A film showing how canine friends affect humans in a positive way is screening in Moab at the Bow Wow Film Festival.
The Bow Wow Film Festival promotes films about companion dogs, and proceeds from the screening will go toward helping stray and injured dogs rescued in the region. The film festival takes place at the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West, on Saturday, April 6.
Each year, the Colorado-based Bow Wow Film Commission creates a two-part 90-minute film that features working, companion, service and adventure dogs and distributes the film, along with marketing materials to dog rescue organizations across the country. Organizations like Moab’s Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab get to keep all proceeds from the film event.
The evening also includes food and beverages donated by local restaurants, a silent auction and an opportunity to see rescued dogs that are now available for adoption.
“They’re really awesome dogs waiting to meet their forever families,” said Zoe Brickel, Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab’s development coordinator.
“Our main goal is to move stray and at-large dogs from (Indigenous communities in) the four corners (region),” Brickel said. “A lot of the dogs we find are injured or emaciated.”
Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab also rescues dogs from the high-kill shelters.
The rescued dogs are placed with foster families where they can learn basic manners and skills, or they go to recuperate at a rescue ranch in Spanish Valley, where up to 40 dogs are housed at a time. Currently, there are 17 dogs at the ranch.
Volunteers, who are crucial to Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab’s mission, help by volunteering to walk and play with dogs, Brickel said.
Moab resident Rhonda Cowern is a volunteer and adopted a dog from Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab in June. Then, after fostering a second dog, she brought another dog home.
“She was so adorable. I fell in love with her,” Cowern said. “Her brother is in a foster home now.”
With her dogs, she decided that was enough and found other ways to help out. As a volunteer, Cowern works for about an hour every Saturday at the Spanish Valley shelter.
Volunteers are needed to clean dog-runs, walk dogs or other duties, and people also donate collars, leashes and hay used for insulation in the dog houses. Cowern said Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab wouldn’t be possible if not for the volunteers.
Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab will choose approximately five dogs that will be available for adoption at the Bow Wow Film Festival.
“We have a lot of great personalities to choose from,” Brickel said. “They’re all purebred rez dogs.”
Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab is supported by various local business sponsorships, some of which donated to this year’s silent auction. The silent auction includes a half-day mountain bike tour for two at Rim Tours, and gift certificates at Spa Moab, which could include a foot scrub or mini-facial, said Brickel.
Artwork — from Tom Till Gallery and Gallery Moab — has also been donated for the fundraising event, “plus a bunch other fun packages,” Brickel said.