EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – The story of a stray dog turned movie star is inspiring people across the country.

Buckley is a St. Bernard/Collie mix who was brought to the Emporia Animal Shelter in October 2018.

After living in the shelter for about three weeks, the shelter got a message from a family in California wanting to adopt him.

Little did anyone know, he would end up with a star role in the 20th Century Studios movie, “The Call of the Wild.”

Jessica Steele-Sanders, one of Buckley’s owners, says her family was looking for a companion for their elderly dog, Brody, when they came across Buckley online.

At the time, her husband, Chris Sanders, was on set directing “The Call of the Wild”, which is about a dog the exact same breed as Buckley.

After they decided to adopt Buckley, it turns out that he was not just a perfect fit for their family, but was also the perfect dog to play “Buck” in the movie.

When Steele-Sanders brought Buckley and Brody along to the set, the movie’s producers suggested they use Buckley as the CGI “Buck” and the rest was history.

The animal shelter in Emporia that Buckley was adopted from, says they couldn’t be happier that Buckley’s story of the power of animal adoptions will be shared with millions of people.

“The staff all remembers Buckley just because he was just a big goofball,” Peggy Perez, the shelter’s manager, said. “I mean he was such a beautiful dog anyway and he was just a big goofball. So you know everybody attached to him pretty quickly.”

Buckley’s character is completely animated, created from a digital scan of Buckley’s moves and expressions.

Peggy says the entire staff at the Emporia Animal Shelter plans to see the movie together next week when it comes out on Feb. 21.

She also says that anyone who sees the movie can bring in their movie ticket and take $10 off adoption fees.

Regal Cinemas in Topeka and at the Southpark Mall in Emporia will both have multiple showings of the film.