A film about the plight of animals from rescue shelters is set to be shown on July 22, 2021, in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, where one of the dogs featured in the film was re-homed. The film, “Rescue Story – Saving Companion Animals”, follows Milo, a stray mutt, from a Texas animal shelter to his new home in Wisconsin.
Directed by Daniel Gartzke, the documentary film chronicled the lives of different pets and the myriad of problems that conventional animal shelters in the United States are facing, such as overcrowding, underfunding, lack of available outlets for animals seeking homes, and the proliferation of puppy mills, resulting in pet overpopulation.
From Texas To Wisconsin
Milo’s journey is one of the stories told in the film through the help of Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary (HEA), a no-kill rescue organization. The story of Milo starts in a Texas animal shelter, where he was owner-surrendered, probably because the owner had not spayed their pets resulting in unwanted puppies.
Holler, as Milo was named in the shelter, was transported by HEA and brought to Wisconsin to find a new home there. Milo now belongs to a family in the Green Bay Area.
Marcus Reitz, HEA spokesperson said the film “takes you through all the different aspects that go into animal welfare, adoption, prevention, spay and neuter, the impact that animals have on our lives and the value that companion animals play in all parts of our lives.”
The Reitz family founded the Wisconsin sanctuary in 2006 when Amanda Reitz, Marcus’s sister, found that nearly half of the animals in shelters are euthanized.
“At the time the film was shot, about 1.5 million companion animals were being euthanized each year in shelters, “Marcus said. “We want to see that be reduced even further.” With the help of other organizations, like the Best Friend Animal Society, their aim is to reach a no-kill status for the country saving up to 90% of animals in its care.
From Wisconsin To The World
The 65-minute film, made by a crew composed mainly of the Wisconsinites, has received 11 nominations and 5 wins from the film festival circuits in Spain, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.
Armed with the film’s success, the HEA hopes to shed more awareness on the problems that animal shelters has created. On its 15th anniversary, they are glad to note that they are having their biggest year yet in terms of adoption. In 2020, there were 705 animals given new homes, up by 50% from 2019.
Milo is indeed one of the happy endings of this film. It was supposed to premiere in Green Bay last year, but was forced to be shown drive-in-style in a church parking lot due to the pandemic.
However, it didn’t stop Milo to strut down the red carpet. With his adorable double-colored eyes – 1 brown and 1 blue – he posed readily to the glittering flashing cameras. Truly, a new star is born.