Changing Planet

Katie Cleary & Peace 4 Animals Present “Give Me Shelter”

A “Peace 4 Animals” Production

Dr. Jordan Schaul reviews the ground-breaking, award-winning documentary Give Me Shelter produced by model/actress Katie Cleary of Peace 4 Animals and Director Kristin Rizzo. The film explores the lives of animals in a society that continues, despite progress, to abuse and neglect them.

I admit that I’ve worked in pet stores, zoos and sanctuaries, in university laboratories and on horse ranches and cattle stations among other live animal facilities. I thought I knew most every perspective and every truth and falsehood about these industries. But this film caught me off-guard. And it should catch you off-guard.

Give Me Shelter uncovers a side of the human-pet industry interface that is unscrupulous and largely unknown to the human consumer and companion pet owner.  It reveals the inhumane treatment of domestic and wild animals as they are commercialized and exploited for food, clothing, medicinals and other uses.

The documentary speaks to a selfish species and a selfish instinct. It speaks to us as humans.

Give Me Shelter conveys just how we continue to dominate rather than just coexist. It is poignant and powerful reminder of what we have done and continue to do to the voiceless.  The film is engaging and unprecedented. And it is as enlightening as it is disturbing.

(Courtesy Peace 4 Animals)

Give Me Shelter captures a sad reality through interviews with noted celebrity animal activists and professional advocates. It conveys something about our own sentience or lack thereof and our disregard for many members of the animal kingdom.  Despite how progressive we may perceive our society to be, this documentary clearly establishes how far we need to go.

The film takes us on a journey of young dogs and cats from commercial puppy mills and catteries to retail pet stores around the nation. It reveals the horrific nature of the horse slaughter industry and the brutal last days of companion equids.

The film also exposes the brutality on fur farms and factory food animal farms. It explores the lives of performing animals. Give Me Shelter exposes the dangerous and irresponsible trade in exotic animals here in the US.  It broaches the subject of conservation and the plight of threatened and endangered species around the world. It is a must see.

Peace 4 Animals

The all-star cast includes Tippi Hedren, Alison Eastwood, Michael Vartan, Esai Morales, Charlotte Ross, Elaine Hendrix, Jill Wagner, Robert Davi, Kristen Renton and Oscar winner Ric O’Barry and many more animal advocates and celebrities lending their voice to save animals around the world. It is endorsed by celebrity animal activists the Barbi Twins and Joanna Krupa.

With training in wildlife ecology, conservation medicine and comparative psychology, Dr. Schaul's contributions to Nat Geo Voices have covered a range of environmental and social topics. He draws particular attention to the plight of imperiled species highlighting issues at the juncture or nexus of sorta situ wildlife conservation and applied animal welfare. Sorta situ conservation practices are comprised of scientific management and stewardship of animal populations ex situ (in captivity / 'in human care') and in situ (free-ranging / 'in nature'). He also has a background in behavior management and training of companion animals and captive wildlife, as well as conservation marketing and digital publicity. Jordan has shared interviews with colleagues and public figures, as well as editorial news content. In addition, he has posted narratives describing his own work, which include the following examples: • Restoration of wood bison to the Interior of Alaska while (While Animal Curator at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and courtesy professor at the University of Alaska) • Rehabilitation of orphaned sloth bears exploited for tourists in South Asia (While executive consultant 'in-residence' at the Agra Bear Rescue Center managed by Wildlife SOS) • Censusing small wild cat (e.g. ocelot and margay) populations in the montane cloud forests of Costa Rica for popular publications with 'The Cat Whisperer' Mieshelle Nagelschneider • Evaluating the impact of ecotourism on marine mammal population stability and welfare off the coast of Mexico's Sea of Cortez (With Boston University's marine science program) Jordan was a director on boards of non-profit wildlife conservation organizations serving nations in Africa, North and South America and Southeast Asia. He is also a consultant to a human-wildlife conflict mitigation organization in the Pacific Northwest. Following animal curatorships in Alaska and California, he served as a charter board member of a zoo advocacy and outreach organization and later as its executive director. Jordan was a member of the Communication and Education Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (CEC-IUCN) and the Bear Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (BSG-SSC-IUCN). He has served on the advisory council of the National Wildlife Humane Society and in service to the Bear Taxon Advisory Group of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA Bear TAG). In addition he was an ex officio member of council of the International Association for Bear Research and Management. Contact Email:
  • Ro S

    I had the privilege of viewing the preview of this short documentary… & I agree with Dr. Schaul…this film is a must see…it is very informative & brings awareness to all aspects of animals…. Can’t wait to see the film…
    Thank you Katie Cleary & Kristin Rizzo

  • Marla Friedman

    Thank you for making this film. Animal welfare must be our next and most important movement – Billions of animals have suffered and died at our hands – All animals have the capacity for love – a full range of emotion – know fear and want to be safe – How somehow we, as a society determined it was our right to consider living creatures as ‘live stock’ as if they were car parts is incomprehensible; consider the pain and fear these animals experience from the moment they are born. It is our responsibility to make this movement a priority. I was clueless myself utilI the age of 52 when I was shown by my angel bunny the feelings that all animals experience. All one has to do is look into the eyes of a chipmunk – a horse – a cow to see the depth of their souls and soulfulness. Bravo to the filmmakers of Give Me Shelter for bringing the gravity and enormity of this issue to light.

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media