When I was a kid, I loved the movie Homeward Bound. You remember -- it's the one with the Michael J. Fox dog and two other pets who get lost out in the woods and have to find their way home. Aside from the indubitable positive of having Michael J. Fox, it was just a fun kids' movie with cool animals in it. There have been plenty of animal stars across the years, from Lassie, Flipper and Mr. Ed up through Babe and Air Bud. Animals sell, right? Well, today's odd news of the week comes to us from the incredible world of animal actors. No, it isn't the animal rights crowd. Nor is it a new cutesy animal movie on the way. What we've got for you today is ever so much more fun and chucklicious than activism or the revival of Air Bud.

If you run a quick search for "animal actors," you'll turn up quite a number of agencies advertising animal casting services. More than I would have expected, honestly, but I guess I've never thought about how many animals are needed in your average Hollywood production. Apparently plenty of people have thought about this, however. Somewhere, there exist people -- lots of people, it seems -- who look at their pets and think, "That Spot, he's so cute and talented, he'd make an excellent movie dog." These amateur talent scouts then contact any of the various agencies indicated above, including Hollywood Paws (who's website declares "whether you simply want a responsive, well-behaved pet or hope to groom your dog or cat for stardom, Hollywood Paws has the tools to help you make your dream a reality"), and happily pay thousands of dollars to train their pets for the big time.

And what happens when you shell out the big bucks to turn Spot into a star and he can't land a gig? This is America, darn it, and your dog knows his rights. Does Spot smell a lawsuit? He sure does. Yes, friends, Rachel Armstrong (owner of Goliath the Rottweiler) and a dozen or so of her pet-owner friends are swinging the mighty hammer of justicie against Hollywood Paws, whom they allege cheated them out of their well-deserved auditions. The response from the agency is just what you'd expect it to be -- it runs something along the lines of "hey, we gave you great training, it isn't our fault your dog can't land a job. Casting directors make those decisions, not us." For the full effect of a lawsuit on behalf of claimants named Goliath, Milo, Poopsie and Rusty, I think we should hand this case straight over to Court TV. Then the dogs can have their day on TV and pursue Great American Justice. What a country!

(via Moovy Boovy)

categories Movies, Cinematical