From the shelter to the spotlight
The Broadway revival of the Tony Award-winning musical "Annie" has quite the star — Sunny, a two-year-old female terrier mix rescued from a city pound in Houston that will play “Sandy” in the hit play.
"The most talented animals are right there under your nose," said animal trainer William Berloni, who makes sure to use shelter dogs in his projects. "The message is: Animals in shelters are not damaged, just unfortunate."
Sunny’s story is a true Hollywood fairytale. She was 24 hours away from being destroyed four months ago when Berloni spotted her photo online. She had been mislabeled as male and given the name Bruno. Touched, he forwarded her photo to one of the show's producers, Arielle Tepper Madover, who wrote back, "Save her. I don't care what it costs."
"I didn't think she was a candidate for Sandy. Her description was so sweet and she looked very much like the original Sandy that we were just saving her to find her a home." Berloni said, but once he met her face to…. muzzle he knew she was the one.
Berloni is preparing a list of tricks. "I have to say, it's the first time I've ever put a dog in a dance number," he said. "That's going to be new and interesting."