With a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and countless great reviews on the internet, “A Star is Born” seems destined to take over award season this year. Bradley Cooper is being applauded for his work behind the camera, as well as in front of it, and Lady Gaga is making headlines for her fantastic portrayal as Ally. They aren’t the only characters sharing a moment in the spotlight, the dog in the film is also getting some recognition from PETA.
The animal rights organization announced that it will be sending actor Bradley Cooper its inaugural Compassion in Film Award for casting his own pup Charlie. The dog appears in his new movie, which was Cooper’s directorial debut, after Cooper chose to supply his own lovable dog instead of using one supplied by one of Hollywood’s animal exhibitors.
“Bradley Cooper’s happy, adorable, and much-loved dog steals the spotlight—and viewers’ hearts—in this film because it’s clear that he loved being with his real-life ‘dad,'” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA has witnessed so much abuse and neglect of dogs, both on and off set, that we’re hoping Cooper’s kind decision sets a precedent for all of Hollywood to follow.”
A 2016 PETA investigation into Birds & Animals Unlimited documented chronic neglect and revealed that dogs were kept outside in barren kennels without bedding in temperatures that dropped as low as 43 degrees and that animals were sometimes denied food during training. This is why PETA is so quick to congratulate Cooper on his decision.
Disturbing cases of abuse have also taken place on film sets. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—condemned the treatment of the German shepherd in A Dog’s Purpose in 2017, after video footage surfaced showing the reluctant dog being forced into a pool of rushing water. The group also blasted the treatment of a young dog on the set of Crazy Alien earlier this year, after the German shepherd was reportedly locked in a cage, suspended in the air, spun around by a crane, and plunged into a frigid, fast-flowing river, as can be seen in whistleblower footage leaked to PETA.
It would be wonderful to see more celebs bringing their one pets to take on the role of animals in film, which would most likely cut-down these horrible instances of abuse. Many companies, like Disney, no longer use large animals in their movies and use CG to create the scenes. PETA recently applauded Disney for using CG to create the wonderful scenes in the “Jungle Book”.