Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:July 27th, 2014 15:01 EST
Dog Rescuers Making Film about Judicial Killing of 'Tony` in Clifton, AZ

Dog Rescuers Making Film about Judicial Killing of 'Tony` in Clifton, AZ

By Ernest Dempsey

The killing of family pet Tony in Clifton, AZ, on judicial orders took place in June 2012. Two years down the road, the horror of that injustice still haunts Tony`s family and all those who stood by him as an innocent pet dog who deserved to live but sent to the execution table. Now, a documentary is in production to highlight the events that led to the tragedy.

The documentary is named after the book Tony`s Tale: Tragedy in Arizona, authored by Florida-based author and animal rights advocate Denise Carey-Costa, who is also the film`s producer. Hollywood-based director Josh Mitchell and his crew have completed filming of the documentary in Clifton area.

Josh Mitchell himself is all against breedism. Last year, he made the film Helen Keller Had a Pit Bull wherein the dying wish is to adopt a pit bull after she gets a terminal diagnosis.

Denise Carey-Costa remains active in animal advocacy on social media and in personal life rescuing strays and finding forever homes for them. Writing about Tony`s story on, shortly after he was executed following a trail that evoked an outcry from animal rights advocates in and outside the United States, she shared having plans for a film that would expose the judicial murders of family pets. Her determination could be read in her words: "But Tony`s spirit will not be silenced."

The film is expected to be released in early fall this year with plans for its worldwide distribution via DVD, VIMEO, and possibly in theaters that support indie films. Denise Carey-Costa also wants to showcase it at various film festivals in 2015.

"I think this film needs to be seen by people in every walk of life worldwide, by people that are advocates for pit bulls and those that are not, in hopes it will sway their thinking," she says about the documentary.

With her my first project as producer of a documentary, she remembers filming Tony`s Tale a great experience:

"The production crew and all those that participated in the film and gave testimony were professional, very easy to work with and executed my wishes for the film exactly as I have envisioned it." 

Tony`s case is one of the few cases that have lived the longest in media and are still alive while bringing people from many different regions to work as a team and create awareness about the degree to which bad laws and court injustice can afflict a family.