Marmaduke movie mutts get boot from Burnaby warehouse

Some Vancouver film producers are in the doghouse for keeping more than 50 noisy dogs in an unlicensed warehouse for the upcoming movie Marmaduke.

Some Vancouver film producers are in the doghouse for keeping more than 50 noisy dogs in an unlicensed warehouse for the upcoming movie  Marmaduke.

The animals were spending their days on the film sets getting trained for their parts in the adaptation of the popular comic strip about a mischievous Great Dane.

But it was their noisy routine of barking up a storm at all hours of the day that began to annoy nearby condo residents, who began to wonder if their north Burnaby, B.C., neighbourhood was going to the dogs.

Resident Alex Damour said the film producers started housing the dogs at the warehouse just across from her condo without warning or explanation and, as their numbers grew, the barking got louder and louder, forcing Damour to vacate one of her rooms.

"It's the waking up and the constant noise. I mean it's on and off every few hours. It stops, but it's every day and every night," Damour told CBC News.

During the day, residents could see dozens of kennels inside and outside the warehouse, and plenty of dogs both big and small, coming and going.

No licence obtained

Damour complained to the SPCA, suspecting some sort of animal abuse was underway. That's when she learned the dogs were being housed and trained at the warehouse for the feature film.

That complaint prompted city inspectors to carry out an inspection of the warehouse and they soon determined that the production company, TCF Vancouver Productions, was operating the makeshift kennel without a business licence, according to Burnaby licensing supervisor Dan Lang.

"The process wasn't followed. They were required to get planning approval prior to taking up residency on the site. They didn't do that," Lang said Thursday after the inspection.

Animal training is allowed in the area, but only under certain circumstances, said Lang, who wondered how the film producers planned to operate without a licence during several months of shooting.

After the inspection, the film company released a written statement, apologizing to residents for any inconvenience and saying it is looking for another location.

The actual filming of Marmaduke is set to begin later in June.