It was a packed house at the Reading Cinemas Grossmont Theater over the weekend in support of the San Diego stop of the Dog Film Festival. The event celebrated the love between dogs and people- and the animal welfare groups that bring us together. Tweleve of the nations greatest cities took part in the event and San Diego’s role was not one to disappoint! Presented by the Petco Foundation and just as I expected, (like all other Petco Foundation hosted events) the San Diego Film Festival was a success! Each picture was different from the next and uniquely entertaining it its own way. It was pleasing to see the adults were just as amused as the kids were by the films. You could tell that based on the laughter heard throughout the films among everyone. I also appreciated how with each film I recognized some of my favorite A-list actors voices playing the role of a dog or animated character. That was awesome! One film I really enjoyed featured the voice of Jack Black playing the role of a dog in the animated film The Lewis Lectures, a story about what dogs actually think and do when we leave the house. I loved that! Made me wonder what my dog gets into when I’m away.
Being a huge Ren and Stimpy fan, I really enjoyed the animated film Fog of Courage featuring Academy Award winner John Dilworth, along with the feature Conversations with my Dogs a depiction of what it would be like if our dogs could talk to us. I appreciated the level of humor in the films and the effort the film makers put forth in creating some amazing cinema for dog lovers. It’s great to see Tracie Hotchner (better known as the “Radio Pet Lady”) being recognized the success of her Dog Film Festival. It’s also very special to see the tour link up with the Petco Foundation in support of helping rescue animals.
I was fortunate to get the opportunity to sit down with the Petco Foundations Executive Director Susanne Kogut at the festival. She shared with me about the Petco Foundations role in the San Diego Dog Film Festival, along with how others can help the foundation reach its goals:
Barking Beast: How did the Petco Foundation get involved with the San Diego Film Festival?
Susanne Kogut: I was interviewed on Tracie Hotchner’s radio show and together we made it a goal to promote the positive impacts of our relationships with our pets and the importance of adoption to the general pet lover-not just the pet lover who will always adopt, but to a broader more general public.
Barking Beast: What would set the Petco Foundation up for success to reach a general public?
Susanne Kogut: The Petco Brand. Most of the donations we raise are raised at the Petco stores. Everyone working for the Petco brand and their efforts in getting the word about our mission and visually showing the positive impact that dogs have.
Barking Beast: What does it mean for the Petco Foundation to be supported by the film festival?
Susanne Kogut: It’s the brain child of Tracie Hotchner and I think she’s done a great job about putting the selection of films together she has. It’s great for our brand to partner with the film festival to support these amazing globally shared films while getting the word out about the what the foundation has done in helping local pet rescue organizations throughout the United States.
Barking Beast: What does the Petco Foundation pride itself in the most?
Susanne Kogut: Reducing high numbers of homeless pets in America and solving the problem. It really is solvable, we just need to get people that come from different backgrounds learning more about animal welfare. There is a place where people from all walks of life can help animals and serve a great purpose.
It was a honor meeting Susanne Kogut. What I really admire about her most beyond her dedication to rescuing animals and empowering animal advocacy, was I found it inspiring she hadn’t worked in animal welfare all her life. She used to work as a corporate securities transaction attorney, but knew she always wanted to help animals. Today she is the director of one of the nations leading animal rescue organizations, and her work from her former career translated wonderfully into what she does now for rescue pets. It’s people like Susanne Kogut the Petco Foundation Executive Director and Tracie Hotchner founder of the Dog Film Festival who continue to inspire when it comes to animal rescue! They will forever be two of the nations greatest pioneers in pet rescue that prove following your instinct and your ideas to help pets can be a spectacular thing!
To learn more about Tracie Hotchner and her Dog Film Festival events visit DogFilm Festival.com and be sure to like them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! Special thanks to the Petco Foundation for everything they do to help rescue pets!