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A screenshot from a video by the Pet Collective shows Buckley, a dog adopted from the Emporia Animal Shelter, getting snuggles from his new owner, “Call of the Wild” Director Chris Sanders.

Emporians can see one of their own making his big screen debut.

Buckley, a dog who was brought into the Emporia Animal Shelter as a stray in early Oct. 2018, was adopted by Jessica Steele-Sanders and her husband, Chris Sanders, three weeks after his arrival. The St. Bernard mix was taken to California to live with his new family and be a companion for their senior dog, Brody.

It just so happened, Sanders was directing a film adaptation of the Jack London novel, “Call of the Wild.” When producers saw Buckley while he and Jessica were visiting Chris on set, they thought he fit the description of the story’s leading canine character, Buck, perfectly.

Though the dog is computer generated in a majority of the film — many scenes are too dangerous for a real dog — Buckley will appear in some of the less death-defying scenes.

“Call of the Wild” opened at B & B Theatres in the Flinthills Mall. Scheduled are nightly 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. showtimes. Saturday includes matinees at 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., along with the times listed above. The move is rated PG and stars Harrison Ford. For more showtimes, visit

The Emporia Animal Shelter is also running an adoption special in honor of Buckley. Anyone who brings in a ticket stub from “Call of the Wild” will get $10 off an adoption fee.

For more of Buckley’s story, here is a story published in the Feb. 15 edition of The Emporia Gazette:

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