Canine rehab docuseries is intense, inspiring.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Promotes animal welfare, responsible pet care, and volunteerism. The staff is made up of selfless animal lovers who work tirelessly to save animals in trouble and find them loving homes.


Shows and tells the brutal realities of animal abuse and neglect. Injured, sick, and emotionally stressed dogs are occasionally shown.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality show follows the rehabilitation of abused and neglected dogs. Injured, sick, and emotionally stressed animals are occasionally shown, which could be upsetting for very young and/or sensitive viewers. The series relates the harsh realities of animal abuse and neglect while promoting animal welfare, pet neutering, and adoption. The featured facility's entire staff is dedicated to saving animals from being euthanized and finding them loving homes.

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What's the story?

The powerful reality series DOGTOWN chronicles the day-to-day drama at Utah's Best Friends Animal Society, a 33-thousand acre no-kill facility that houses up to 2,000 animals at a time. The cameras follow the dedicated team of professionals and volunteers as they work to rehabilitate and find happy homes for dogs that would otherwise be euthanized.

Is it any good?


The series does a great job of documenting the way that the facility's staff creates and adjusts unique rehabilitation plans for each case, making DogTown a solid choice for kids who are interested in working with animals. Beyond the training, socialization, medical attention, and other rehabilitation tactics, the show captures the staff's love for their four-legged charges, revealing how much dogs (and other domestic animals) depend on humans for a happy, healthy existence.

Each episode follows the rehabilitation of a few troubled canines, and while stories of abuse (including the horrors of puppy mills) and neglect are revealed and injuries and aggressive animal behavior are occasionally shown, DogTown -- unlike more graphic shows such as Animal Precinct -- puts the focus on rehabilitation and adoption. The series also emphasizes neutering, which, along with adoption, is a key factor in helping cut down on euthanization.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the issue of animal abuse and neglect. How does the media call attention to issues like this? Have you ever heard a news story about animal abuse? Have you ever been to an animal shelter? What are some ways you can get involved in helping animals in need where you live?

TV details

Cast:John Garcia, Mike Dix, Sherry Woodard
Network:National Geographic Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byIGChris April 9, 2008

Wonderful Programming

This is a fantastic show. It is upsetting to see what people can do to animals, but it also opens our eyes and makes us want to help. What a wonderful organization. Please show more episodes!


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