Newspaper article China Post

Taking a Ground-Up Approach to Helping Mankind's Best Friends

Newspaper article China Post

Taking a Ground-Up Approach to Helping Mankind's Best Friends

Article excerpt

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Raye is a professional editor, but she had been planning to do something huge, something she had dreamed of since she was a student. She wanted to show people the real world of animal shelters, so she decided to take on the mission to become a director and shoot a documentary about it. During the pursuit of her dream, she teamed up with cinematographer Chou Yi-hsien to help present the conditions that stray animals must face after being sent to shelters.

"When I was a student, I visited an animal shelter with my friends to rescue dogs that were about to be euthanized," said Raye. "I also passed out flyers to people who seemed to be animal lovers. With the encouragement of my friends, I decided to use my skills and do something that might raise more awareness and concern about conditions in animal shelters."

"I did not have a budget or a cinematographer, and animal shelters did not welcome me to document what was going on inside," said Raye.

Fortunately, Raye was introduced to Chou, the cinematographer for the blockbuster "You Are the Apple of My Eye."

"I had never been to any animal shelters before," said Chou. "The day before Raye called me, I happened to go to an animal shelter with my friends spontaneously. I was shocked by what I witnessed inside the animal shelter, so I decided to team up with Raye, hoping to apply my skills in cinematography to better tell the stories in animal shelters."

Raye named the documentary "Twelve Nights" due to a regulation that basically determines the fates of most dogs left in public animal shelters.

"According to the regulation, if a dog is not adopted or brought home by its owner within 12 days, it could face the fate of being euthanized," said Raye.

"However, many dogs could not even make it through the 12 days because they are usually under extreme stress inside the shelter," said Raye. "Moreover, there are many contagious diseases that will also take their lives during the 12-day period."

"We are not trying to criticize anyone or blame certain people for anything," said Chou. "What we were trying to do was to present real images of animal shelters to the world, so we decided to shoot the documentary from the angles of dogs, which was from 30 centimeters off the ground. …

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