World premiere of Pets, Vets & Debts to air on CBC-TV’s The Nature of Things, March 31, 2016


February 18, 2016 – Dream Street Pictures presents a new documentary investigating what lengths people will go for the health and welfare of their pets, Pets, Vets & Debts. The documentary premieres on CBC-TV’s The Nature of Things on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 8 p.m. ET. (8:30 NT).
More than half of Canadian households own a pet. That includes almost six million dogs and eight million cats. In the US, dog and cat ownership has quadrupled since the mid-sixties – more homes have cats and dogs than have children.
The health and welfare of all these animals is a billion dollar industry. There is almost no limit to the treatment available to our furry friends - MRIs, heart stents and even stem cell transplants are now standard.
Pets, Vets & Debts takes the viewer inside the operating room to witness cutting edge technology being used to treat pets - including two world firsts.  In Ottawa, Dr. Julius Liptak uses a prosthesis to replace the jawbone of a twelve-year-old cat. In New York, Drs. Allyson Berent and Chick Weisse use stem cells from a donor cat to stabilize a cat’s kidney failure.
The documentary also shadows Dr. Michael Ethier as he deals with a variety of very sick animals in the Critical Care Unit of the Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital. With a staff of almost one hundred and state of the art medical equipment on site, this is a real hospital offering the same treatment you’d expect at a human hospital. Not surprisingly, medical bills can quickly go from the hundreds into the thousands.
Pets, Vets & Debts reveals strong opinions on both sides of the debate over whether so much money should be spent on pets. Some people argue that it is wrong to spend so much on mere animals. But most pet owners – like those who refer to themselves as “pet parents” and their pets as “fur babies” – are ready to dig deep to help their sick animals.
People love their pets. And as Pets, Vets, & Debts discovers, many are ready to mortgage the farm to keep their companions happy and healthy.
Pets, Vets & Debts is written and directed by veteran documentarian, Liam O’Rinn, photographed by Wade Cornell, edited by Peter Giffen, and produced by Rick LeGuerrier and Timothy M. Hogan of Halifax-based Dream Street Pictures in association with CBC Television and with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, Film Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Film and Video Production Tax Credit.   The documentary is distributed by Beyond Distribution.
About Dream Street Pictures
Based in Halifax, Dream Street Pictures is an Emmy winning full service independent film and television Production Company specializing in documentary, drama, and, arts programming. Previous documentaries include Wild & Dangerous: The World of Exotic Pets, Zoo Revolution, and Sext Up Kids for CBC’s Doc Zone, and The Grey Lane for Documentary channel. Dream Street has also produced television movies, like the Emmy-award winning The Phantoms, the Gemini Award-winning mini-series, Canada Russia ’72, and Sticks & Stones, which captured the prestigious Shaw Rocket Prize and was named Best Picture by the International Family Film Festival in Hollywood.

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About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight aboriginal languages.

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