Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rescued Pit Bulls Make the Big Screen

January 14, 2009 : 2:11 PM
Best Friends Attends Opening Of Hotel For Dogs

By Cheri Moon

Usually, when Hollywood comes out with a movie that features a breed of dog, rescue groups cringe and brace themselves. Films such as 101 Dalmatians, Beethoven and Beverly Hills Chihuahua resulted in increased sales of Dalmatians, Saint Bernards, and Chihuahuas. This in turn leads to an upswing of these breeds at animal shelters because many new owners surrender their dogs after realizing their lifestyles aren't conducive to owning a specific breed.

With the opening of Hotel For Dogs, instead of cringing, rescue organizations are applauding. The main difference between this movie and other dog movies is that Hotel For Dogs is about rescuing dogs. Specifically, it's about kids rescuing dogs.

Movie Producer Is Devout Pit Bull Lover
Movie producer Ewan Leslie is a devout pit bull lover who works with Karma Rescue in Los Angeles. Says Leslie, "When we started working on the movie, I told Mark Forbes, our head trainer from Birds and Animals, Unlimited, that we had to have some pits in the movie."

Film producer Ewan Leslie insisted that the movie Hotel For Dogs include pit bulls. Here Leslie poses with his two rescued pit bulls Mack and Luka. (Luka and Mack are the featured dogs for January in PBRC's Happy Endings 2009 Calendar. Click here.)

Film Crew Rescued Dogs During Movie Shooting
"Chelsea," the three-legged pit bull, who appears in the movie, is actually the very first pit bull that Karma ever rescued who happened to be adopted by a dog trainer for movies. During production, Karma rescued Pearl, a young blue pit bull who was abandoned in a parking lot. Leslie brought Pearl to the set everyday. Pearl soon became the set mascot and was adopted by two crew members. Pearl's floppy ears and wrinkled expression appear on the movie poster.

Pearl, a blue pit bull, appears on the promotion poster for the movie Hotel for Dogs and was adopted by a film crew member.

While shooting for two days at the West Valley Pound, the cast and crew chipped in and sprang six dogs—five of whom were pit bulls. According to Leslie, a crew member adopted a brother and sister duo, and Karma Rescue found homes for the rest.

Best Friends Attends Opening In Vegas
Hotel For Dogs includes pit bulls, many types of pure breed dogs as well as some mixed breeds. Says Danielle Aymar, adoption manager for Best Friends Animal Society, "It's great to be able to support the basic premise of the movie and to see something come out of Hollywood that embraces the rescue movement."

A group of Best Friends volunteers and some adoptable dogs will be attending the opening this Saturday at the Rainbow Promenade Theater in Las Vegas from 1:00–4:30 p.m., located at 2321 N. Rainbow Blvd. on the corner of Rainbow and Lake Mead. Says Aymar, "We were invited to attend the opening by the Rainbow Promenade Theater. We'll have lots of information about adoption and reminding people to consider their lifestyles before adding a dog to their family."

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