Meet the Superheroes Behind L.A.’s Animal Rescue Team

The Rescue Warriors of SMART

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Animal Rescue, Animals, Los Angeles, SMART, Pets

A few days ago I had the pleasure of watching the documentary SMART, which chronicles the lives of members of the Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team in Los Angeles. This movie is an inspiration! If you are an animal lover, I can’t recommend it enough.

This is the official trailer.

To say this team goes above and beyond to help animals is a massive understatement. They are relentless and seemingly fearless when it comes to completing their mission. If an animal is in peril, these folks will do everything humanly possible to help bring that animal to safety.

“We will do anything and everything we can to rescue an animal,” said Annette Ramirez, Animal Services Personnel and SMART team member. “We’ll go buy whatever it is we need. It’s not unusual to go to the store and put down $500 on some equipment…out of our own pocket. We just really believe in what we are doing.”

That attitude is apparent while watching the team in action. Led by leader Armando Navarrete, a force of nature who wears his love of animals on his sleeve,  the group puts themselves in danger on a regular basis.

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Armando Navarrete with a rescued kitten

Jumping in rushing rapids, rappelling up rock formations, climbing tall trees, and burrowing under buildings is all in a day’s work for the SMART group. I was both amazed and inspired by their resourcefulness and their dedication to saving the lives of helpless animals.

The team coordinating the rescue of a horse who had becomes trapped in quicksand

The movie is available on DVD, through Vimeo, and on Amazon. You can also make arrangements to screen the film in your area through the SMART movie site.

While this film has many “feel good” moments, it also takes a few heartbreaking turns, which is not surprising to anyone with any experience in animal rescue. But the film remains uplifting and shines a light on both human kindness and the importance of the human/animal bond. In the end, the movie leaves animals lovers even more committed to helping animals in their own communities.

I know I would love to see a SMART team formed in my city! Los Angeles should be proud of its team and their ingenuity in this area.

If you’d like to learn more and watch the movie yourself, visit the SMART movie site here.

If you’ve already seen the movie, did you enjoy it? What did you think of Armando and his band of animal rescue warriors?


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