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Time To Check-In On “Hotel For Dogs”

On January 16th you can check-in at your local movie theater and watch Hotel For Dogs. It's the story of two foster kids who have...

Horst Hoefinger  |  Jan 14th 2009


On January 16th you can check-in at your local movie theater and watch Hotel For Dogs. It’s the story of two foster kids who have a dog they need to keep hidden, and the lengths they go to do so.

The movie is about unconditional love, showing it doesn’t always take a family in the traditional sense to make a home.

“Hotel for Dogs,” Andi (Emma Roberts, niece of Julia) and her younger brother, Bruce (Jake T. Austin) live in a strictly no-pets household and are fast running out of ways to keep their perpetually hungry dog, Friday, under wraps.

When they accidentally stumble on an abandoned hotel that is already home to a couple of resourceful strays, Andi has an idea. She taps Bruce’s mechanical genius for turning everyday objects into mechanical marvels, and, with the help of their friends in the neighborhood, transform the down-and-out hotel into a magical dog paradise – not only for Friday, but for every stray they can find.

But when the barking dogs make the neighbors and the suddenly out-of-work local dog catchers suspicious, Andi and Bruce have to use every invention at their disposal to prevent them from finding out “who let the dogs in.”

There were many dogs used in the making of Hotel For Dogs. When you see a film with animals you may recall the “No Animals Were Harmed” disclaimer, that’s part of the American Humane Film & TV Unit. They make sure that when animals are involved everything is done in a safe and non-stressful environment. Have you ever watched a movie where there is a stunt that looks like an animal was harmed ? That’s called perception vs. reality, it looks so real, but it was done in a safe manner with a lot of prep work. The American Humane is there to document this so that there is no doubt everything was done properly.

I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with Jone Bauman, Head of Communications for the American Humane, and Beth Langhorst who is a Senior Certified Animal Representative. Beth has a very impressive background, graduating from Moorpark College with a degree in Exotic Animal Training and Management. She was on the set of Hotel For Dogs for three months during the filming overseeing everything that involved the dogs: stunts, make-up, special effects.

One of the neat things I learned from the interview is that approximately 75-80% of the dogs you see in movies are rescued animals. After the movie many are adopted by the cast and crew, the rest go to other forever homes.

The American Humane provides this service free of charge which is great, plus they can never be accused of making a decision based on who’s paying them. They work on over 1,000 productions a year with only 11 full-time and 25 part-time safety reps.

So, go enjoy the movie and know that “No Animals Were Harmed” thanks to the wonderful work of the American Humane.

* Photo courtesy American Humane.