Training Shelter Dogs To Become Superstars
In 1977, Bill Berloni was a young theatrical apprentice when a producer offered him a chance to act professionally and gain his Equity Card. In return, all Bill had to do was find and train a dog to play Sandy in the original Broadway production of "Annie." Bill visited a local animal shelter and found Sandy, who was scheduled to be euthanized the next day. Instead the canine became “the longest running dog on Broadway,” never missing a performance in more than seven years. Since then, Bill has have provided rescued animals of all species and sizes, for Broadway, off-Broadway, New York City Ballet and numerous motion pictures, television shows and commercials. He also trained a new Sandy and her understudy in the recent revival of Annie. He recently published Broadway Tails, a memoir of his experience with animals in the limelight. We speak to Bill about his training methods and commitment to rescuing animals.
The global relationship between crime and animal cruelty gained higher profile recently, when it was discovered that the terrorist organization behind the deadly shopping mall attack in Kenya has strong ties to illegal wildlife poaching. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, calls this escalating problem the "cruelty connection."