“For the Animals” is a heartfelt, hour-long documentary following the lives of twin animal rights activists, Tena Lundquist Faust and Tama Lundquist, and their journey of saving stray dogs on the streets of Houston, Texas.
This moving story is not only emotional, but also packed with information regarding stray dogs that mainstream media tends to leave out. While watching this documentary, I found myself constantly thinking, I can’t believe I didn’t know this before. The documentary showcases two street feeders of Houston, Jane Ann Wesson and Sonya Franklin. As the documentary followed Franklin’s story, I was thinking to myself, wouldn’t it just be easier to take the dogs to a shelter? Why leave the dogs on the streets when shelters and rescue centers were built for this exact reason? My question was quickly answered when Wesson was introduced, urging the community around her to not take their dogs to Barc, a local Houston animal shelter. Emotional news clips included in the documentary show that Barc and the Harris County Shelter are both full, holding 375 animals when they’re only built to hold 150 animals. This results in the euthanization of healthy animals, while the streets are still full of roaming dogs. This documentary sheds light on local hometown heroes, such as Wesson and Franklin, and the positive impact they’re making in their community.
The one-on-one interviews included can be difficult to watch, especially when graphic images and video clips are involved. An interview with Susan Boggio, a rescuer and philanthropist, discusses the story of her trying to perform CPR on a puppy that had already passed due to lack of care and compassion in the home it was living in. Photos and videos show the puppy’s living state, and anyone with a heart will find this section difficult to get through.
The stories shared by these hometown heroes in this documentary will make you have moments of losing faith in humanity, but the footage of these local philanthropists doing what they can to help this crisis will have your hope restored. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but I feel it’s a necessary one to fully grasp how the stray dogs roaming the streets needs to be considered a humanitarian crisis.
It’s definitely a tearjerker, watching animals being neglected and how these people are sacrificing their time, energy, money, and overall well-being to try to end the stray and overpopulation animal crisis in their city, when it could be solved if everyone pitched in and offered their help. These people show what it truly means to be humane.
As an animal lover and pet owner myself, I figured I knew enough about how to care for animals. What I didn’t realize prior to watching this documentary is how animal welfare is a crisis and one that is often ignored. I hope this documentary reaches the people that are not currently aware of this. It informed me, and I can only hope that it informs thousands of others.
Although this documentary takes place in Houston, many other cities are in the same boat. This documentary is worth watching, whether you’re a Houston local or on the other side of the country.
By the end of this documentary, I hugged my dog a bit tighter.
“They [dogs] did not sign up for this. When we domesticated them, we made a deal with them. We would take care of them, they would be in our homes, we would feed them. We failed them so miserably” (06:00 – 06:10).