How This Pup Went From Scavenging for Food to Starring in 'A Dog's Way Home'

Playing How Malnourished Dog Became Star of Movie ‘A Dog’s Way Home’

Two-year-old Shelby is Hollywood’s newest star in "A Dog's Way Home," the story of a lost puppy's epic adventure to reunite with her family.

But the real-life story of Shelby's journey to stardom is just as remarkable. She was found scavenging for food at a Tennessee landfill. Though Shelby was skinny and malnourished, she sparkled with personality, said Animal Control Officer T.J. Jordi.

"Shelby’s tail never stopped wagging, she was always happy,” Jordi told Inside Edition. “She was always fun to be around, she is one of those that smiles with her heart."

She was taken to a local shelter, which posted a photo of Shelby. She was spotted by Debbie Pearl, owner of Paws for Effect, which trains dogs for movie roles.  

Pearl, who also runs a nonprofit, Dream Fetchers, immediately knew Shelby was special.

"We thought she was absolutely magnificent and gorgeous,” she told Inside Edition. “The next step was to go out and meet her in person to determine, is she the right dog, does she have what it takes to be a movie star dog .... does the dog have a good temperament, does the dog have a drive to learn?

"She passed every test with flying colors so basically everyone fell in love with her."

Shelby was hired and was properly trained on how to “act” by being taught how to recognize and go to certain markers that would make her jump, bark on cue and look in certain directions. 

Her work in Hollywood a resounding success, Shelby is now working as a therapy dog and recently delighted children at The University of Kansas Medical Center. 

"A Dog's Way Home" is in theaters now.

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