"Searchdog," a brand new documentary, is making its Boston debut on Sunday, Sept. 25 at the Boston Film Festival.
It showcases the work of Rhode Island State Police Sergeant Matthew Zarrella and how he trained rescue dogs to do critical recovery work. Many of the animals were found at local shelters. Some were just hours away from being euthanized. Zarrella was able to train them to find bodies, both on land, and underwater.
Mary Healey Jamiel is the film's director and producer. She filmed Zarrella for four and a half years, to collect the footage for "Searchdog." She is a Rhode Island native and a professor of film at the University of Rhode Island. She said showing the film at the Boston Film Festival is something she is "so excited for," and that the dogs "show us hope where there should be none."
Zarrella admits he never thought he'd be the subject of a documentary.
"At first I was hesitant" he said. "But I felt strongly about what we did, and maybe it would be a good thing."
Zarella also hopes "the film inspires people to help others."
If you would like to see "Searchdog," you can buy tickets for the Boston Film Festival screening here.