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Animal Stage Trainer Makes Stars Out Of Pound Pups

Sep 4, 2009 (Fresh Air)

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It's Animal Week on Fresh Air; during these last days of summer, we're featuring rebroadcasts of our best conversations about animals and how we live with them.

Animal stage trainer Bill Berloni has 30 years' worth of experience training dogs, pigs, rats, cats and lambs for Broadway productions and Hollywood films.

Berloni got his start when he agreed to train a stray dog for the role of Sandy in exchange for an acting part in the Broadway production of Annie. That experience inspired him to actively recruit shelter animals for roles.

He has since worked on the Broadway productions of Legally Blonde, The Wiz and Annie Get Your Gun. His film work includes Charlie Wilson's War and The Producers.

Berloni is the co-author (with Jim Hanrahan) of Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars.

This interview was originally broadcast July 18, 2008.

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