“A Dog Named Gucci”
“Justice is a Dog’s Best Friend”
“A Dog Named Gucci” is the story of one dog that changed a law and proved justice is a dog’s best friend. Director Gorman Bechard looks at animal abuse laws in the United States. The film will be released on DVD and digital platforms on April 19th, just days after the release of the film’s closing credits song “One Song”, the film’s anthem that features the voices of Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs, Lydia Loveless, Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, and Queen’s Brian May.
The film is a documentary about a 10-week old puppy that was doused with lighter fluid and set on fire. Hearing the puppy’s cries, college professor Doug James ran to help. After he chased away chasing away the abusers and at the request of Gucci’s young runaway owner, Doug took the puppy in as his own. Here began a 16-year odyssey of love, devotion, and perseverance. Together with legislators, Doug and Gucci worked to create what became known as the “Gucci Bill,” changing Alabama law, and making domestic animal abuse a felony. While the film is just one story, it is ultimately a positive and uplifting look at one victim who went on to become a hero. The story is one of triumph.
We see three other dogs that have had an amazing impact on the laws that protect animals (of course with the help of their owners). We meet Louis Vuitton, from Montgomery, Alabama, the first dog to test the Gucci Law; Susie from North Carolina, who has a felony abuse law named in her honor and was the 2015 American Humane Association’s Hero Dog of the Year; and Nitro from Queens, New York whose ultimate sacrifice in an Ohio kennel led to the state’s first felony animal abuse laws. To give you an idea of how important laws protecting animals are the completely crowd-funded film has an extensive social media presence with 68,000 Facebook fans, and tons of followers on Twitter and KickStarter.
Gucci was the face of animal cruelty in one Alabama town. And what happened to him saved the lives of countless others because he gave a voice to the voiceless. This is a film that speaks to the man on the street and shows that if we care about animals then we need to bombard state legislatures and get the prosecutors to prosecute, and even more importantly get the judges to just not throw it out cases like this out. House Bill 2150, an animal cruelty bill, has advanced in the Senate. As it stands, the bill would exempt farm animals, including horses, from the anti-cruelty code and would place them in a separate statute. Critics argue the bill boasts separate but unequal treatment of farm animals and pets. This bill simply lessens the abuse laws to non-domesticated animals so it really does not do anything good. Whether it’s a cow, horse, or a dog named Gucci, animals can’t argue for themselves. The statistics speak for themselves. In spite of felony laws in all 50 states, over 1 million domestic animals are still abused every year. Less than 10 percent of those cases are reported. Less than a thousand are prosecuted,” it states in his film.