From Wags to Riches with Bill Berloni

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
From Wags to Riches with Bill Berloni TV Poster Image
Sincere showbiz animal trainer is modern Dr. Dolittle.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Animal rescue, adoption major themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Berlonis love and respect all animals.

Violence & Scariness

Some animals get aggressive. Images of severely sick rescue dogs.

Sexy Stuff

It's a promotional vehicle for Berloni's services.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that From Wags to Riches with Bill Berloni is a reality show featuring animals being rescued, cared for, and trained for the entertainment industry. Sometimes an animal or two becomes mildly aggressive, but no one gets hurt, and most of the time everyone's just having fun. It's family-friendly, but younger or more sensitive viewers may find the occasional image of critically ill rescue dogs upsetting.

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What's the story?

FROM WAGS TO RICHES WITH BILL BERLONI is a reality show starring Bill Berloni, a theatrical dog trainer who rescues and cultivates animals for professional stage and screen performances. The Tony Award-winning trainer, whose career was launched when he found and trained the original Sandy for the first Broadway production of Annie, works with animals so they can perform on stage and on camera and even tour with shows across the country. Actors also are trained to manage the animals during each performance. When he's not working with a stage production or checking in with his handlers, Berloni, along with his wife, Dorothy, and daughter Jenna, is at his family farm with a cat, macaw, pigs, horses, a llama, ducks, a grumpy donkey, and a bunch of dogs all theatrically qualified so they can help pay for their care. He also takes time to assist local humane societies to help them rehabilitate animals and help find good homes for the animals he doesn't adopt himself. 

Is it any good?

The fun and family-friendly series shows how this real-life Dr. Dolittle takes his passion for animals and turns it into a showbiz career. It also details some of the ways he helps rehabilitate animals who are rescued from very difficult situations so they can go on to live happy and healthy lives in loving homes. Techniques used to train and handle the dogs for high-level performances also are shown.

It gets a little crazy, and you have to wonder how these folks don't lose their minds to the noisy chaos that constantly surrounds them. But Berloni's talent, along with the love and respect he has for creatures big and small, is evident as he works with and cares for them. It's difficult not to find this show, and its star, appealing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about rescuing animals. Why are so many animals uncared for or abandoned? How do shows such as this one help bring attention to these issues?

  • Has your family ever adopted (or thought about adopting) an animal? What are the benefits? The drawbacks? Where are some of the places you can go to safely adopt a rescued pet?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

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