HEEL Documentary
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HEEL Documentary: New Film Project by Ruth Villatoro

HEEL Documentary, Ruth Villatoro, Toros Films

HEEL Documentary, Ruth Villatoro, Toros Films


On the “heels” of her successful documentary film about human trafficking in Latin bars, The Cantinera, Ruth Villatoro embarks on a new project bringing audiences another thought-provoking story in HEEL Documentary.

In Houston, Texas, in an area named the “corridor of cruelty,” dogs are dumped hungry, injured or dead, many of them fighting bait dogs. One of the organizations involved with the HEEL Documentary, Corridor Rescue, is the beginning, and the hope, for abandoned dogs who are rescued and put up for adoption throughout their vast network. Volunteers are in the area every day to feed the discarded dogs until they are able to find suitable homes and get them off the streets.

One of the ways these abused and abandoned dogs are being rehabilitated is through Project H.E.E.L., Helping Empower Everyone’s Lives, an eight week program involving boys within the Harris County Leadership Academy and whose mission stresses personal accountability through Discipline, Accountability, Redirection and Transition (DART).

Boys and dogs are connected through the program, fostering each other, a simple solution which moves towards reform of two intricate issues, juvenile justice and animal cruelty. Through the Heel Documentary there is hope that this successful therapy program can be used in other juvenile facilities.

The story follows the boys as they prepare their dog for a domestic adoption in an intense eight week program all within the walls of the facility.  As the bond grows between the boys and the dogs, the boys begin to build characteristics such as responsibility, love, trust, companionship, empathy, hope and forgiveness.  The journey becomes a healing process for both the dog and boy.  

HEEL Documentary recognizes several agencies and organizations who contribute to encouraging this project. (View the list of contributors) Production of the film will be starting soon with Villatoro and her small crew following the story within the confines of the facility where boys rise at 5am. Because security is a concern, the production company will use minimum gear and crew, working long days to capture the essence of what this project means for the boys, and the dogs.
To become involved as a contributor to this engaging story please donate to the funding campaign.

Meet Ruth Villatoro

"Emma" and her human "Ruth Villatoro" - Producer and Director

“Emma” and her human “Ruth Villatoro” – Producer and Director

A dog enthusiast and the producer/director of the film, Ruth is a documentary filmmaker who is passionate about stories that help provoke social change.  During her 20 years in the industry as a producer and operations manager, she knows just what it takes to budget, build a team and see a project through to completion.  Her degree in Broadcast Journalism and drive for truly independent stories has taken her from the slums of Africa to the human trafficking compounds in the United States as she is devoted to using her stories as a tool to educate and raise awareness.




HEEL Documentary: New Film Project by Ruth Villatoro


  1. We’re so excited to be a part! It’s a win/win situation for both animals and humans with similar abusive experience on a path towards hope.

  2. What a great topic. I’m so glad someone is speaking up for these dogs and these children.

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