Street Dogs of South Central

July 20, 2008 at 3:26 am 14 comments

According to a press release from their myspace page “Street Dogs of South Central” is:

A nature documentary about the stray dogs that survive the streets of South Central Los Angeles, ‘Street Dogs’ follows the story of Elsie– a mother struggling to raise her litter of puppies in a harsh urban environment. 85 minutes running time. Coming to a theater near you in 2008.

The trailer – shown below – is both riveting and heartbreaking. 

As a trainer of dogs and student of dog behavior, I can’t wait to see the film.  The chance to see footage of feral dogs in their own environment is not something I’ll pass up.  Surfing around, I found that the film will be released by Lionsgate, the same group that released the controversial, disturbing — and fascinating documentary “Grizzly Man.”

“Grizzly Man” chronicles the life and death of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. The film includes fiilm shot by Treadwell before he and his girlfriend were killed and partially eaten by a bear in 2003.  I enjoyed the film because it showed incredible footage of bears and other northern wildlife in their native habitat – and because it didn’t romanticize Treadwell – who, frankly – was a charming, fascinating dimwit that did nearly everything he could to get himself killed.

I hope that “Street Dogs” suceeds as well as “Grizzly Man” did at presenting an unglamorized portrayal of the subjects of the documentary.  But because Animal Planet is also involved, I’ll have to wait to see.  

Have I mentioned that I hate Animal Planet?  You know, the group that either hypes adrenaline-junkie “grab the venomous snake before it KILLS you” trash or panders to AR extremists in promoting the “every dog who has visible ribs, spends time unsupervised in the yard or otherwise lives in a way that *I* don’t approve of is abused and MUST be seized” party line.  Or should I just rant about anthropomorphic crap like “Meerkat Manor” that encourages naive urbanites to see animals as small furry people who live in communities just like our own.

Oh…  Just considering the possibility that “Street Dogs” could get polluted that way scares the dog poo out of me.  Please doG – let this turn out to be a good thing.  For us — and for dogs.

Entry filed under: behavior science, dogs, wildlife. Tags: , , .

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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charlotte Creeley  |  July 20, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    What is being documented in this film is a tragic and horrible situation. These are not “feral” dogs living in their own “environment”. These are stray dogs dumped by former owners. Some of them are probably still “pets”, cut loose during the day while their owners went about their own business. You would have to be blind not to see that half of them are pit bulls. How can this possibly turn out to be a good thing? All it does is illustrate the need for more animal control services and more ownership restrictions. It reminds me of my own memories of the stray dogs of Puerto Rico, many of them friendly and hopeful and seeking a kind touch from strangers, most of them nothing but skin and bones, with ribs sticking out, mange, open wounds, so starved that some of them quietly lay down in corners and died, heedless of the foot traffic around them. The heartbreak is how little concern the passersby gave to the dogs…

    How anyone can take any pleasure watching a film like this I have no understanding… It’s probably just another push by animal rights advocates to end dog ownership. After all, who could possibly promote ANYTHING that would lead to this outcome?

  • 2. Audie's Gramma  |  July 21, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    “All it does is illustrate the need for more animal control services and more ownership restrictions.”

    Wow, Charlotte Creely, way to climb on your Evel Kneivel collector’s edition motorbike and jump the chasm of logic and evidence for a sliding landing on the cliff of unsupported conclusion!

    “Hey Papi, the man from the city is here. He says we gotta cut off Chico’s balls and build a new fence and go to to a class and pay for a special paper every year and we gotta let him in to see the kitchen and go through our underwear drawer.”

    “Mami, open the back door.”

    “Dog? We don’t got no dog. Go away Mr. Government man.”

    Me? I’ll actually watch the documentary before climbing onto my own bike.

  • 3. Charlotte Creeley  |  July 22, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Oh yeah, you go ahead and watch it, it looks really appealing. See mama dog teach puppies not to get squashed in street, but maybe they get squashed anyway. See big dogs menace homeless kitten. See little stray gamely running with big strays. I got enough to cry about without internalizing South Central’s misery for entertainment.

    I gotta go grease my wheels, Mami. Got plenty jumping to do.

  • 4. Jeff Burgess  |  October 10, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    When is this movie going to be released?

