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Raleigh poodles get starring role in movie about Susie's Law

Posted March 10, 2013
Updated March 11, 2013

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— A pair of Raleigh poodles landed a starring role in a movie about the rescue of the puppy that inspired "Susie's Law," which increased penalties for animal abuse cases in North Carolina. 

The movie, "Susie's Hope," tells the story of a pit bull-mix puppy that was beaten, set on fire and left to die in a Greensboro park in 2009. While out for a walk, Donna Lawrence and her German shepherd mix Baby Girl found the tortured animal, rescued it and named it Susie.

"Susie's Hope" producers were looking for a German shepherd to play Baby Girl in the movie, but Raleigh dog trainer Balynda Brown knew her poodles, Ryder and Surf, would be perfect for the role.

"Donna, who the story is about, is a Southern hairdresser," Brown said Sunday. "I said, 'A poodle would be perfect for a Southern hairdresser.'"

But Brown had to convince producers.

Susie and her owner, Donna Lawrence Raleigh dogs star in 'Susie's Hope'

"We showed up for the first interview in Winston-Salem, and all we did was get out of the car," she said. "They said, 'Oh no, that's not going to work.'"

The dogs were eventually hired to share the role of Baby Girl after producers saw how special they are, Brown said. 

"It's so hard to teach a dog to do nothing, just to be in the moment," she said. 

"Susie's Hope" is due to hit theaters this fall.

34 Comments

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  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Mar 12, 5:14 p.m.

    hee hee hee

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Mar 12, 4:53 p.m.

    Odd the comments that aren't getting posted.

    Do the WRAL mods do that out of laziness, i.e. they don't want to read and approve or deny them, or are they helping the station to bias the news, or is it just certain posters whose comments always disappear, or perhaps it's a combination of them all.

    Either way, if a comment aligns with the station's PUBLISHED TOS, they should be approved. PERIOD!!!

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Mar 12, 4:40 p.m.

    Scubagirl - "good posts Nephesh Kai"

    Thanks Scuba.

    Abuse of anything is something that really gets my dander up.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Mar 12, 4:39 p.m.

    Lightfoot3 - "Jehovah, Allah, Vishnu, Amon-Ra, Apollo, or whatever other god man invokes has no say in how animals are treated. Remember that some of these sky spirits like to have animals sacrificed to them, so I really wouldn't consider them good caretakers."

    I know you're educated enough to know there are always those who pervert everything, including the word of their God.

    Isn't that right!

  • immaannoid Mar 12, 1:05 p.m.

    "So I don't think the intent of the law is to stop all killing, but rather the killing and injuring of animals just for the "fun" of it by evil people." - Lightfoot

    I hear you, but the government is known for twisting poorly written laws around to suit their own needs.

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 12, 10:39 a.m.

    Jehovah, Allah, Vishnu, Amon-Ra, Apollo, or whatever other god man invokes has no say in how animals are treated. Remember that some of these sky spirits like to have animals sacrificed to them, so I really wouldn't consider them good caretakers.

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 12, 10:37 a.m.

    "It seems a bit ambiguous." - immaannoid


    I agree. It's a poorly written law. Perhaps the summer student intern wrote it. :)


    "The definition of "malicious" is "having or showing a desire to cause harm to someone"" - immaannoid


    But what's the LEGAL definition of malice? If it's simply killing, then you can't even set a mouse trap because of this law. It also doesn't have exemptions for animal control so legally they are bound by the same terms.


    So I don't think the intent of the law is to stop all killing, but rather the killing and injuring of animals just for the "fun" of it by evil people.

  • simplelogic Mar 12, 10:03 a.m.

    Tayled, I don't know that the movie is coming out again; I was just showing my age by remembering the song. :-)

  • tayled Mar 12, 9:45 a.m.

    When is the movie coming out again? I would like to see it.

  • Scubagirl Mar 12, 9:30 a.m.

    good posts Nephesh Kai,

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