Would-Be Celebrity Dogs Get Their Day in Court

In the dog-eat-dog world of Hollywood, some of the biggest stars have only one name.

Cher. Madonna. Lassie.

But for every four-legged star of stage and screen, hundreds more dogs have Hollywood dreams, dogs like Wallace.

Larry Lacourciere, Wallace's stage dad, says his neighbors just couldn't stop pointing out the labradoodle's star potential.

"Well, they just said, 'He's really cute. Have you ever thought about putting him in commercials or movies, because he's so cute and different looking,'" Lacourciere says.

That's why Lacourciere spent about $4,000 on Hollywood Paws, a doggie celebrity prep school. The school trains dogs for the screen and claims to help them find work.

"So we went into the office and everybody commented of course at how cute he is and his eyes and how white his teeth were," Lacourciere says. "And then, they say, 'Oh, he's just what we're looking for. He's just what we want. He's got that look. He's got that quality -- that scruffy look that everybody likes.'"

But those Hollywood dreams have since turned sour. Lacourciere and 13 other former Hollywood Paws' clients are now suing the school because they claim Wallace and his classmates didn't become famous.

"They didn't get his pictures and bios out to people to let people know that he is available, ready and trained," Lacourciere says.

Hollywood Paws denied the charges and gave ABC News this statement:

"We never guarantee a part or a role or a production. We act as a talent agency to promote pets. We only guarantee training so a pet is best prepared for a potential film role."

Hollywood Paws also said that many of the plaintiffs had found paying work through the company.

Star Quality

So what does it take to prepare your dog for a role in Hollywood?

Debbie Pearl, of Paws for Effect, owns dozens of handpicked pooches who perform in movies and on TV. It's the inner sanctum of doggie celebrity -- and ordinary dogs need not apply.

"The first thing I look for is an attitude. I look for a dog that's happy," Pearls says. "When that camera is rolling and when they say 'action,' they come to life. It's really truly amazing, those dogs that have that star quality know all about that."

So do dogs on the outside, like Wallace, face a chance in the celebrity rat -- or should that be dog -- race?

"Cute is not always enough," Pearl says. "It is not always the cute dog that gets the role."

Pearl's advice when it comes to celebrity training classes? Save your money.

But for Wallace, the dogfight continues. The lawsuit likely goes to trial next year. And while Wallace is holding down his day job as Lacourciere's best friend, he's still waiting for the phone to ring with his big break.

After all, every dog has his day.

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