Today we heard the sad news that Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who starred in the multi-Oscar-winning smash hit The Artist, has died at the age of 13. His guardian made the tough decision to euthanise him after the canine developed a progressive form of cancer.
In addition to lighting up the screen in his numerous film appearances, in 2012 Uggie also starred in a PETA ad to highlight the number of dogs and cats in shelters waiting for adoption.
When Uggie was a puppy, he was rejected by his first two guardians for being too energetic and wild. Uggie was on his way to an animal shelter to join countless other abandoned dogs looking for a forever home when a friend of dog trainer Omar von Muller told him about the lively dog.
Omar decided to take Uggie in, fell in love with the little pooch and soon realised that Uggie had a gift. The two were inseparable from that day onwards. As Omar said, following Uggie’s Oscars success, “Everybody thinks I am a great trainer. I don’t think so. I think he is just a great dog”.
Every dog and cat deserves the chance to find a permanent, loving home, like Uggie did. Yet tens of thousands of homeless dogs and cats enter animal shelters every year in the UK, and thousands are euthanised simply because there aren’t enough good homes for them.
As we remember Uggie today, please also remember his story, and if you’re planning on welcoming an animal companion into your home, always adopt rather than buy. After all, you could find the next canine superstar at your local shelter, just waiting for a loving home and a chance to shine!