According to a heart warming and only slightly suspect story in the National Enquirer, one of the little stars of Beverly Hills Chihuahua was hours away from euthanasia at the dog pound before he was scooped up by a trainer and made into a big screen star. It’s the type of fleas to fortune story that you frequently hear in Hollywood, and is likely exaggerated for effect:
Languishing in an animal shelter, time was running out for “Rusco,” the Chihuahua mix. Found wandering the streets of Moreno Valley, CA, two weeks earlier, no one had claimed the poor pooch – and no one had shown an interest in adopting him. It looked like he would be put to sleep.
By law, the shelter keeps strays for five working days, after that they can be euthanized at any time.
Meanwhile, 60 miles away in Los Angeles, animal trainer Mike Alexander saw Rusco’s photo on the website petharbor.com. He had a hunch that the scrappy-looking pup with the big ears would be perfect for the role of “Papi.”
Alexander called the shelter – and learned he couldn’t put a hold on the pup over the phone. He had to do it in person. The race was on to save Rusco’s life!
“I rushed down to the shelter, but it was so far aaway and I had traffic to deal weith… when I got there, they were just closing the doors and wouldn’t let me in.”
[From The National Enquirer, print edition, Octoeber 13, 3008]
Of course trainer Alexander arrived back at the shelter the first thing the next morning, little Rusco was still alive, and the rest is soon to be forgotten cinematic history.
That’s a sweet story though and it reminds you of all the animals in shelters worldwide who need good homes, most of them not as lucky as big-eyed Rusco. Rusco plays the dog with the voice of George Lopez, Papi. His co-star is a purebred dog from Beverly Hills with Drew Barrymore’s voice, Chloe, who ends up lost in Mexico and needing Papi’s help. The human stars are Piper Perabo and Jamie Lee Curtis.
The film is out today, October 3, and should be a hit with kids if not with critics. Here’s the trailer.
If you’re looking for a good animal cause, the North Shore Animal League is the worlds largest no-kill shelter and rescue facility. Another worthy charity is The Cat House On The Kings, California’s largest no-kill no-cage facility where hundreds of cats and dogs are cared for in an open environment. I learned about it through this inspiring YouTube video that shows the work they do.
Photos from AllMoviePhoto.