Arizona Animal Actors, a pet talent agency, aims to make pets stars

Posted at 5:49 AM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 10:04:25-04

We've heard of modeling agencies for humans but what about a pet talent agency? They're out there and one Valley agency is putting some four-legged friends front and center.

Jill Patt's little dog Luni is what you'd call an animal actor. She's a pup so cute and so well trained, she's been in commercials for the Arizona Lottery and PetSmart.

"We often think of them as not that intelligent and they're so much more than we give them credit for," Patt said.

Kama Rueschenberg started Arizona Animal Actors, a company casting pets for major productions with companies like Disney, ESPN and A&E. In fact, Arizona Animal Actors just cast a Valley goat this week for an ESPN commercial.

Popeye, a 2-year-old Border Collie, has done a lot of commercials.

The one thing in common with all animal actors is basic training, confidence and staying calm. 

"If they walk into a new setting and they're spooked, they're probably not going to do good as an animal actor," Rueschenberg said.

As for striking it rich, Reuschenberg explained it's a little different than humans since pets don't get royalties or residuals.

"Most of us walk away with a few hundred dollars and a really cool poster that's in PetSmart," Reuschenberg said.

For more information on auditions and Arizona Animal Actors, click here.