Some of Hollywood’s leading animals apparently aren’t getting the red-carpet treatment. After production wraps, the animals that populate leading movie and TV sets are prone to mistreatment at a specific animal facility an hour north of Hollywood, PETA alleges. The organization has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Birds & Animals Unlimited, one of Hollywood’s leading facilities for animal training and handling, accusing the company of several violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. According to PETA’s complaint, which was released to The Hollywood Reporter, several animals in BAU’s care have either died or been mistreated due to the company’s negligence: Three pigs (including one seen in College Road Trip) were underweight with overgrown hooves, animals were inhumanely forced to lose weight for productions, and dogs (including one from Hotel for Dogs) slept outside without bedding as overnight temperatures dropped below 49 degrees. A kangaroo with a broken jaw also died after being unable to eat, PETA alleges, and BAU reportedly fabricated paperwork to cover up the animal’s death. In a statement to THR, BAU countered some of the allegations and questioned the veracity of information obtained from a whistle-blower. The animal-training firm did identify one area for improvement, however: its birdcages, which PETA alleged remained uncleaned for as long as six weeks. The USDA told THR it is examining PETA’s claims to make sure animals aren’t being mistreated between gigs.
Hotel For Dogs. Photo: Dreamworks