Heel documentary tells the story about boys serving probation in a secured facility who must act as foster parents to rescued dogs from the dog fighting circuit.  Together they must rehabilitate one another in order to find success in the outside world.

HEEL documentary tells the story about boys serving probation in a secured facility who must act as foster parents to rescued dogs from the dog fighting circuit. Together they must rehabilitate one another in order to find success in the outside world. The two worlds of justice reform and animal abandonment, collide in an alternative rehabilitation program for delinquent boys called HEEL, Helping Empower Everyone’s Lives.

The dogs were rescued through an organization called Corridor Rescue and come from a place called “corridor of cruelty”, an area in Houston that is known as a dumping ground for abandoned and fighting bait dogs.  They carry emotional distress and are unable to function in a home environment.The boys are in the Harris County Leadership Academy, a post adjudication facility for delinquent youth.

The HEEL program is designed to team up boys with a dog in order to train the dog the basics to living in a domestic home all within the confines of the facility. As the bond grows between the boys and the dogs, the boys begin to build characteristics such as responsibility, love, trust, companionship, empathy, hope and forgiveness. The journey becomes a healing process for both the dog and boy.

This program is a simple solution to two very complex issues in the United States, justice reform and animal abandonment.  It explores dog companionship as a rehabilitation tool.  Animal abuse, abandonment and euthanization is at a staggering high in Texas.  Houston animal shelters have consistently euthanized more canines than Dallas, Austin and San Antonio combined (source The Big Fix). Prison overpopulation has become a major concern as well.  With three out of every four prisoners becoming repeat offenders, the $74 billion per year price tag is overwhelming the tax payer.  Our delinquent youth carry an even higher price tag with required rehabilitation programs, education and additional services.

Our goal is to showcase Houston as a city who confronts communal crisis, such as animal abuse and prison overpopulation, and provides practical solutions.  It is our hope to educate the viewer on the potential emotional healing that the human/animal bond can bring to our incarcerated.


About the Filmmaker

Ruth is a Houstonian documentary filmmaker who is passionate about stories that help provoke social change. As a studio manager for major productions, she knows just what it takes to budget, build a team and see a project through to completion. Her journalistic drive has taken her from the slums of Africa to the human trafficking compounds in the City of Houston.


Support HEEL Documentary

Thank you for supporting independent film!

Your $25 donation covers 1% of administration and goes directly towards the grunt work that goes into making the film happen: From copies to contracts, grant writing to legal services, with out the legwork, this donation is vital to a completed film.

Your $50 donation covers 1% of our design costs. We have one shot for a first impression! This donation goes towards the production photography, poster art, DVD cover and website design. We have high expectations, as it is hard to get a bad picture out of a dog.

Your $100 donation covers the costs for one festival screening: entry fees, shipping and promotional materials needed to make the story a front runner at the festivals.

Your $500 donation covers one day of post-production services: one day of video, audio and music editing.

Your $1,000 donation will support all aspects of production and post production of the film.