Shelter Pets Star in P.I. Woof “Smellbound” Film Adventure
Let’s face it, stardom has its perks – money, power, fancy cars and five-star hotels – these are just some of the decadent trappings of a celebrity lifestyle. That said, for some lucky shelter pooches at Pet Orphans of Southern California, their new-found star status didn’t come with private jets or bejeweled collars, but it did place each one in a loving home with a family to call his own.
So who were these handsome hounds and how did they become high-demand pup-stars? The dogs are part of a special pet project that filmmaker, award-winning author and Pet Orphans volunteer Larry Kay undertook after realizing a little training went a long way in ensuring homeless pooches were adopted. Kay teamed up with holistic pet food brand, Halo, Purely for Pets, to create P.I. Woof “Smellbound,” an action-comedy that combines live and animated characters.
With a background in film and TV, Kay decided to train the shelter dogs as if they were getting ready for their proverbial close-up – in other words, as if they were animal actors that maybe needed just a little extra “rehearsal time.” Not only did the coaching succeed in helping to socialize the skittish dogs, but Kay also filmed short web movies about the homeless thespians and launched them on his Positively Woof platform that promotes innovative pet media and cause marketing programs that support animal shelter projects. To date, all 36 of the dogs that he worked with have found their forever homes.
Of course in true Hollywood fashion the well-received shorts have resulted in a full-length sequel that features multiple residents of Pet Orphans and includes a story line that turns a hapless hound played by six-year old mutt Trusty, into a wise-cracking hero. Entitled P.I. Woof “Smellbound” it draws on the talents of the Pet Orphans residents – all later adopted – zeroing in on how training and nutrition can help make shelter pets “shine”.
P.I. Woof’s sidekick is Eight the Cat – a feline with eight lives, instead of a cat’s so-called nine lives. Eight is performed by Jane, a five-year-old shelter alum.
The film’s villain is an animated reptile “mutt” named Weevil, who insists that he is a purebred Tyrannosaurus Rex. Kay explains, “Weevil is a bully who hates mutts even though he is one.”
So while they may refuse to sign autographs or sit still for selfies, these shelter celebs are happy to plant a wet one on you, shake a paw or go home with the right fan. Watch P.I. Woof in action below!
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