas, horrors, houston, investigative reporting, journalism, media, move, news, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, public education, toll, video, vince ryan, watchdog
Among the honors the documentary “100,000” has received is an Emmy award. Director Juan Agustin Marquez is shown here accepting it, and asking Puerto Ricans to take a pledge.
“We set out to change the world with this film, starting with our island, Puerto Rico,” he said.
“100,000 represents the specific number of dogs who live in the streets of our island nation. But the .. title of the film is more complex than that. What I truly wanted was to reach 100,000 people, humans, with the message of the film. I wanted 100,000 people to sign a pledge at the endof the film to learn about humane treatment for animals, especially dogs — to pledge that they will take care of their pets for as long as they live.
“We have a long way to reach our goal, but I will not rest until I get my 100,000 people to pledge to Puerto Rico’s dogs.”
Here is the pledge.
“100,000,” unfortunately, isn’t available for purchase, and it has yet to appear on American television.
But there is a way to see it, with English subtitles. The director says on the documentary’s website that he will provide a private link to watch it to those who email him. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abandoned, abused, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, award, beach, beaches, director, documentary, dogs, education, emmy, juan agustin marquez, movie, neglected, pets, pledge, puerto rico, responsibility, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, view, watch
In yesterday’s clip from the award-winning documentary “100,000” we met a man named Anibal who — though virtually homeless himself — struggles to feed some of the stray dogs that populate the town of Guayama in Puerto Rico.
In today’s, we meet another man named Anibal, this one a shelter worker who sincerely believes he is doing dogs a favor, too – by killing them.
He lethally injects about 100 a day; sometimes the sick or aggressive ones, sometimes, when there are no more empty kennels, the healthy ones. At Puerto Rico’s other shelters — and there are only a handful — the same holds true.
Across the territory, about 500 dogs are euthanized a day — 92 percent of those that enter shelter, according to the documentary.
All this week on ohmidog! we’ve been featuring the documentary, which looks at dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico and some of the people and organizations — such as Island Dog — that are working to solve the crisis.
“100,000,” directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, depicts the bleak existence stray dogs face on the beaches and streets of Puerto Rico, where they are commonly abandoned and abused and often die slow, cruel deaths.
“That’s why I prefer euthanasia before these animals end up like they really end up,” Anibal Rodriguez explains as he goes about his duties, hoisting another dog from a kennel to be injected. “If this animal hadn’t been picked up … this animal would have died in agony on the streets.”
As he sees it, he’s preventing suffering.
“When I first started working, it was hard. As a human being, one has feelings. I have seen so many abuses cases that I prefer that it’s done through small lethal injection rather than a dog getting brutally killed by a person…
“It’s a job that has to be done.”
(Tomorrow: Director Juan Agustin Marquez accepts an Emmy award, and asks Puerto Ricans to take a pledge)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abuse, anibal rodriguez, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, beaches, documentary, dog, dogs, emmy, euthanasia, euthanize, island dog, juan agustin marquez, killing, lethal injection, neglect, pets, puerto rico, rescues, shelters, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, streets, suffering
This clip from the documentary “100,000” provides a glimpse into the life of street dogs in Puerto Rico who — sometimes sick, sometimes starving, nearly always unwanted — have become part of the urban landscape.
Like those who call Los Machos Beach home, these dogs in Guayama survive mostly by scavenging, and sometimes with a little help from humans, like Anibal.
Anibal Rosario, though he seems to have little himself — living in an abadoned home, with abandoned dogs, after being abandoned himself, he says, by his own parents — does what he can to see that the dogs get food and stay out of trouble.
He doesn”t view the spurned, mistreated and abused dogs as his own, just as a group that he ”manages.”
“People hit them also,” he says. “They throw rocks and bottles at them so the dogs get aggressive,” he says.
While some of his neighbors are critical of him, others see him as filling a need and taking responsibility for what noone else seems willing to.
