For more than three decades,
we are providing casting and training of animals
for films, television, commercials & stills
anywhere in the world. Meet the team More about us

Meet the team

Roger Farr

Founder of Academic Animals Qualified at Sparsholt Colledge Hampshire UK One of the highest qualified trainer in Europe specifically for working with all species of animals within the film, tv and media industry.

Jana Jenikova

Project co-ordinator and accounts manager

Gabriella Farr

Roger’s daughter.
Training animals since she took her first steps.
Potential for the future of Academic Animals

Jules O'Dwyer

All round animal trainer, specialty in dog training – assistance dogs
2013 World champion in Heelwork To Music @ Crufts

Alison Creaton

University graduate all round animal trainer and consultant/behaviourist
Specialty, guide dog trainer for the deaf and blind.

Sarka Ruzickova

Trainer and carer for all domestic animals

Laetitia Devillez

Assistant trainer

Vaclav Neuman

Farm and forestry animal specialist

Marcel Visser

Specialist dog trainer/ consultant
Also runs own company Trackerdogs.
The highest scoring student at the FBI
School of explosives and narcotics detection in the USA

Simone Boerema

Spends most of her time working in prisons searching for hidden drugs.
Also a member of Trackerdogs. Studies policework in the USA


Dog trainer & dog school instructor

Steven (sticker) Hockley

Trainee trainer
Speciality cats and reptiles

MVDr Josef Brecka

Veterinary doctor

More about us

About us

With our new office based near Prague a second office south of Brussels, and a subsidiary office in Kuala Lumpur we are able to offer our clients a service second to none. With more than 3 decades of experience in the film and publicity business providing animals worldwide, Academic Animals ensures your production will have people who understand your needs and are ready to give qualified and reliable advice to help solve your problems.

We guarantee: To do our very best on every single project!


We start at the very beginning with selecting animals with the right age, character and temperament.

Training is done using "positive" reward techniques. Making sure at all times there is no pressure place upon the animal.

Playtime is encouraged before and after any training session.

Different trainers are required to avoid the problem of an animal only responding to one person.

All our own animals go through a basic training program.

On completion a specialised training program would begin in anticipation of any film work, taking the animal to a much higher level and standard than the average pet. .


We spend our life traveling the world by road, sea and air transporting our animals to one film set or another. Our first task is to make sure the animals travel and arrive in good condition and without signs of stress.

By road we have to choose vehicles that do not make animals travel sick. They have to have a good heating and air conditioning system. We have to carry a lot of equipment to cover the animals every need. If we have a breakdown we try to have a plan "B" normally a second vehicle to rescue us. We have to leave way before the normal time one would plan just in case of the unforeseeable delays.

This is all very much within our control. However when traveling by air many things can go wrong because we are in other peoples hands.

Most airlines are governed by the same rules BUT some airlines have a few rules of the own that can cause us problems that can jeopardize your production.


Animals list



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Exotic birds

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We work with all kind of animals...

... and many many more: View all animals

Check out some of our latest works

Read some of our recent challenges

Our new cat training academy

We are so proud to announce that one of our biggest lifetime goals has been achieved and we want to share with you the good news. It took us over twelve years of hard work to get there but we did it.

Set in a forest bang in the centre of Europe our very exclusive "cat training academy" with a capacity for up to 100 cats specifically for the film, tv, media and the photographic industry.

Apart from super luxury and hygienic feline accommodation beatifully tiled throughout, there are two roof gardens, a grooming parlour, an isolation and aftercare room, a casting and training studio all with 24/7 video monitoring inside and out. We are currently working on "live virtual casting".

For our clients we have easy and ample parking, a meeting/presentation room, wi-fi, a large and fully fitted kitchen and dining area and of course restrooms.

All the areas are set in a very relaxed environment with climate control and they even have their own music for eight hours of the day. Some of the cats require grooming everyday of the year. All the cats will have their eyes, ears and nails attended to regularly plus they go to school and have regular training sessions in our training room or in the garden.

Standard health checks are a formality with our local veterinary doctor who keeps all the cats passports and health records up to date and ready to travel.

And for us, we live next door!!!




