Dog movie premieres in Springfield, dog lovers protest

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Animal rights activists are speaking out, ironically, against a movie that's called ‘The Dog Lover’. The dramatic thriller premiered Friday at the Gillioz Theater in downtown Springfield.
The movie was produced by Forrest Lucas, President and CEO of Lucas Oil Products, and founder of Protect the Harvest.
Lucas said, “I guarantee you everyone will have a tear. But they’ll walk out of here, feeling good, saying ‘I get it now.’”
Lucas says he produced the movie to discourage people from supporting and donating to large animal rights organizations.
“They’re collecting money in the name of dog welfare, but there’s no welfare about them at all. They’re out there to make money,” Lucas said.
The movie is about an animal rights activist who goes undercover and gets a job at what she believes is a puppy mill. But after a change of heart, she realizes the puppy mill is really just a farm where dogs are bred humanely. Of course, she falls in love along the way too. The movie poster says it’s based on a true story.
Outside the theater, protesters had a different conversation about dog breeders. The protesters discussed the importance of the ‘adopt don’t shop’ movement, and questioned why an oil tycoon created a movie about dog breeding.
However, Cat Harms explained that she organized the protest after learning that they’re auctioning off a purebred Australian Shepherd puppy after the premiere. She says just because someone can afford to pay for the dog, doesn’t mean they’re qualified to care for it.
“Not to a safe home. Not to somebody who’s been vet checked,” she said.
We asked Lucas for his response to their concern.
He said, “The fact that we’re auctioning off this puppy, there’s nothing bad about that at all. So if that’s the best they can find, then we’re in pretty good shape.”
The two sides clearly don’t agree on dog breeding regulations. But they do seem to agree on one thing: Don’t give your money to an organization without asking questions about how it’s being spent.
Lucas said, “Quit sending your money to these people. Quit funding them. Start sending your money to your local dog pound.”
Protester Julie Lawson said, “That’s the thing. That the people just need to research. You have to research to know what it is you’re supporting.”
Lucas says he has produced several other dramatic films that will be released in the near future.