Foster Dog

A young, disabled dog in foster care gets a new leash on life with the help of an older, wiser friend, in order to become adoptable and find his furever home.

  • Lisa Alonso Vear
    Director
  • Lisa Alonso Vear
    Writer
  • Rebecca Warm
    Writer
  • Lisa Alonso Vear
    Producer
  • Laurie Rud
    Producer
  • Minos Papas
    Director of Photography
  • Jason Booth
    Production Supervisor
  • Christa Artherholt
    Editor
  • Guy-Roger Duvert
    Composer
  • Rich Macar
    supervising sound editor/rerecording mixer
  • Rebecca Almond
    Singer/Songwriter
  • Genres:
    Drama, Family
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 28, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Lisa Alonso Vear

Lisa has been telling stories her whole life. A southern girl at heart, she moved from Memphis, TN to New York City in 2006 to pursue her passion in filmmaking. She has since worked on 30 plus feature films, corporate videos and short films. Her own short film, Layla's Millstone, was accepted into the Short Film Corner at the 2010 Festival de Cannes. Her advocacy and passion for working with animals was the inspiration behind Foster Dog.

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Director Statement

The idea originated in 2009 when my friend , Rebecca , and I were hanging out in the dog park while her French Bulldog, Stella, ran around refusing to play with anyone. We were regulars there and knew the dogs and Rebecca, who is an actress/comedienne, projected an attitude onto Stella and a fake French accent, being a French Bulldog, while she played. We then came up with characters for all the dogs based on their personality. We decided to do a skit about the dogs by filming them playing as they normally do in the dog park and then improvising a story.

As it often happen, life got in the way and this idea was put on the back burner as we worked on other projects. However, I never let go of the idea. When I decided to invest in it again, I knew I wanted to do more with the story; I wanted to create a difference in the lives of dogs, particularly shelter dogs. I struggled for a while with the story until I remembered from my days working in the veterinary field. We despised it when a dog movie came out featuring a specific breed (101 Dalmatians, Lassie, Air Bud). The consequence always leads to over-breeding with many of the dogs being sent to the shelter because the owners didn’t bother to research the breed prior to purchase and see if it would actually fit their lifestyle.

Often, shelters depicted in movies are hailed as evil facilities that are out to imprison or euthanize the dogs, however, shelters exist for a purpose. For good or for bad, they house the strays, the unwanted, the sick, etc. I didn’t want the villain in my film to be the shelter or depict the dogs housed there to be the dejected vagrants often seen in films. I chose instead to show the audience that shelter dogs can be perfectly healthy, happy members of their family if given the chance.

Foster Dog depicts one shelter dog’s journey from the shelter to finding a new home with the help of a foster care program. Despite the fact that animal foster programs have been in existence for many years all over the country, many people still do not know about them or take advantage of them.

I decided to write a screenplay to encourage people to consider adopting from a foster group or rescue groups with foster programs, or better yet, become a foster parent themselves, even an emergency/short term one.

In writing this story, I based the characters off dogs that I knew personally and wrote their own personality into the story so that the actions of the dogs while filming are not fictitious. These are not dog actors, they are not performers and many are former shelter or foster dogs, including the main character.

The primary themes of Foster Dog are about family, being excepted for who you are and given a second chance. I hope the film will not only create an emotional experience for viewers, but also in the process educate and help create an awareness about fostering and the possibility of adopting disabled or special needs pets.