More festival announcements to come throughout 3rd and 4th qtr of 2020. Watch the official RUFF LIFE Film Festival Trailer below and stay tuned.
RUFF LIFE Review
November 2, 2020 - If you are a dog lover, RUFF LIFE is a “must see”! Director Tom McPhee weaves his filmmaking magic into an honest, heart wrenching, startling look into animal shelters in Detroit, Michigan and Houston, Texas.
The timing and tenor of this documentary seems to parallel the political divisiveness we are currently experiencing. I was struck by the inability of local animal control organizations and shelters to work with independent dog rescue organizations that merely want to help. If this is happening in two large cities, like Detroit and Houston that are in different parts of the country, I am sure it is happening in other areas and municipalities.
I was surprised by the lack of coordination and cooperation between the cities and local animal rescues. They both claim to want the same outcome, to help homeless animals, and yet, the city shelters seem to rebuke offers of assistance from the rescues. The result is tragic, thousands of needless animal deaths.
The documentary kept me engaged throughout with rich narrative, unique cinematography, and an original, compelling soundtrack. I felt that all sides of the story were represented, allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions. It became clear that animal welfare is complicated, often devolving into animal warfare.
The personal stories pull at your heart strings. There were several times I was brought to tears, especially during the hurricane Harvey separation of owners and their beloved pets.
My big takeaway from “RUFF LIFE” is that city governments need to find a way to work with and not against independent rescue organizations. Conversations, cooperation and compassion go a long way. Austin, TX seems to have managed a way to begin that process.
The fact that cities with shelters that kill the most dogs also have the most strays on their streets should be a wake up call to come together. I hope RUFF LIFE helps to bring positive changes for homeless dogs.
Reviewer: Beth Johnston
The Producers & partners of RUFF LIFE Games Gaslighting & Bitches would like to give your NGO or municipal animal rescue / welfare organization an opportunity to schedule a benefit screening in your town to raise awareness of your non profit rescue work. Including during virtual - online or theatrical based film festivals (we hope in the near future). please send an email to Eugene at: EugeneThomas@WA2S.org
In Detroit, MI the indefatigable Terri Sumpter, founder of Detroit Pit Crew Rescue fights for homeless street dogs with every free minute she has, which frequently means fighting with existing responsible "authorized" agencies, like the Michigan Humane Society, a 140 year old institution that wrote many of the animal welfare laws in Michigan.
As the leader and principal rescuer of a small volunteer based dog rescue, Terri is often confronted with homeless and abused dogs that no one else is providing help and hope to. The larger more established agencies don't see these animals as important members of their community - or at the very least not important enough to supply meaningful resources toward the resolution of the problem.
In Houston, Texas hundreds of dog rescues and newspaper articles printed nearly daily can attest to the dog population crisis the city is suffering through. Best Friends Animal Society has bought land, and is committed to opening their own shelter because the problem is so bad.
Why are homeless dogs so prevalent in Houston? To answer that question, our World Animal Awareness Society Films team went to Houston before and immediately after Hurricane Harvey and discovered a very disturbing secret one shelter was keeping, which plays a big part in why there are so many dogs loose and homeless on the streets. This shelter refuses to be transparent about the work they are doing to support the city of Houston.
We follow prolific independent dog rescuers in both Detroit and Houston, and contrast them with two animal societies both having their own Animal Planet series - one in each city, only to discover all the differences between them, and the ways they help and hurt each others efforts to save more homeless dog's lives.
We also present the ongoing story of Austin, Texas and their efforts to save, shelter, care for and adopt out their homeless dogs to new families. Austin is the largest city in America committed to saving more than 95% of the homeless dogs from their streets and shelter system every year. And in the process generating more than $150,000,000 in incremental revenue to the city. We show you why large companies have stated the culture of dogs in the lives of Austinites is a factor for moving their businesses to Austin. Help end the killing and mistreatment of homeless dogs in America.
Here's the title track RUFF LIFE as music video featuring Arthur Yoria rescuing his dog Rita in real time. This was filmed half way through our journey of making A Stray Dog's RUFF LIFE