According to ABC News, in Houston, Texas a two-year old mixed breed dog was hours away from being euthanized before her life changed forever. Her name is Sunny and she is a terrier mix who was lucky enough to get her picture in front of William Berloni, animal trainer and person responsible for casting the new Annie. Even though he had three other dogs already in the running, Sunny seemed great for the role.
When Berloni looks for the perfect dog for a role like Sandy he seeks a certain type of personality with that je ne sais quoi. He’s trained every Sandy for the show and other dogs for movies, and now only picks dogs from shelters. When he cast the very first Sandy, he saw the conditions in which shelter dogs lived and made a promise to only use rescue dogs in the future.
Berloni admits that he typecast the role because Sunny looked so much like the original Sandy. He said, “It’s something about the sad eyes…They just get you.” Berloni’s first steps are getting Sunny used to city life. She currently is a little fearful of cars and may have been hit by one in her past.
Now she lives in Connecticut with Berloni and other show dogs as she learns her commands, which will get her stage-ready. She didn’t know any tricks when she came out of the shelter so Berloni and his wife are working to change that. The next step is getting her on stage with the actress playing Annie and putting the show together from there.
Annie goes live on October 3 and Pedigree has teamed up with the show to promote dog adoption and raise money for shelters. Each ticket purchase will lead to $2 to the Pedigree Foundation, up to $1 million.
We’re so happy for this dog! There are so many wonderful animals in shelter that never get this chance.
Sources: ABC News