SNOW BUDDIES Movie: Golden Puppies die
I am crossposting this from another forum I frequent. Please do not support this movie by seeing it or letting your children see it.
From the Vancouver Province newspaper March 16/07
Humane group probes puppy deaths Snow Buddies Productions company had two puppies die, 15 get sick
David Carrigg, The ProvincePublished: Friday, March 16, 2007
VANCOUVER - The American Humane Association is probing a Vancouver film-production firm after two of its puppies had to be euthanized and at least 15 fell sick.
Some were just six weeks old when they arrived from the U.S.
"Those pups should not have been away from their mothers -- they were too young," said Karen Rosa, director of the association's L.A.-based Film & TV Unit. "Two puppies have died. They were both euthanized by a vet."
Rebecca Bookham, president of the Golden Retriever Club of B.C. with 12-week-old Koda and two-year-old Nanuk, is concerned about the health of the puppies given away by a movie production company last week. Les Bazso, The ProvinceEmail to a friendPrinter friendly Font:
The association monitors animals on movie shoots.
Rosa said when an association worker arrived in Vancouver at the start of production of Snow Buddies on Feb. 19 there were 15 puppies on set and another 15 were being treated by a vet.
"The moment we got there we stepped in and determined none of the pups could be used in the production," Rosa said. "American Humane is conducting a full investigation. We have a great many questions."
The two pups were put down after Feb. 19, she said.
Snow Buddies Productions received 25 six-week-old golden retrievers last month from a New York breeder. Five other pups came from a Canadian breeder.
The production company trained the tiny pups for two weeks before the start of filming, when the pups were eight weeks old.
The pups were housed at the District of North Vancouver Animal Welfare Shelter and were given away on or after March 4.
Donald Munro, Snow Buddies production co-ordinator, said more than 400 people applied for the dogs once they were advertised.
"We had a number of puppies, many never played on the film, that had a few sicknesses that puppies get," he said. "It spread to a few of our puppies and we spared no expense at all to bring them back to health."
It is believed that some of the pups contracted giardia and coccidia, which cause diarrhea.
Snow Buddies said in a statement it is co-operating fully with the humane association and will "continue to follow the recommendations of the AHA regarding all animals on the production."
Rebecca Bookham, president of the Golden Retriever Club of B.C., said she and other dog people got an e-mail on March 4 calling for help to find homes for the pups.
It said some of the purebred pups were "still quite sick," and free.
Bookham was upset when she learned the pups had been brought into Canada at six weeks of age.
"Responsible breeders won't let a pup go to a new owner at less than eight weeks," she said.
"They don't get their first shots by eight weeks."
She believes a third pup died after it went to a foster home on Quadra Island.
Norm Nichol, head of the North Vancouver shelter, said up to 30 pups were housed at his facility.
"The agreement was that we provide the facility and they provide the staffing and care," Nichol said.
He said at least six trainers worked with the pups and took them to various production sites.
Alex Schock, who operates White Lake Goldens in Upper New York state, became distressed when he learned the fate of his 25 pups.
"I want my pups back," he said. "It was a rental agreement, $175 a dog. I was expecting to get them back."
He said the contract with Snow Buddies says the company can buy any of the dogs for $1,000 each.
Schock said he and his wife Suzana were uncomfortable sending off the pups at six weeks of age.
He said Snow Buddy Productions training staff told him they needed to train the pups for two weeks before filming. Schock said he was motivated by a desire to have his dogs work in the film industry and now regrets his decision.
"When we sent them off we had a vet attach a document stating they were extremely healthy and would do well anywhere. Now I'm hearing they had all these problems," he said.
Nichol said the pups appeared to be in excellent condition when they arrived at the shelter.
AHA guidelines require written permission if a production company uses dogs younger than eight weeks because the pups have not been fully inoculated.
Rosa said the AHA will also investigate White Lake Goldens. It is illegal in the U.S. to export a puppy under eight weeks without an agriculture department permit.
Snow Buddies is still being filmed at Hemlock Valley Resort. The movie is one of several sequels to the hugely successful 1997 Air Bud movie, also filmed in and around Vancouver. Keystone Entertainment produced Air Bud.
Snow Buddies Productions paid a licensing fee to Keystone Entertainment for the right to make Snow Buddies. The film franchise has so far grossed more than $250 million.
That is just so sad. I have so enjoyed that series of movies (especially Air Buddies).
Proudly owned & loved by my rambunctious Goldens, Ozzy, Jagger & Riot!
We have a member...or maybe on CG, whose golden is in this movie...Nugget-I think...she's been sending updates and has been to the set where they shoot twice. I wonder what her take on this is?
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet. - Tolkien
Maribeth, Sadie & Loocie
I wonder if they can tell us more of the story?
I'm well aware of the problems with the puppies and am just as upset as anyone over them being sick. I will say though, the media has sensationalized the story (to sell more papers) and has left out certain things and left other things to innuendo. I do know the production company has spared no expense in nursing the pups back to health once the severity of their illness was realized. Sadly, though 2 were just too ill or weak to make it through. All the pups were pulled from the shoot and sent to foster homes immediately to recuperate and have been retired from shooting. I did see on another board that someone who is fostering 3 of them reports they are doing very well and are now racing around and playing with one another. We have been on set, albeit not when the puppies are there, but everyone is very good with the animals are they are definately treated well. Also, a rep from the American Humane Society is on set too. Their role is to look out for the animals AND the trainers. I know from first hand experience that Nugget's trainers treat him unbelievably well, so much so that he is eager to return with them every Sunday night without so much as a backward glance at us as he drives away. And like your furbabies, Nugget is part of our family, so his treatment & care while in the hands of others if of vital importance to us. AND Nugget was never in any danger of contracting whatever illnesses the pups had as he never had any contact with the pups, nor did his trainers.
Based on my knowledge of the situation I have my own opinions, but am unable to share them on this or any other forum for obvious reasons. Just remember not everything is as it appears, especially in the media. You really have to do your own research to get at the truth.
Judie, Dusty & Nugget & Hugo
MBIS, BISS, BOSS BVSS Can CH Arandee's Gold Dust SDHF, WC JH - RIP Sweet Dusty
Kulalani's Gold Dust to Nugget JH WC (aka Air Bud), Nugget
Chantilly's Boss in Motion WC, Hugo
Thanks for the update. I figured as always, there are two sides to every story. I was hoping you would be on to give us firsthand information. Thanks for that.
Glad you stepped in to set the record straight. I hadn't posted to this because something in the article had me wondering if I was getting the real story. Maybe it was because I wanted to see Nugget on the big screen