By Langley Cornwell
This guy is such an inspiration to me! I’d love to have a chat with him, but since he died in 2002 at the age of 86, I’ll have to settle for reading and writing about him. To catch you up, here are a few facts about Frank Inn:
He was a pioneering animal trainer who turned shelter pets into movie stars.
The animals that Frank Inn trained won 40 PATSY Awards, which is the animal kingdom’s equivalent of the Oscar. Three of the animals he trained won the award multiple times.
This legendary animal trainer was the first inductee into the International Association of Canine Professionals’ Hall of Fame.
One of the most recognized 4-legged movie stars that Inn created was Higgins, of Petticoat Junction and Benji fame. Other animals he trained included:
• Francis the Talking Mule
• Orangey the Cat (Rhubarb in Rhubarb, and Cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
• Bernadette the Dog (Cleopatra on Jackie Cooper’s TV series The People’s Choice
• Arnold Ziffel, the pig on Green Acres
• All of Elly Mae Clampett’s animals on The Beverly Hillbillies
• The chimpanzees that starred in the children’s TV show Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp
Frank Inn was known to visit animal shelters and take home healthy pets to keep them from being euthanized. There was a time when Inn and his assistants had over 1,000 animals in their care. The feeding bills alone came to more than $400 per day.