St. Louis Public Radio News
4:59 am
Fri December 26, 2008

Rescue groups nervous about Marley and Me

St. Louis, MO – Animal rescue organizations are watching with trepidation the release of Marley and Me.

The movie, a Christmas Day release, traces the relationship a family has with their beloved Labrador retriever.

Cindy Kuschel runs a Labrador rescue program in southern Illinois. She says since labs are already the most popular dog breed, she turns away about five animals a week. She expects that number to grow with the new movie.

"Breeders don't screen where they go, and they don't you know, coach people on, they're going to get big and bouncy and need training, they're going to shed, they're going to mess in the house, you know, they're dogs," she said.

But Kuschel says the movie may have an upside. "The fact that it shows that it's, you know, nutty, and chews things up and stuff like that might be good. But it's still going to be cutsie thing that we Americans being so impulsive in nature, will be hard to get by," she said.

Kuschel says similar situations occurred after the release of Lady and the Tramp, and the 1996 live version of 101 Dalmatians.