Hollywood Hounds

A recipe for disaster, or the pet of your dreams?

It happens so easily – you’re on school vacation, and the latest blockbuster in the theater is an animal movie.  Of course you have to see it, what type of animal lover would you be if you didn’t? So you go to the movies with your friends, and you come out absolutely in love with the latest canine star. You have to have one of your own; this is your dream dog, after all... or is it?

Pets are a constant presence on TV and in the movies.  High-profile pooches, as well as cats, birds, and other small animals, often become “fashionable.” Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” launched a Dalmatian boom that had never been seen before.  Statistics show that in the eight years following the 1985 re-release of the film, the number of Dalmatians in the US skyrocketed from 8,170 to 42,816 in 1993.

For some people Dalmatians are a wonderful match and for others, they are not. Dalmatians are smart AND athletic. They require a great deal of attention to handle their needs. Many parents who decided to go ahead and get a Dalmatian puppy were not prepared for raising that pet to adulthood. Once those puppies reached the “teenage” years, families and kids often asked, “Why can’t my puppy be just like Patch in the movie?” These puppies often failed to meet a family’s expectations of a Hollywood-trained dog and ended up in shelters looking for a new home. 

Similar trends have occurred following the releases of other animal movies. A person’s heart may be in the right place, but he or she might not expect that clownfish require expensive equipment and a specific temperature and water chemistry to survive (Finding Nemo, 2008), or that a Chihuahua’s size and temperament make this breed a poor fit for a family with small children (Beverly Hills Chihuahua, 2008), or that guinea pigs are not quite as exciting as specially trained spies (G-Force, 2009).

Sometimes circumstances beyond anyone’s control can cause life altering change for many people and often pets are left homeless as a consequence but having to get rid of a pet due to failed expectations is preventable. Too many pets and people are hurt in the process.

What can you do at school and in your neighborhood to make sure other pets don’t fall victim to being a “fad?”

- Set the example.  Don’t fall into the trap yourself. Before bringing a pet into your home and life, make sure you are prepared to handle all of its needs.

- Spread the word. If there’s a movie show that features a pet star, learn about that animal and its needs.  Then you can share your knowledge with all your friends and family members.

So remember, research your pet of interest before diving in.  Tell all your friends everything you know.  With your help, we can make sure pets don’t fall into the Hollywood trap!

Hollywood Hounds

Connecticut Humane Society

701 Russell Road, Newington, CT 06111
800-452-0114 | FAX 860-665-1478   info@cthumane.org 
The Connecticut Humane Society is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization. EIN: 06-0667605
Copyright 2013 Connecticut Humane Society

Copyright 2013 Connecticut Humane Society