How a Rescue Dog Named Monte Became a Disney Star

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From "ruff" — to riches! 

A shelter dog has found stardom as the leading role in the live-action remake of the 1955 animated Disney film "Lady and the Tramp." Two-year-old Monte is playing Tramp, who will be voiced by actor Justin Theroux, while Lady is being played by a Cocker spaniel named Rose and will be voiced by Tessa Thompson. 

Monte was plucked from relative obscurity at the Halo Animal Rescue in Phoenix, Arizona. He arrived at the shelter last year from the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  

“We were very excited to see Monte is going to be a star,” Heather Allen, the president and CEO of Halo, told

Monte's original name was Rocky. He was one of six dogs given up by a family who couldn’t afford to take care of them.

When Monte arrived at Halo, he was “very friendly with us,” and “gave kisses,” said Allen. He was only there a week before Hollywood came calling.

“We didn't know exactly what they were working on until we saw it come out on the internet probably like everybody else," said Allen. 

The new “Lady and the Tramp” is being released as part of Disney’s upcoming video-on-demand service called Disney Plus, which is set to launch on Nov. 12. 

While the shelter wasn't part of making the movie, they're still excited to see one of their own on the screen.  Allen in particular is thrilled that viewers will see that shelter animals are “not damaged goods,” but rather just “waiting for someone to discover how great they are by someone coming in and meeting them.”

So will Monte be walking the red carpet?

“Not really sure what the fanfare is with all that, but if there is one, we would love to go,” Allen said.


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