Shelter Dogs

This 2003 DV study of a euthanizing dog shelter in upstate New York put a lasting lump in my throat in about three minutes; I can only imagine how a bona fide dog person would respond to it. It tracks the progress of five “surrendered” animals, each with a distinct past and personality, none with much chance of being adopted. The burden of deciding their fate rests with shelter owner Sue Sternberg, an enormously sympathetic figure with an almost telepathic understanding of canine psychology. Director Cynthia Wade expertly balances ethical reflection and gripping storytelling; those daunted by the subject matter should take the plunge regardless. 74 min.

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