Looking to catch a good movie this weekend? On Saturday and Sunday, a family outing to the theater can benefit homeless dogs in our area.

“Rescue Dogs,” premiering at The Grand Esplanade Theatre in Kenner, is helping real-life rescue dogs by partnering with approved rescue organizations in cities across the country and holding adoption events in conjunction with opening weekend.

The film, starring real rescue animals, shows the unconditional love and bene?ts rescue animals offer their owners. Filmmakers have partnered with 20 animal rescues across the country to host adoption events during their opening weekend, and a portion of the producers’ box office from the theatrical run will benefit the rescue partner in each market.

“Rescue Dogs” will open at The Grand Esplanade on Friday and run through April 7. Animal Rescue New Orleans, the rescue partner for our area, will have adoptable dogs at the theater from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a good movie and perhaps meet a new furry friend.

“Rescue Dogs” is the story of how Tracy and his rescue dog Charger foil the plans of an evil businessman who wants to demolish their beach restaurant in order to build a golf course. With help from his brother, Tracy tries to meet the bills, manage the kitchen (where Charger helps cook!) and still find time to fall in love with a beautiful dancer named Bridgette.

Through a comedy of errors and mishaps, the humans discover they can be rescued by their very own rescue animals. The film was written by Jordan Rawlins and MJ Anderson and co-directed by Anderson and Haik Katsikian.

“Rescue Dogs” features actress/producer Courtney Daniels and her own rescue dog, Baron. Daniels plays Bridgette, the leading lady, and Baron plays the lead rescue dog, Charger.

Daniels was contacted by director Michael Anderson about playing the lead role in the children’s film. At the time, Daniels had eight rescue animals (four dogs, four cats) and was excited to be involved.

As the shooting date came closer, there were challenges for the production and ultimately no lead dog. That’s when Daniels decided to step up, have her team at Busted Buggy Entertainment join to produce and to train her dog to be the lead. Co-starring with your rescue dog? Why not? For more information or to host a screening, visit www.rescuedogsmovie.com.


SATURDAY: Off-site Pet Adoption, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA, will be held at Petco, 3500 Williams Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Louisiana SPCA adoption counselors and volunteers will be on hand to help you select the right pet for your family. Call (504) 368-5191 or visit www.la-spca.org for more information.

SUNDAY: Bark Aide at Barcadia, 601 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. In its first year, Bark Aide is a dog festival, featuring fun events, a silent auction and adoptable dogs from local animal rescues Cara’s House, New Orleans Bulldog Rescue, Take Paws Rescue and Animal Rescue New Orleans. For more information, visit www.bar cadianola.com

SUNDAY: Join the Louisiana SPCA for Brunch Fest NOLA, the first festival of its kind. Brunch Fest NOLA will be held at City Park right in front of NOMA from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

This pet-friendly festival will feature live music by The Messy Cookers Jazz Band, Shades of Praise Gospel Choir and KinFolk Brass Band. Dress in your most festive brunch attire or costume and enjoy brunch-inspired restaurants, breakfast-style cocktails, beer and wine, see Louisiana SPCA adoptables, shop unique festival vendors and much more. There’s even the premiere Best Bloody Mary in NOLA Contest.

To enter as a professional or an amateur, visit www.la-spca.org/brunchfestcontest for official rules and to sign up. For more info, visit www.la-spca.org/brunchfest and be sure to like the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/brunch festnola.

MONDAY: The first session of a five-week Manners II group training class will be held at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd. Learn how to strengthen the skills you learned in Puppy or Manners and how to get those behaviors in different environments.

This class is a must for those who want well-rounded dogs that respond to training despite distractions. Completion of Puppy Manners, Manners I, or equivalent is required for registration.

The cost for this five-session class is $115. Class size is limited, and registration is required. Visit www.la-spca.org/grouptraining for more information and to register.

LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact info to lostandfound@la-spca.org. In Jefferson Parish, send to molsen@jeffparish.net and bbourgeois@jeffparish.net, and in St. Bernard Parish, send to cluna@sbpg.net.

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animalrescuecolumn@gmail.com or visit www.animalrescueneworleans.org.