Looking for a good movie for your animal-loving kids?

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You may have seen ads on Petfinder for the movie All Roads Lead Home, which is available on DVD tomorrow, Jan. 13. This sweet, PG-rated film is about a 12-year-old girl named Belle (Vivien Cardone) who loves animals, and it will appeal to any kid who feels the same way.


But I’m excited about this movie for other reasons as well. Number one: One of the main characters, Belle’s father Cody (Jason London), is an animal control officer in their Kansas town. He brings stray and neglected animals to the local open-access shelter, staffed by his friend Milo (Patton Oswalt).

Cody and Milo love animals but, as much as it saddens them, sometimes have to euthanize pets for illness, behavior or space. I’ve never seen such a sensitive portrayal of animal control officers, particularly in a kids’ movie, where the neighborhood “dog catcher” is almost always the bad guy.

Reason number two: The film’s distributor, Anchor Bay Entertainment, is putting its money where its mouth is to support pet adoption and animal shelters, first by advertising on Petfinder (thank you!!) and second by donating $3,000 to the Petfinder.com Foundation, money that will go directly to our rescue group members to help them save, care for and find homes for pets in need. Finally, Anchor Bay is also donating 200 free copies of the DVD to rescue-group staffers and volunteers attending our Adoption Options training workshops.

Many movies appeal to kids’ natural love of animals, but this one
addresses some important issues without being disturbing or depressing
(Belle is upset by some aspects of her dad’s job, as well as by the
attitude of her farmer grandfather, played by Peter Coyote, who thinks
that horses, dogs and other animals are just for breeding and selling).
And if your kids are budding activists or volunteers, they’ll see in
Belle a kindred spirit. See the movie with them and you’re sure to
spark some interesting conversations, and probably encourage your kids’
interest in animals.