Adoption Tales

TV review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
Adoption Tales TV Poster Image
Sad "tails" and happy endings; OK for most kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

"There are no bad dogs -- just bad owners." Sends the message to take responsiblity for another creature seriously -- for the reward of unconditional love.

Violence & Scariness

Includes description of abuse experienced by animals.

Sexy Stuff

Very infrequent use of mild profanity. A dog who has been through "hell," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series tells the true stories of homeless pets -- mostly dogs -- who find loving owners and warm homes. The animals' stories can be heartbreaking and often involve abandonment or physical abuse (it's described in detail, which may be difficult for younger viewers or tender-hearted kids to hear). Also, many of the featured animal rescue programs connect the rescued pets with kids and adults who are experiencing hardships, such as institutional living or jail time. Still, for school-aged kids, there's a lot of learning potential here about the social, health, and economic issues related to animals and pet ownership.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bychristyyee April 9, 2008

What's the story?

ADOPTION TALES provides poignant examples for school-aged kids (and adults!) about the harsh realty of forsaken, homeless animals -- and the joy that comes when people rescue them. The animals' stories can provoke a variety of strong emotions, from disbelief and anger to awe and pride. For example, there's the poodle with permanent marks on his snout from a rubber band used to keep his mouth shut -- but there's also the Golden Retriever born with three working legs who learns to become a service dog.

Is it any good?

The fact that many of the featured animal rescue agencies connect the pets with kids and adults who are facing their own hardships gives this show an extra level of intensity. Many of these people have never experienced a close relationship with an animal and get very emotional, sometimes even crying. Although all of the stories end on very happy notes, they may be hard for younger viewers to comprehend. That's the main reason that Adoption Tales is best for school-aged kids, especially those with an interest in animals.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why people abandon pets. What are the economic and time-management challenges of owning pets? Parents can also discuss the specific responsibilities of pet ownership: care, exercise, feeding, vet appointments, grooming, etc. For kids aspiring to work with animals, parents can point out the different jobs demonstrated on the show, such as directors of rescue agencies, shelter care workers, veterinarians and technicians, and trainers.

TV details

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