Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer, Filmmaker Fights to Make Los Angeles a No-Kill City

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After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, an award-winning filmmaker has devoted her life to making Los Angeles a no-kill city.

J.D. Disalvatore had spent 30 years in the world of film, having worked on such movies as Armageddon and Dante’s Peak, but after being told she had stage-4 breast cancer, she decided to focus more of her time off-screen.

With doctors telling her she only had two to four months to live, Disalvatore began volunteering her time at East Valley Animal Services in Van Nuys, California. It was a sort of therapeutic experience for her.

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Four years later — and having beat the odds — she is getting back in the movie game with her latest film project, How to Save a Dog, a documentary that chronicles what it is like to save a dog in a city like Los Angeles, while also following the movement to make L.A. a no-kill city.

“When I started volunteering at my local animal shelter, I didn’t know the first thing about animal rescue,” says Disalvatore, noting how many people must come together to make a difference in one animal’s life. “I was not only captivated by the ingenuity, bravery and gumption of the rescuers, but also completely sucked into the world of the animals themselves.  I feel compelled to share that with everyone.”

Besides making the film, Disalvatore plans on producing 20 to 30 online free pet tutorials in hopes people have resources and tools needed to be a pet owner, rather than dumping animals at shelters.

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Disalvatore is looking for our help. She has set up an Indiegogo page to help turn her dream into a reality. The funds will be used to buy equipment, hire crews and post-production work – all of which will serve the goal of turning L.A. into a no-kill city.