“War Dogs of the Pacific” screens for ‘Devil Dogs’ of Camp Lejeune
April 20th, 2009 -  Jacksonville, NC

I’m heading home from Jacksonville, NC where I screened “War Dogs of the Pacific” today for a couple hundred Marines at the Camp Lejeune base theater.  I’ve been really excited to show it at Lejeune since that’s where the much of the film happened and what an honor to show it to Marines who live and train there.

The movie played very well and afterwards I signed posters and DVD’s and talked with a lot of the Marines.  I was able to shoot the bull with Lejeune’s present day dog handlers who all came out to see the movie.  Every one of them had seen combat in Iraq and could relate to the feelings and emotions expressed by the WW2 dog handlers in the film.  I was even able to take a quick tour of the kennels and see some of their dogs before heading to the airport for my flight home.  Of course what I really wanted to do was put on the padded bite suit and get taken down by a few of the dogs.  They were happy to oblige but I had a flight to catch.  I look forward to returning for the bite suit and to shoot footage about the Marine war dogs of today.  

Harris Done
“War Dogs of the Pacific”


“War Dogs of the Pacific” will have its Film Festival World Premiere at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival Tuesday, April 28th. Puchase tickets here.   Click to read the press release

“War Dogs of the Pacific” wins Haggerty Award at Westminister
Harris Done received the Capt. Arthur J. Haggerty Award from the Alliance of Purebred Dog Writers at their annual luncheon in New York City today as part of the festivities around the 133rd Annual Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show being held at Madison Square Garden.  

His film, “War Dogs of the Pacific” which tells the story of the Marine War Dogs during WW2, received the award for best writing on training or dogs in service.  Mr. Done screened a moving sequence from the documentary for attendees and spoke briefly about making the film.
“Every one of the dog handlers I interviewed said that their dog had saved their life.  I think this is what makes it one of the great dog stories of all time, because the stakes were so high.  The marines entrusted their lives to those dogs and they never let them down.”

The memorial award was presented by Capt. Haggerty’s daughter, Babette Haggerty.  Upon accepting the award, Done dedicated it to the memory of Dr. William Putney, a former War Dog Platoon Commander who worked tirelessly to preserve the memory of the war dogs and honor their service.
Click to read the press release

“War Dogs of the Pacific” premieres to standing ovation at Doberman Centennial Show
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America held a black tie gala to honor the service of the Marine Dog Handlers during World War Two.  Ten of the original Marine handlers were in attendance and received a medal of freedom on behalf of the DPCA for their service. “War Dogs of the Pacific” was screened for the attendees and the film and its producer/director Harris Done received a standing ovation.

“I couldn’t be happier.  To be able to screen the film for the handlers who appear in the film as well a packed house of real dog lovers was a dream come true.  The response to the film was amazing.  There were laughs and a lot of tears.  It was a really emotional evening,” said the film’s director.
Click to read the press release

“War Dogs of the Pacific” to Premiere at Doberman Pinscher Centennial
Click to read the press release

War Dogs of the Pacific

It’s 1942, somewhere in the Pacific: Deadly ambushes by entrenched Japanese in the thick jungles take a heavy toll on American troops.  Marine commanders were willing to try anything, including using dogs to sniff out the hidden enemy.  But even with their superior senses, nobody anticipated just how effective they would be.

“War Dogs of the Pacific,” a one-hour documentary directed by Harris Done, tells the incredible story of the Marine Dog Platoons of World War II. It’s a heart-warming exploration of the unique bond that formed between the young marines and their dogs. They teamed up to perform dangerous missions, but their success at finding the hidden enemy saved countless lives in the Pacific. These dogs proved themselves worthy of the title, ‘man’s best friend.’

Filled with tales of devotion, bravery and sacrifice, the story is told by the dog handlers themselves, the film follows the men and their dogs through training and into combat, from the invasion of Guam to operations on Saipan, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. The film is filled with exciting historical footage and many never before seen photos.

Done, the cinematographer of “Trekkies”, “Price for Peace” and the 1999 Academy Award winner for best Feature Documentary, “The Last Days” makes his documentary directing debut on “War Dogs of the Pacific.”



Director’s Statement:

Dogs are man’s best friend.  There have been many great stories which chronicle this relationship.  But I believe the bond between man and animal has never been stronger than that experienced by the Marine dog handlers and their four legged friends during the second world war.

I was so moved when I heard Dr. William Putney talk about his experiences as a young lieutenant with the dog platoons that I knew I had to make this film.  If for nothing more than to preserve the stories of these young brave Marines and their trusted canine comrades. 

‘War Dogs of the Pacific’ tells the incredible story of the Marine Dog Program which started as a desperate experiment and went on to become a major combat success, saving countless American lives in the dangerous jungles of the Pacific.  It’s a moving tale of trust and devotion and it’s told by the men who trained and fought with these animals by their side.

It will tug at the heartstrings of anyone who has ever loved a dog.

Harris Done



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