Wednesday, 7 November 2012

New reality show will be about Montgomery County animal cruelty

Montgomery County will serve as the setting of a new reality show about fighting animal cruelty that will air on Animal Planet next week.

The show, ?Bully and Sugar: Southern Justice,? will feature Scott ?Sugar Hill? Hill, one of the county?s animal control officers, and Christopher ?Bully the Kid? Bennett, a former animal control investigator for the state of Georgia.

The premise of the show is that Bennett, bringing his city experience from Atlanta, rides around with Hill, a native of Montgomery, to help with animal control and cruelty problems throughout the county.

The show is being produced by 44Blue Productions. If the pilot episode, which was filmed this summer, is successful, the company will film 15 episodes. The pilot will air at 10 p.m. Nov. 10 on Animal Planet Network.

Michael Briddell, the city?s director of public information, said what will really make the show work is the personality contrasts and chemistry between Bennett and Hill.

?I think the show is going to show we do have animal cruelty in Montgomery, but we?re serious about it. We?re going to fight it every day,? Hill said. ?We don?t play around with this stuff here.?

The city worked closely with the 44Blue Productions, the Montgomery Humane Society and its attorneys to make sure they have some control over how the city and county are portrayed in the show.

?All of us had some serious reservations,? Briddell said. ?We don?t want Montgomery, Alabama, to be portrayed in 96 million homes as a place that has a lot of problems.?

After seeing the footage and working with the company, Briddell said he has no doubt that the city and county will be represented accurately.

Steven Tears, executive director of the Montgomery Humane Society, said he hopes the show will educate other cities and counties that don?t take animal cruelty crimes seriously.

He said Bennett?s unique skill set ? and the fact that he won?t be in a uniform ? will help improve the investigations. He said individuals involved in animal cruelty cases who wouldn?t normally talk to the county officers have spoken to Bennett.

?We?re really excited on behalf of the Humane Society and the city and the county that we?re going to be able to showcase the hard work that we do and the successes we have, whether it?s using education to prevent people from having to visit our jails or we actually have to force them to go to jail,? Tears said.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said the show does depict animal cruelty, but it also shows that the city and county are trying to eliminate it with the resources they have.

?We took a leap of faith and we decided to go forward with this,? Strange said.

Bennett, who said he came to Montgomery to make an impact, said the South is often misrepresented as a ?backwoods place? where people don?t care about animals.

?I know this is the new South and the new Montgomery,? Bennett said. ?I thought this show was a way to showcase who we are as people and individuals and as a community.?


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