TVO Original Rescuing Rex explores the phenomenon of international dog adoptions

By TVO News - Published on May 21, 2020
Rescuing Rex premieres May 30 on TVO,, and YouTube.



On May 30, 2020, at 9 pm ET, TVO presents the world broadcast and online premiere of the TVO Original Rescuing Rex.

Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Leora Eisen, TVO Original Rescuing Rex unearths provocative truths about a world-wide phenomenon—international dog adoptions. A new social movement driven by a desire to do good, and fueled by irresistible puppy pics on Instagram, many millennials are bypassing breeders in favour of adopting homeless dogs from around the world. But what does this new trend mean for the animals, their caregivers and society? Told through the eyes of compelling human and canine characters, this film takes us from the mountains of Taiwan to the tarmac at Toronto’s airport, and from a rural kennel in Texas to an urban rooftop in Vancouver.

“International dog rescue seems like a feel-good story, and it usually is,” says Jane Jankovic, executive producer of documentaries at TVO. “But there is also a dark side. With few regulations, rescue can be the wild west of pet ownership. Most adopters aren’t aware of the risks involved or the scammers who are out to make a profit. Rescuing Rex brings this all to light, the feel-good upside and the risk.” 

“Animal rescue is full of drama,” says filmmaker Leora Eisen. “It’s heartwarming to see dogs cross the border into the loving arms of fosters and adopters. But it can also be heart-wrenching.”

On May 30, 2020, at 9 pm ET, Rescuing Rex will be broadcast on TVO and will be available to stream across Canada on It will be rebroadcast on TVO on June 2 and June 4 at 9 pm ET.

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