How a Rescue Dog Inspired Kenn Bell to Create an Empire

When the filmmaker and Dog Files creator adopted Max from a shelter, he had no idea it would lead to a lifetime of dog-related work.


If you love dogs as much as we do, you’re probably familiar with Kenn Bell of The Dog Files. We wrote about him a couple of months ago when a recut of his documentary, Hero Dogs of 9/11, aired on Animal Planet to commemorate the tragic day as well as the canines who went to work rescuing survivors. With an emphasis on high-quality Internet video, Bell strives to bring the awesomeness of dogs to a new reality, inspiring advocacy for these animals with which we share a profound and ancient bond.

Kenn was in his 30s when he adopted his first dog since childhood. At the time he had no awareness of the plight dogs in shelters face and just happened upon St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey, where he fell in love with a black and white American Foxhound/Pointer mix who would come to be called Max. At the time Max had a different name, but according to Kenn, he and Max have decided to put that part of the dog’s life behind them.

Eleven years later, Kenn and Max are inseparable, but it didn’t exactly start that way. Max initially suffered terrible separation anxiety, and Kenn’s home still bears the bite marks to prove it. Kenn credits Max with the creation of The Dog Files and the advocacy he’s undertaken, as a result of what he’s learned about dogs through his friendship with Max. In fact, he fell so deeply in love with Max that he adopted a second dog, Remy.

Recently Kenn and Max went through a cancer scare, but after weeks of dismal anticipation, Max’s test results came back cancer-free. Kenn has no delusions about Max’s age and intends to see the dog through his golden years as a steadfast friend.

Read more about Kenn and Max at The Dog Files.

Read about other Monday Miracles on Dogster:

About Liz Acosta: Dogster’s former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site’s daily “Awws,” only now she also wrangles Dogster’s social media. That’s why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and — her personal favorite — Instagram. See ya there!

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