Wed, Nov 27, 2013 - Page 4 News List

New film shows short lives of dogs

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Producers Giddens Ko and Angie Chai, actress Sonia Sui and her father, left to right, hold an outdoor press conference for the premier of the documentary Twelve Days in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Wang Wen-lin, Taipei Times

The documentary Twelve Days (十 二夜), which depicts the lives of dogs in a public animal shelter — in which dogs are put to death after 12 days if they are not adopted — held its premier in Taipei yesterday, calling on people to think carefully before adopting pets, rather than adopting and then abandoning them.

With no spoken dialogue, the film uses camera angles to show the lives of dogs in the animal shelter from the dogs’ viewpoints, from when they are brought to the shelter until they are taken to be put to death, as well as rarely seen moments from early in the morning before the staff arrive and late at night, after the workers have all gone home.

“Many people have the mistaken idea that sending stray animals that they find on the streets directly to animal shelters is the best thing to do for them, but actually they will have only 12 days to live if no one adopts them,” film director Raye (who goes by a single English name) said.

“More than 70,000 animals, mostly dogs, are put to death at public shelters in Taiwan every year, at an average of about 200 dogs per day,” she said, expressing hopes that the movie can motivate more people to help share the responsibility for taking good care of animals and to reduce the numbers of animals put to death.

A woman who adopted one of the dogs, which features prominently in the documentary — an elderly beagle — said: “Actually, I find it easier to adopt an elderly dog from the animal shelter, because they may have been pets to other people in the past, so the dog I adopted was quite stable and did not behave wildly like puppies do.”

The film’s executive producer, Giddens Ko (柯景騰), better known by his pseudonym Jiubadao (九把刀), said they have decided to donate all the box office earnings, excluding the fee for theaters and tax, to animal welfare groups to help stray animals.

The documentary is to be shown in theaters from Friday.

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