"... a fate met by a couple of million dogs each year in the United States. A half-dozen dogs are set into a large metal box. They seem eerily resigned to this moment; no snapping, no squirming, no escape attempts. The lid is shut and sealed, and a worker twists the gas valve. The screams from inside the box are ghastly."
A description of what are probably the most harrowing minutes of the new HBO documentary "One Nation Under Dog." I say probably, because there are also scenes of dogs serving their presumably last days in cages in the shelter — with one dog frantically trying to dig his way under the gate, his paws scraping over the blood-stained concrete. And, in the first segment, covering the law of dangerous dogs, we see a young girl's detached ear and the surgery-prepped site on the side of her head where it will be reattached. By the way, the dog's owner was himself a surgeon, a man who devoted a disturbing amount of time and money to defending his various Rhodesian Ridgebacks from the neighbors they terrorized.
This is an excellent documentary that rolls out the information (and the ultimate message) in a dramatic and compelling way. Simply put, people need to be responsible with their dogs. The ending strongly promotes rescue dogs, and I learned something about where rescue dogs come from. I had thought that it was mostly sick or elderly people getting in touch with the rescue folks and sorrowfully surrendering their beloved pets. Apparently not!