Theater working with HWAC
By Erica Schroeder
When San Diego actress Hannah Kornfeld takes the stage as "Annie," in Balboa Park, she won't be the only orphan in the cast.
The Starlight Theatre, working with Helen Woodward Animal Center and San Diego Pet Training, will feature a rescued orphan dog in the role of "Sandy" for its upcoming production.
Sandy was a stray dog found on the streets. Kept at a small, crowded shelter in Los Angeles, Sandy had little to no socialization or training until he was transferred to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in June.
"Sandy was just a little reserved, he has a lot of love to give but was pretty shy at first," said Rob Kuty, Sandy's trainer.
Kuty, from San Diego Pet Training, began working with Sandy to regain some of the dog's socialization skills. Around the same time, the Starlight Theatre began looking for the perfect dog to appear as "Sandy" in its Aug. 13-30 production of "Annie" in Balboa Park.
Sandy needed a lot of socialization when he first arrived at Helen Woodward, so working with the cast of "Annie" during their rehearsals really helped him learn to be comfortable around more people. Also during his training, Sandy has been living in foster care so he can learn to be part of a family household. His "foster mom" is strongly considering adopting him.
"Now he knows obediences, is house broken and anxiety free," Kuty said.
Sandy's great progress in training was one of the reasons why he was chosen for the role.
The cast of "Annie" and the crew at Helen Woodward Animal Center knew Sandy would be perfect to portray the famous orphan's canine co-star because of his loving demeanor and charm.
Immediately following the show on Aug. 30, Sandy will permanently retire from show business and be available for adoption on Aug. 31 at the Helen Woodward Animal Center.