Last March in a high-kill shelter in Houston, Texas, sat Sunny, a 2-year old mutt, unaware that in 2 short days, her life would end. At the same time, renowned animal trainer William Berloni was scouring shelters around the country looking for the perfect pup to star in the Broadway production of ‘Annie‘.
When the Broadway show’s producer, Arielle Tepper, saw a photo of Sunny online, two words changed the fate of the adorable, scruffy pup. “Save her.”
The New York Daily News reported that Sunny was chosen for the role based on looks, temperament, athleticism and comfort with walking on her back legs. As part of the dog’s starring role, she’ll be doing a bit of dancing!
But, Sunny wasn’t the only dog to be rescued. Sunny’s understudy, a dog named Casey, was also adopted from a shelter in Nashville. The two rescued pups and their trainer are living together in a NYC apartment, training for the show’s opening in October.
Historically, every other dog to play the role of Sandy the Dog in Broadway’s Annie have also been rescued from shelters.
To support animal adoption and to help hounds have a less hard-knock life, Pedigree, the dog-food company, has teamed with “Annie.” For each ticket to the show sold through the end of next year, Pedigree will donate $2, up to $1 million for a fund dedicated to helping dogs find homes.
So, if you’re in the New York City area later this year, looking for something to do – that also supports rescue dogs – look no further than The Palace Theater on Broadway!