Of Dogs & Men 2016
Distributed by Collective Eye Films, 2305 SE Yamhill Street, Suite 101, Portland OR 97214; 503-232-5345
Directed by Michael Ozias
DVD, color, 88 min.
Animal Rights, Death, Law Enforcement, Legislation, Violent Behavior
Date Entered: 08/17/2017Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
Lily. Payton. Chase. Jane. Brandi. Cisco. Patches. These are the names of the dogs featured in this heart-wrenching documentary about police violence and family pets. According to the filmmakers more than 10,000 dogs are shot and killed by law enforcement officers in the U.S. every year. Although this figure is unsubstantiated since it’s an offense that generally goes unreported, there is mounting evidence illustrating the problem is, if not epidemic, a shockingly widespread one.
Following a standard documentary format that presents interviews with pet owners, government officials, police department personnel, and advocates for reform, the film traces the root of the problem to an increasingly militarized police force. While mourning the loss of their own animals, the citizens profiled here work to bring legislation requiring improved education and training for law enforcement officers and legal action against those who shot to kill.
While the film raises the problem of institutionalized police brutality and the critical need for reform, the graphic video and audio clips demonstrating that violence are very difficult to see and hear. The evidence presented may trigger painful emotions. For those who cannot tolerate animal cruelty, this issue-oriented film should be viewed with caution.