Private Project

Hero Dog - Spanish

One dog’s heroic act is caught on surveillance camera and the video goes viral to over a million people on YouTube. It inspires a filmmaker to travel to Chile to explore the feasibility of a search for the now infamous “hero dog.” The result is a stirring documentary and the adoption of multiple street dogs, proving that courage is contagious… and one dog can make a difference.

  • Vanessa Schulz
    Cost of Freedom; Cull of the Wild: The Truth behind Trapping; Adventure for the Soul; Wolves at our Door; Sea Shepherd; Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution; Sea Shepherd; Wolves at our Door
  • Vanessa Schulz
  • Vanessa Schulz
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Perrita Heroína
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Social, Animal welfare, Environmental, Political, Culture, Activism, Adventure, International, Documentary, Women in film, Female Director, Low budget, Independent
  • Runtime:
    48 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    80,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Chile, United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Bend Film Festival
    United States
    October 10, 2014
    North American Premiere
    Official selection
  • Docs without Borders, 2019
    United States
    Official Selection
  • South Film & Arts Academy festival, 2019
    Best documentary screenplay
  • XVII Cine Pobre festival
    La Paz
    Best Self-funded Film
  • Guadalajara International film festival, 2015
    March 1, 2015
    FICG30 Video Library
Director Biography - Vanessa Schulz

As an independent documentary filmmaker, Vanessa focuses on environmental, animal welfare and social issues that promote respect for the intrinsic value of all life. In other words, the rights of non-human species to live on Earth without being exploited or killed. She believes that what's good for animals and plants is good for people (and vice versa). Her films have garnered more than two dozen awards and official selections and have contributed towards legal protections of animals in the courts.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"If you want to change society for the better, you have to think of yourself as a grain of sand working against the surface of a sharp stone. The process transforming that stone into a smooth rounded pebble is the work of generations. Only those who understand this will have the patience to make a difference."

When I read these words I had an epiphany.

I had set out as a naïve twenty-something year-old thinking that with sheer determination I could change the world, that just by drawing people’s attention to its atrocities I could stop them. After decades of trying, the atrocities—like trapping—still exist. The cultural machine we’re up against cannot be overstated, so who was I to think I could make a difference?

I did make a difference. But it wasn’t enough. It didn’t satisfy me to know that my audience had been moved by my films, in some cases enough to change careers. I wanted concrete change, headline news change, something tangible I could take back to my mother and say, “Look, you were right to believe in me.” That victorious day never came but the quote did, and with it a sense of release and comprehension that I hadn’t failed.

I had tried. Trying put me on the right side of a history that will span generations. So I went from thinking I can save the world, to thinking I can save a species, to saving a life, to realizing there’s more. I can alleviate suffering. Daily. These small, big things that make me feel connected to Earth and her myriad of nonhumans feels less like the triumph I set out to find and more like my life’s purpose. For that I’m grateful.