  • 5. SmartDogs  |  October 10, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Sorry, I don’t know. Information I had was that it was supposed to be released this summer and appear on Animal Planet this fall but I can’t find any release information on Lionsgate’s website or the movie’s myspace page. Will update when I hear more.

  • 6. Danielle  |  February 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    How is this a legal show to make and not provide help to the dogs? They are only here and stray because we did not care for them properly . . . horrible documentary in my opinion.

  • 7. Brandon  |  February 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    wow! what an amazing show to see! how much money we waste as tax payers on that disgusting town. grug and gang infested full of blacks and illeagal mexicans! maybe we should go rescue the dogs in that city!! Not the disgisting humans there!! God forgive us for letting animals live like that!

  • 8. Angie R  |  February 12, 2012 at 12:05 am

    It was the saddest show I’ve ever seen. I cried during most of it & even covered my face. People are either going to open their eyes and do something, or whine &I bury their heads back in the sand like the people that live down in South Central. Your taxpayer money?? Why don’t you volunteer your own resources, time, or money – because you want to help? I myself, will volunteer more in my own town.

  • 9. Michelle  |  February 12, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Brandon, is that sarcasm? The people who live in that shithole are the ones to blame for the crappy life the dogs lead so I could care less about the morons. They are also responsible for the crapppy life their kids lead. Sterilize them and take ALL the dogs out of that combat zone. It’s too bad these sorry sacks of garbage don’t commit mass suicide.

  • 10. Michelle  |  February 12, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Brandon, is that sarcasm? The people who live in that shithole are the ones to blame for the crappy life the dogs lead so I could care less about the morons. They are also responsible for the crapppy life their kids lead. Sterilize them and take ALL the dogs out of that combat zone. It’s too bad these sorry sacks of garbage don’t commit mass suicide.

    And the (producers/creators/ animal planet) of this crap who didn’t even BOTHER to help the dogs can all commit mass suicide, too. These are NOT wild animals. They are the result of irresponsible people.

  • 11. Michelle  |  February 12, 2012 at 3:20 am

    As for the “dog trainer” and, “I study animal behavior”, go do it in the Africa and maybe you, too, can be part of a “documentary”. I’d like to see you in your “natural environment”.

  • 12. BlackWidowInSC  |  February 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I only watched the first two minutes of this documentary and I for one cannot see why anyone would want to watch it. It is sad to see how the animals are living in the street, being left to fend for themselves or to die of starvation or being hit by a car. The makers of this film should’ve attempted to rescue these animals. Maybe the adults were to vicious but at the very least they could’ve saved the puppies. I am disappointed that Animal Planet chose to run this program. Very, very sad.

  • 13. Mar  |  February 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I cannot get this incredibly tragic situation off of my mind. I have had nine rescue dogs and about that many cats through the years not including two that I have now and the documentary just broke my heart. Currently, Because it is entirely possible that my one beloved hound originated in South Central as a feral puppy as she in fact made the cross country trip from southern California to western Pennsylvania and into my loving arms with a hitchhiking homeless man and the grace of God, this documentary really hit me hard. How could people just allow this to happen in their community? As much as I despise government intervention, I believe the only way to stop the problem of millions of unwanted, unloved puppies and kittens is to put some type of spaying/neutering LAWS in place and required breeders licenses that would be checked up on, At least for five or ten years. If people were MADE to have a pet fixed, many would not have the pet and that works for me. Goes for AKC purebreds too. People should not just be able to breed dogs to have the “puppy experience” or have a cash crop. If some type of controls like this were mandated, after a few years people would have good incentive to adopt from shelters and the money saved from providing necessary help to all these sadly unwanted little creatures could then be used to assist people in the cost of future spaying and neutering. Although I am still crying over this documentary, I think it was good that this was filmed to cause brainstorming and open up discussions about how we as a country can fix this problem. I do pray that the producers jumped in after the film was done rolling and saved as many of these poor dogs as they could find.

  • 14. stephanie golden  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I need this movie right now. (Waving my $20 bill). Right this minute a neighbor teen is planning to breed the beautiful 5 month old pit bull female he found on the street. He’s teachable, but damn it’d be helpful if this movie were available so I could show him a few reasons he should leave breeding to the breeders. Whoever’s keeping this film off the market is a real $hithead. I mean, what was the point of making it if it were only to be shown once on tv?

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Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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