Taking an elephant, or 4 as in this case for a Volkswagen commercial filmed in Prague, was to a point boring because it was so straight forward and predictable. If you choose your elephants carefully and you know them well, there likes, their dislikes, characters and most of all your working alongside the worlds best elephant trainer, Sunny an old pal of mine for many years, then you should have no problems.
One real problem is greatly underestimated and yet probably appreciated more by people who transport horses and that is the transport problems. Elephants normally travel in very long low loading trucks and they like to be together as a family. If only one elephant is required it is still necessary to transport the whole family. So imagine pulling a truck with twenty or more tons behind you. Pulling away must be very slow, roundabouts, especially if the have a slope which is often the case, traffic lights and of course the idiot driver who thinks you are driving too slow for him and you have held him up now in front of you and wants to teach you a lesson by slamming his brakes on – all could have disastrous results. Then the final torment is when you do do reach your maximum speed on a long straight and empty motorway you cannot go faster than 50 klms per hour due to the concern and safety of the elephants behind you.
Just another day in the office


Originally asked to ride on a Segway for the 30 seconds spot the chimps needed very little time to understand and feel the natural balance required to steer, accelerate and brake. After a day or two it was so normal they wanted to ride this rather expensive machine all the time. It became their favourite toy.

Unfortunately for political reasons the Segway was dropped from the commercial and the shot finally showed one chimp playing with a ball. Not so exciting and nowhere near as much fun.

Filmed during a heatwave, the biggest problem was keeping the chimps out of the sun. We created a shaded base for them right next to the set and made sure they had all the cold drinks and ice cream they wanted.

Plus belle la vie (TV show)

Some of you may know that Academic Animals has for the last three years been working for France 3 making a TV series based in Marseilles called Plus Belle La Vie that is broadcast daily. It is the English equivalent of Eastenders. Now in its tenth year and very popular with more than 5 million viewers every day.
We supply the dog, a West Highland White. In the series Bobby the dog belongs to Melanie, one of the stars played by Laetitia Milot.
Having just received confirmation for yet another year. Starting filming again in February we will be in our 4th year with this dog. His real name and character name is “Bobby”, has three stand in dogs that look very similar. They are Robbie, Nessy and Noris. All four dogs have to be trained to take over any part of any action at a moments notice.
The film crew, and especially the public have very little idea of what is involved to do just one straight forward day of filming. It is not a dog from home in the car and work. It takes lots of preparation and hard work before the dog gets to the set. The training is ongoing and never ends.


Having worked with a Rhino in Brussels I was really looking forward to a simple cat or dog job when in came a project from Switzerland. It was from a regular client Migros. This is a supermarket chain known across all of Switzerland and Austria, that we have done at least 60 or so commercials over the years using cats, dogs and even reindeer for a Christmas promotion
For this challenge they wanted a large bull causing havoc at a carnival. We found a very large local bull that would scare most people and very quickly he was quite happy to charge at me or run away as we wanted but another unexpected turn was after a few days of practice he got to know me and became very friendly.
When you know how he was bucking and kicking at me when I first arrived on the farm the transformation by the time we had finished filming was incredible. We did manage to get the shots and I was sad to say goodbye to my new friend.

Le monde nous appartient (The World Belongs To Us) feature film

Taking a full size white rhino into the centre of Brussels must have been one of our biggest challenges ever.
Rafiki the rhino has done a lot of filming over the years but always in a very secure place like a studio or park with very strong fences. On this occasion  we were filming in the Rue de la Loi, one of the busiest streets in Brussels. With 4 lanes of continuous heavy traffic bumper to bumper we had to bring this enormous truck weighing 14 tons, park it in a side road and then ask Rafiki to come out for a walk. So as not to stress the rhino we decided to deliver him on the truck inside the house that he actually lives in. So house and rhino together arrived in Brussels in the afternoon and we began our preparations. This included having a special crane capable of lifting the rhino and his house off the truck and into position in this small road next to the film location that was the Rue de la Loi.

Let's make something great together!

Czech Republic


+420 325 598888

Mobile Roger

+420 724 086 085

Mobile Jana

+420 607 940 408




Belgium office