“Anibal is someone that you really have to admire,” one neighbor says. “Believe me, he will look for at least a piece of meat for each one of them.”
(Our coverage of the documentary “100,000,” a probing look at dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico, continues tomorrow)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abandoned, abuse, anibal rosario, animal control, animals, documentary, dogs, food, guayama, los machos beach, mistreated, movie, neuter, overpopulation, pets, puerto rico, rescues, responsibility, scavenging, shelters, spay, starving, stray dogs, strays, street dogs
This excerpt from the award-winning documentary ”100,000″ focuses on the work of Island Dog, an animal welfare organization in Puerto Rico founded by Baltimore native Katie Block.
Block left Baltimore in 1999, looking for paradise, she admits. On her first day in Puerto Rico she came across a homeless dog and brought it home. When she took it to a vet and explained how she had found it, he laughed at her.
She quickly learned the stray she’d found was just one of thousands — and that many of them spent their lives at a particular beach, called Los Machos, where they’d either been abandoned, or, sometimes, born from those previously abandoned.
She tried to do what she could. At her bartending job at a resort, she persuaded guests to take dogs home to the states. She enlisted her parents help in getting dogs shipped to new homes. Making a small dent in a very big problem, and swamped by veterinary bills, she, after three years, threw in the towel — but only temporarily, as it turned out.
In 2002, Block returned to Baltimore. She finished college and ended up in Puerto Rico again, where in 2006, she established Island Dog.
Today, as the founder and director of the organization, she works full-time to rescue dogs, find them homes in the states, and supply strays with food and medical attention — all while focused on longer term goals.
Those include teaching responsible pet ownership, expanding the practice of spaying and neutering, and increasing awareness around the world about the cruelties animal face in U.S. territories in the Caribbean. Her hope is to make Puerto Rico more animal friendly, and get an animal education program started at every school in the territory.
Only about 10 percent of Puerto Rico’s pet population ever visit a veterinarian, it’s estimated.
In the documentary “100,000,” which we’re featuring all week on ohmidog!, director Juan Agustin Marquez captured the scene at Los Machos beach, and a lot of the work Island Dog does — feeding and medicating homeless animals, rescuing and rehabilitating strays, and finding them homes in the states.
The organization also offer clinics for free or low cost spay/neuter services and vaccinations, provides a humane education program for children that encourages kindness to animals and responsible pet ownership, and supplies medication and food to other animal welfare organizations working in the U.S. Caribbean.
You can find Island Dog listed with our other animal welfare friends on our rightside column, and you can visit its website and learn how to donate to the cause here.
(Photos courtesy of Island Dog)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abandoned, animal welfare, animals, baltimore, beach, beach dogs, documentary, dogs, homeless, island dog, juan agustin marquez, katie block, los machos beach, movie, paradise, pets, puerto rico, rescues, shelters, strays, street dogs, unwanted
This week, we’ll be bringing you clips from the Emmy-winning documentary “100,000,” an investigation into dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico.
It’s a stunning look at what has led to the problem, the staggering heights it has reached, and what’s being done about it. (In three words, not nearly enough.)
The movie’s title, “100,000” refers to estimates of the number of strays roaming the streets and beaches of Puerto Rico. (Some others suspect the actual number may be twice as high.)
The video above is a trailer for the documentary, but in each of the next three days we’ll bring you substantial clips from it, including a look at a villager who tries to help street dogs; an organization (our friends at Island Dog) that patrols the beaches, frequently used as a dumping ground for unwanted dogs; and at how the handful of shelters on the island rely heavily on euthanasia.
Directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, the documentary has been broadcast in over 17 countries and has won numerous honors at film festivals.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abandoned, abuse, animals, award, beaches, clips, cruelty to animals, director, documentary, dogs, emmy, epidemic, euthanasia, island dog, juan agustin marquez, movie, neglect, neuter, overpopulation, pets, puerto rico, rescues, shelters, spay, stray dogs, strays, street, street dogs, trailer, unwanted, winning