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Tag: bill berloni

Life after Broadway is fine with Fred

*Feb 27 - 00:05*

A stray South Bronx mutt who was “discovered” in a shelter and went on to appear in the hit musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” is enjoying his retirement in a posh home on the upper West Side.

Found wandering the streets as an 8-month-old pup, Fred landed at an ASPCA shelter in New York in early 2005. 

There Bill Berloni, a theatrical animal agent who has trained stray dogs for Broadway shows for more than 30 years, found Fred, took him home and spent a year working with the dog.

Berloni, who also is a behavior consultant for the Humane Society of New York – a no-kill shelter that supports rescued animals — took Fred, a terrier mix, to try out against dozens of other canine hopefuls at the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” auditions.

The New York Daily News recounted Fred’s “wags to riches” story in an article today.

When the show closed in 2006, Berloni arranged for Fred (third from the left in the photo) to be adopted by Chris Grabenstein and his wife, J.J. Myers.

Grabenstein, an author of adult mysteries and childrens’ ghost stories, has created a character based on him. The couple also built a rooftop dog area, where Fred can continue to enjoy the bright lights of the big city.

From death row to Broadway stage

macyThe sun will come out tomorrow — at least it did for Macy.

Macy was a scruffy little mutt, picked up as a stray and taken to Pontotoc County Animal Welfare Society in Ada, Oklahoma — a facility that generally holds dogs for three days before “deciding their future.”

(Meaning, especially in times of shelter overcrowding, whether they are going to have one.)

Macy, though unadopted and unclaimed, managed to stay there for several months, but as time passed her chances were growing dimmer.

She caught a break when she was chosen for a prison dog program called New Leash on Life at the CCA-Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville, Okla. But it turned out to be a temporary reprieve.

“Unfortunately, despite being a model student, Macy was the only dog at the end of the program scheduled to return to a kill shelter instead of an adoptive home or no-kill rescue,” according to RockySpot Rescue in Newcastle.

Macy’s future was looking pretty bleak again when, after her time in the prison program, RockySpot rescue took her in. RockySpot put a photo of Macy on its website, in hopes of finding her a home.

Another three months had passed when her picture was spotted by Bill Berloni, who trains animals for Broadway shows.

Berloni flew in from New York to look at her, and he liked what he saw.

Macy will be performing on Broadway, playing the role of Sandy in the musical “Annie.”

The moral of the story? Every time an orphaned dog is “euthanized,” a potential happy ending bites the dust.

(Photo: RockySpot Rescue)

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