Amber’s Halfway Home

Produced in partnership with Farnival Films, our Emmy-nominated, award-winning short documentary tells the story of rescue in the dog pounds of western Tennessee.

To date, Amber’s Halfway Home has been nominated for an Emmy Award, selected for fifteen film festivals and won eight awards (including Best Short Documentary, Best Audio, Best Soundtrack, Audience Choice, and Best of Fest).

We hope you will watch it and share it with family and friends. Help us use this film as a vehicle for change.

How the film came to be

We met Amber on the very first Waldo shelter trip. She was volunteering at another shelter in western TN, handling the care for over fifty dogs with the help of her husband and four children. The following January, she started her own rescue, Halfway Home Animal Rescue and began pulling dogs directly from the pounds in surrounding counties. She also saves dogs abandoned or surrendered, and arranges spay/neuter for locals who are sometimes hesitant (or can’t afford) to do it themselves. For many dogs, Amber and Halfway Home Animal Rescue are their only chance of survival.

Amber operates out of her home and houses up to 80 dogs in her garage, outbuildings, and makeshift kennels as they wait for necessary vet work before being sent out via rescue transports. They recently began construction on a shelter building and are currently raising funds to complete it. (We hope our film helps them do that!)

After traveling to Tennessee again and witnessing the incredible lifesaving work and the sacrifice Amber makes, we partnered with Farnival Films to create a documentary about rescue in the dog pounds of Western TN.

Here is that story:

For too many dogs in the pounds of western Tennessee life is cruel and short. They are held in concrete kennels behind rusted fences, down forgotten roads. Their only hope beyond the rare owner who turns up to claim them is rescue. Without it, they will linger in harsh conditions or be destroyed by a needle or gun.

In 2020, Amber Reynolds and Halfway Home Animal Rescue stepped into that gap and saved 2000 dogs in just ten months. She saved dogs from these forgotten pounds, from overwhelmed shelters, and often from the roadside or the apathetic arms of owners who no longer can or will care for their animals.

Nestled in between Nashville and Memphis, Greenfield is picturesque, filled with rolling fields, tobacco barns, and columned farmhouses. But it’s also an area with a raging population of unwanted animals, a region where dogs are often treated as property: bred, hoarded, or ditched like trash.

In this film, our crew follows Amber for one day when she saves 19 dogs. During our journey, we visit the frontlines of animal rescue in western Tennessee. We ask vets, animal control officers, professors, and volunteers about regional attitudes and examine how to make a change. But most importantly, we introduce Amber and her small band of southern warriors who dedicate their lives to saving dogs.

What Amber does is nothing short of heroic. Too often she is the only person standing between a good dog and certain death. We believe Amber and the other rescue heroes fighting to save lives should not be in this fight alone. We also believe they shouldn’t have to fight it in the first place. This is a fixable problem.

This film will raise awareness about homeless dogs and the heroes who fight for them. In rural Tennessee and other parts of the south, there are no ‘animal shelters,’ at least not shelters like the kind you and I imagine. Most of the animals live outside in what is essentially a ‘dog pound.’ In some places they are still called pounds. The dogs are impounded until their owner retrieves them or they are disposed of in one way or another to make room for more dogs. They rarely receive veterinary care or basic preventative care. They live exposed to the elements on concrete floors.

This film is a vehicle for raising awareness in the hopes of bringing much needed change because we are convinced that once people see the reality of what is happening, they will act. They will ask questions and get involved in finding the answers. There is no reason that dogs should suffer and die the way they do in too many parts of this beautiful country.

Amber’s Halfway Home has been selected to fifteen film festivals, and been nominated for an Emmy award! At festivals, it has won awards for best short documentary, people’s choice, best audio, best soundtrack, and best editing. We are proud of this film and excited about its potential to open hearts and minds.

Please comment on the film, share it, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can see more video of heroes saving dogs in the south. We are happy to meet with groups in person or virtually to screen the film and answer questions about it.