FW: Best Friend Forgotten
A very educational documentary on homeless animals/overpopulation will be aired on October 14th from 10 – 11 p.m. on PBS in NC. Please watch and pass this on to other animal lovers! See below.
North Carolina Voters for AnimalWelfare Treasurer
Critter Haven Board Member www.critterhaven.org
Best Friend Forgotten: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Homeless Animals in America
It stars a lovable dog named Clover and an adorable cat called Oreo, it's hosted by David Duchovny of X-Files fame, and it could be coming to a station near you. Best Friend Forgotten, a compelling documentary that follows Clover and Oreo through two different U.S. shelters, is slated to air on PBS this fall. But the film needs your help to ensure that its important message reaches your community.
Directed by American filmmaker Julie Lofton, Best Friend Forgotten takes a behind-the-scenes look at the crisis of pet overpopulation. The statistics are staggering: in every community in America, dogs and cats by the hundreds and thousands are left homeless through no fault of their own. Only a fraction of these hopeful animals find good homes.
Clover and Oreo are two such hopefuls, examples of the kinds of highly adoptable pets that make their way into U.S. shelters every day. Clover was taken in from the streets of Los Angeles while Oreo was found in a Chicago tenement building. After being rescued by animal control officers, each is taken to a local shelter.
Once there, Clover and Oreo face a heartbreaking reality—less than half of the 6–8 million animals who enter U.S. shelters each year are adopted. This is not for a lack of trying. "Animal shelters provide care and, whenever possible, loving homes for homeless pets. Too often, they must instead provide a humane death. Due to a lack of appropriate resources, a shortage of families looking to adopt, a constant influx of unwanted animals from the community, and a lack of targeted spay and neuter programs, millions of innocent animals are euthanized annually," says Kate Pullen, The HSUS's Director of Animal Sheltering.
This tragedy, however, is completely preventable. But only if people become aware of the crisis. Lofton, a former stand-up comedian, decided to get serious about the problem of pet overpopulation after volunteering at a Los Angeles shelter where she saw countless animals euthanized because of overcrowded conditions. "The plague of pet overpopulation is invisible to most people, and this movie will bring it home to them," Lofton said in a prepared statement.
The film helps to spread the word by educating viewers and inspiring them to take action. According to a press release, Lofton's said, "My hope is that this movie will motivate people to go to their local shelter and take home a loving animal companion. For those who have dogs and cats at home, I hope the film will encourage them to spay and neuter their pets."
Several celebrities have lent their support to the project. Duchovny, most famous for his role as Fox Mulder on the X-Files series, hosts the documentary, while Peter Gabriel, former member of the band Genesis, has called the film "a brilliant documentary that needs to be seen by anyone who loves animals."
Despite Gabriel's rave, there's no guarantee that Best Friend Forgotten will be seen in your area. Local PBS stations have the option to add this documentary to their fall line-up, since each station creates its own schedule based its community's needs. In other words, it's up to the public to help ensure that this film is shown nationwide.
The HSUS and shelters around the country are asking animal lovers to call, write or e-mail their local PBS station by July 23, 2004 to request that Best Friend Forgotten be added to the fall line-up of programs. By the end of July, local PBS stations will have made their final decisions for the October line-up, so it's important to take action now.
Animal lovers should also request that the film be aired during the last week of October during prime viewing hours to help kick off National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, which is sponsored by The HSUS and planned for the first week of November. This week recognizes the indispensable role that all animal shelters play in maintaining the safety and health of a community, on behalf of all its residents.
Spread the word about pet overpopulation! Follow these four easy steps to help ensure that Best Friend Forgotten's critical message reaches your community:
Step 1: Find your local station using the PBS Station Finder.
Step 2: Note your station's address, e-mail address or phone number.
Step 3: Write, call or e-mail your station by July 23, 2004. Please mention that that the film is produced by RCD Entertainment and distributed by PBS Plus. Writers can copy our customizable letter.
Step 4: Pass this article on and encourage your friends and family to take action!