Lost Dogs – Year End Update

As 2010 comes to a close, I reflect on a year of triumphs and setbacks to imagine the best way forward.

Success was the strengthening of the 21st Paradigm production team. I especially thank Anthony Tanaka for his loyalty, persistence and dedication to the project. For Tonito, Felipa, Lilly and Emilia, the mutts who escaped life on the streets in Chile and are now blissfully happy in California and Oregon, for them the year could not have been better! Thank you to Gabriela Jarpa for staying true to the dogs of Rinconada.

Two massive earthquakes devastated parts of Chile, causing canine distemper outbreaks and worsening the already existing calamities of starvation and homelessness. Within days, television media was drugging the global public with other mundane news, while the struggle between life and death continued on the ground, unabated. So too, the struggle for life in US shelters. Another 3 million or more dogs were killed unnecessarily in “shelters,” including the 2-year old war hero who survived the war in Afghanistan and saved fifty soldiers’ lives, only to be killed by mistake within two days of entering the shelter system in Arizona.

As I look back on the year’s progress in terms of finishing the film, I am dismayed at how much time was taken up in the effort to generate funds for production costs. Grant writing, personal appeals, public fundraisers, gallery exhibits, online outreach… The efforts of this small band of volunteers was enormous, and still we operate on a shoe-string budget. It might be character-building, but the time lost is heartbreaking. Meanwhile the southern-most animal shelter in Chile closed it’s doors for lack of adequate funds; poisoning, shooting, stabbing and clubbing of street dogs increased dramatically in major cities, while animal activists continue their struggle to deter the Chilean government from enacting laws that would cause similar deaths for some 2.5 million stray dogs. This, when the feasible solution is at our fingertips – Spay and Neuter. All it takes is education and the will to foster a humane society.

As I mourn the recent loss of my beloved companion of ten years, Digby, I am struck by the immense honor of having a dog as teacher. It makes me that much more grateful for Fumarola, my Chilean rescue who brings me endless amounts of joy.

I take this opportunity to thank all our supporters and volunteers, and ensure that we will strive for a 2011 completion date for the film.

Click HERE to donate online.

I wish for better times for the animals of our world, for they too deserve a peaceful place.

Vanessa Schulz


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