EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Shannon Elizabeth, known for her roles in American Pie and Scary Movie, is spending the next three weeks in the metro region filming Marshall the Miracle Dog, a movie based on a true story.
Elizabeth will portray Cynthia Willenbrock who adopted a three-legged lab, abused and neglected so badly, the chief veterinarian at the Humane Society of Missouri called it the worst case of neglect he had ever seen.
The script resonated with Elizabeth who said, "I read the script and I fell in love. I was crying all though the script because I'm a big animal lover. I have three dogs of my own."
The move contains a strong anti-bullying message that resonated with Elizabeth.
"I remember how cruel kids were when I was growing up. I wouldn't go back to my high school years for anything," she explained.
Elizabeth still remembers being bullied and wanting to fit in.
"When I moved to my town it was already third grade for me. All the clicks had been made and I never fit," she said.
She added this movie is about compassion for people and for animals.
"I want people to realize animals are souls. They're the same souls we are. They are just in a different package. We should all love each other and take care of each other, and we should never hoard animals," she said.
Marshall was rescued four years ago from an animal hoarder in Marshall, Missouri. When he arrived at the Humane Society of Missouri, bite marks had left a hole in the side of his face the size of a baseball. His front leg was so damaged, doctors had to amputate it. But that part of the story is really the beginning.
In addition to writing the book that inspired the movie, Cyndi Willenbrock started The Marshall Movement. Working with educators, they developed an anti-bullying curriculum and it has been test piloted in the Lindbergh and Ladue School Districts. Plans are to take the anti-bullying program to schools across America.