In hundreds of animal shelters, in thousands of cages, eager dogs with wagging tails and soulful eyes await their fate. Will they be chosen by a family to be a beloved pet? Will they be selected to undergo rigorous training as a service dog? Will they become a life-saving companion to a traumatized veteran? Or will they be euthanized, thus depriving the world of a loving, loyal friend.
Happily, the first three options come true in the documentary Shelter Me, an unabashed celebration of shelter dogs. In the first part, “Home”, viewers follow the story of two stray dogs picked up by a Los Angeles shelter’s animal control officer. Evaluated by an animal behaviorist, the two sweet-tempered dogs are determined to be good candidates for adoption and eventually become family pets, exuberantly romping with their new owners. The next section, “Second Chances” takes place in a women’s prison where inmates train shelter dogs to become service animals for the disabled. In the final section, “Coming Home”, veterans with post traumatic stress disorder are paired with trained shelter dogs and begin to heal and find reasons for hope with the help of their new loving companions.
Shelter Me does a wonderful job of showing how much potential there is in these abandoned or relinquished dogs. If you would like to give a dog (or cat!) a second chance at a happy life and enrich your own life as well, be sure to visit our shelters in Topeka: Helping Hands Humane Society and The Cat Association of Topeka.