The Animal Talent

The Animal Talent

The Animal Talent

Calling All Potential Animal Models And Actors!

Animal modelling is a big business and it’s growing bigger. Over recent years professionally trained animal models and actors,  of all shapes and sizes, are becoming more and more important to advertisers in their commercials and campaigns. They’re also increasingly featuring in films, TV series and within newspaper and magazine editorials. 

If you think your talented animal has what it takes to join these highly skilled stars on-set, we’d love to hear from you.  Our clients are always on the lookout for new, fresh animal talent to cast in their productions or place on the cover of their glossies.

All Animal Talent Welcome

We welcome talented dogs, cats, and any other kind of skilled animal onto our agency’s modelling and acting roster; no one species, rescue pet, or ‘different’ pet will be discounted. All we ask of animal applicants is that they are healthy, happy, and confident. We prioritise handlers who engage in consistent positive reinforcement training with their charges.

Your animal star’s profile will be considered by very many directors, producers, photographers and agents looking to cast an animal for their project and we always support you and your pet in your work.

Your application check list:

  1. Demonstrate your talented animal's ability, training and skills with video.

We only accept applications from animal parents who have included video footage of their animal's skills; this is because our clients need to see ability prior to hiring an animal. Kindly note:

  • Animal skills should be filmed from a distance of 5-10 feet (around 2 metres) because you will always be behind the camera in the studio.
  • Videos should be shot in different environments so that our clients know your animal is confident outside the comfort of their own home.
  1. Demonstrate your animal's appearance and charisma with photos.

We only accept applications from animal parents who have given some thought about their animal's images submitted, because these pictures will be shown to our clients. Please note:

  • We need to see the animal's full body in sitting and standing positions
  • We need to see the animal's personality, so use of props and clothes can enhance your photos. It's also exciting to see pictures of your animal in action!
  • We don't need to see the privacy of your home, so think about what you're happy to have shown online and to our clients
  • Please don't provide filtered images; it's important for our clients to see the animal in their natural appearance
  1. Give your animal their best shot by providing as much information as possible.

We love to hear anecdotes about animals, their back story and their personality. You may well find that things you consider irrelevant are often the things that our clients are most interested in.

What's the cost of joining?

There is no upfront cost to you.  A one-off fee of £30 is charged for the creation of your animal model and actor's profile, its maintenance and for general administration. This is discounted from the first job you compete with our agency.

What are the benefits of joining?

You will be paid for all the work you do with our agency whenever your animal star is selected for hire by our clients.  Fees vary depending on the specific brief for the job being offered.

Do you take a commission?

We take a commission from all the work that we source for your talented animal and this is discussed with you in our confirmation call, so you always receive total transparency throughout the entire booking process.

Will my animal be filmed at home?

Most of the modelling and acting work our talent performs occurs in professional filming studios and locations around the country.  It is rare that a production crew hiring your animal star will come to you.

Will my travel costs be covered?

We ensure travel costs are covered and we are always transparent about the rates of remuneration for this prior to booking.

When will my animal get paid?

In line with standard practice in the entertainment industry, payment can take anywhere up to eight weeks after filming to complete.

What skills do animal models and actors need?

This can vary depending on the client's brief and the species of talented animal.  However, all animal stars must be people friendly and confident in busy and noisy environments (such as on a film set).  We also insist that all animal models and actors  are happy to travel, because we need for them to be happy in all aspects of their work when hired.

Does my animal talent need to be insured?

Yes, insurance to a level of third party cover is always required.  Health insurance for pets is preferred but not always necessary.

Is The Animal Talent an exclusive agency?

No; we are happy to work with any animal model and actor that is also signed to other talent agencies and we regularly collaborate with other agents on multi-handler shoots. We believe in optimising the opportunities available for every talented animal and representation exclusivity tends to thwart this aspiration; it's unfair to you and unnecessary for us. There is more than enough work for everybody! 

What happens if my animal is accepted?

The Animal Talent Ltd will compile an online profile for your animal star and promote it amongst our clients who are looking to hire an animal model or actor.  This will enable them to view his or her profile, including the biography, images and videos.  

If your talented animal is selected for hire by our clients, we will call you to discuss the brief for the project before any commitments are requested from you; we always ensure you are fully informed and happy to proceed with every job offered. 

How often will my animal model and actor work?

This definitely varies from animal to animal and we cannot give a definitive answer.  Trends in species and breeds vary and the more skilled and confident the talented animal is, the more work they are likely to be hired for.  However, we will always promote your animal star and support you in your endeavours for continued training and enrichment.

Do I need an Animal Activities License?

The particularly pervasive myth to the effect that all animals generating a gross income in excess of £1000 per annum from the keeping or training of animals for use in live audiences or recorded productions and/or print media require a licence is incorrect. In fact the contrary is the case; if an animal earns an income below the annual HMRC trading income allowance (presently set at £1000) a license is not required for their activities. Conversely if the sum earned is above this amount, a licence may be required in the event the activities are carried on in the course of a business.

In order to determine if the activity is conducted in the course of a business, the local authority will consider:

(i) Whether it is conducted with a view to making a profit or making any commission / fee; and
(ii) HMRC's nine Badges of Trade 

It follows that an individual's requirement for a licence will always be assessed on a case by case basis.  It is always a subjective test.

To learn more about the nine Badges of Trade and the Animal Activities Licence generally, please refer to the information on the Gov website.  Licence applications can be made through local authority.  Should you have any questions about this or are unclear on the legislation, please contact [email protected].