By Michelle Poirier

Keswick resident John Zavaglia is the focus of a new documentary, John is for the Dogs, directed by Quinn Corkal and produced by Jessica Hainer.

Zavaglia’s organization, Ruff Riders Animal Transport, is a not-for-profit rescue animal network and transport entity.

Their website says their goal is to responsibly move as many dogs, and sometimes cats, as possible from areas where they are overpopulated to adoption focused rescues in areas with high adoption rates.

According to the Ruff Riders Animal Transport Instagram page, they have driven 73,600 kilometers and rescued 985 animals.

“The work I do is a lot of fun, and I wish more people would try it. The documentary was filmed over two missions in two places and was a lot of fun; I was quite proud of how my dogs behaved,” Zavaglia said.

Zavaglia with one of his rescues

Corkal said he is usually a corporate filmmaker, but he felt that this was a story that needed to be told.

“I’m always searching for meaningful stories to tell, that’s what I love to do as a filmmaker,” he said.

“I saw this as an opportunity to spread awareness and to hopefully tell an even bigger story through it.”

Corkal said this story is close to his heart as he and his wife have adopted two dogs from northern reservations.

He says one of their dogs is from Northern Manitoba, and they just found out that it was Zavaglia who transported the dog to Ontario.

He said they had no budget for the film, they put their own time and effort into it, and Corkal even used his own original music for the film.

Corkal and Hainer are holding a screening of the film and a fundraiser at Turkey Shoot Brewery in Keswick on June 26. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. and the screening will start at 6:00 p.m.

The film is 13 minutes in duration, and there will be a question-and-answer period after the film with Corkal and Zavaglia. There may be multiple screenings if necessary.

They are asking for a $10.00 minimum donation, and you do not have to prebook a spot, it is first come, first serve. All proceeds raised will go to Ruff Riders Animal Transport.

If you have any questions regarding the film or the screening you can reach Corkal at or @quinnaden on Instagram.



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