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K9 sanctuary reacts to Channing Tatum's 'Dog' movie

The dog in the movie is a Belgian Malinois, the same as at least half of the sanctuary dogs.

HERNDON, Pa. — Seventeen-year-old Sheera is the reason K9 Hero Haven exists; it's a retirement home for working dogs.

"After I took her in, I just realized like how many more dogs are out there," said Anne Gibbs.

Gibbs adopted Sheera back in 2013.

Now, 60 and retired, "working" dogs live in her sanctuary.

"(Malinois) they are used for military, police, US customs work," Gibbs explained.

At least half of the sanctuary dogs, like She-Rah, are Belgian Malinois.

"They are extremely smart; they're easy to train," Gibbs said.

Malinois might not sound familiar, but you've likely seen the dog in a new movie called "Dog" starring Channing Tatum.

Tatum, tasked with driving the dog to her handler's funeral, has his work cut out for him.

Gibbs says while heartfelt movies like these can make people want to adopt them, this movie portrayed the dogs pretty accurately.

"I know I'm used to them, and I have them, but it's not like when I saw that movie, if I was a regular person watching it, I would be like okay, I need to get one of those," she said.

Still, the movie shows the bond that can ultimately form between two war veterans.

It's why she says many of her dogs are placed with veterans and officers. 

"Each one understands what the other one went through," added Gibbs.

"I totally understood them the very first time I came here," said Bill Cossair, volunteer and Army veteran.

"I gave up on people. And the dogs, they never let you down, ever," he said.

Cossair says these dogs saved his life.

"It gives me something to wake up for every day. Some of them, I can be sad or like thinking of something, I just look at them, and they make me laugh," he said.

As Gibbs, there are a couple of things about the Malinois she wants people to know.

"They're very high drive. They need the right person. They need activity. They need structure," she said.

And while behaviors can vary, even without training, they have certain innate qualities.

"You know, if they become bored, they can be very destructive," Gibbs said. 

Gibbs says with the movie's release, she'll be "vetting" applicants even more thoroughly. 

See more pets and animal stories on WNEP’s YouTube playlist.  

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