The original Benji was rescued by trainer Frank Inn from the Burbank Animal Shelter. The American Humane Association has reported that, because of that fact, and the publicity generated around the original movie, more than one million dogs were adopted across the country. For that reason, Benji’s creator, Joe Camp, toured the country for four months, visiting animal shelters everywhere searching for Benji #3 to star in the fifth Benji movie, Benji Off the Leash. Once again, to raise public awareness about the wonderful pets that can be found and adopted in shelters around America. (Watch the video covering the Search for Benji #3)
“We are very proud that the search for Benji #3, her introduction, and the completion of Benji Off the Leash have generated more than one billion exposures on television, radio, and in newspapers for the adoption efforts of shelters and rescue groups everywhere!” Camp said. The effort raised adoption levels wherever there was media coverage. The Humane Society of South Mississippi, where the new Benji was discovered, doubled their adoption numbers the month after Benji was adopted.
And Camp has made it Benji’s mission to not only bring the adoption message to the public, but to get through to all the shelter professionals and volunteers with the message that the adoption of homeless animals, and thus the saving of those animals’ lives, should be approached as a business. “The competition – backyard puppy mills, pet stores, etc – certainly approaches their sales as a business, and a well-promoted one at that.” Camp said. “The animal rescue and adoption community should do the same. We can eliminate euthanasia in this country, but it takes hard work, creative strategy, and, for many, a different approach to the effort.”
Throughout the promotion of Benji Off the Leash, Benji participated in benefits all over the country to help raise money for shelters and awareness of the unconditional love awaiting folks at their local shelter.