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Jul 23 | Posted by: Susie's Hope

Healing Together, Donna and Susie Ultimately Led
a Statewide Movement to Pass “Susie’s Law,”
North Carolina Legislation to Prevent Cruelty to Animals


ATLANTA - July 23, 2014 – UP presents the broadcast premiere of the UP Premiere Movie Susie’s Hope, the true story of Greensboro, NC’s Donna Lawrence (played by Emmanuelle Vaugier, “Two and A Half Men,” “CSY: NY”), who barely survived a ferocious 2008 attack by an abused pit bull but learns to overcome her new fear of dogs and heal in the most unexpected way – by caring for a brutally abused, abandoned pit bull-mix puppy named Susie.  Susie’s Hope premieres exclusively on UP on Sunday, August 3 at 8:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. PST.


Produced by Susie’s Hope Movie, LLC in association with Stone’s Throw Films and ALTAIR Casting and Production Services, the film is directed by Jerry Rees (The Marrying Man, “Disney’s California Adventure TV Special”). Rees and Dan A. R. Kelly (Last Call, Car Jacked) co-wrote the screenplay.  The ensemble cast of Susie’s Hope also includes Burgess Jenkins (Remember the Titans, The Reaping), Andrea Powell (Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Get Low), with Lance E. Nichols (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Green Lantern), Jon Provost (star of the original 1950s’ TV series “Lassie”) and Megan Blake (The Magistical, “Dawson’s Creek”).


Susie’s Hope recounts the story of Donna Lawrence (Emmanuelle Vaugier), a long-time lover of dogs, who has watched her neighbors abuse and mistreat their pit bull for five years. Once the owner moves away, Donna begins caring for the dog.  Every day, she places a bowl of food in the doghouse and walks away.  During a routine visit, the territorial and fearful dog attacks Donna from behind, clenching her right leg in its jaw.  Knowing she is in trouble, Donna calls out to God, whom she says instructed her to use all of her might to throw the dog off of her and to roll a way.  After being rushed to the emergency room by a neighbor, the doctors tell her that she is lucky to have all of her limbs as well as her life.  Donna receives 45 stitches in her leg and spends the next two months learning to walk again. With the help of her husband Roy (Burgess Jenkins), Donna heals physically but the emotional scars of the traumatic attack leave her shaken and frightened until she meets Susie.  Donna’s close friend, Ramona (Andrea Powell) is who initially comes across Susie, a pit bull-mix puppy that had been beaten, set on fire, and left to die by her former owner. Both having experienced vicious attacks, Donna and Susie, learn to trust again.  Donna makes peace with her wrongful attack and Susie forgives humans for hers. The pair ultimately inspire an entire state to take a legislative stand against animal cruelty through the passage of “Susie’s Law,” which strengthened North Carolina’s penalties for animal abuse into a Class A felony. 


Susie’s Hope is an inspirational, hopeful movie about unexpected second chances and compassion,” said Sophia Kelley, senior vice president of programming, UP.  “After almost losing her life, Donna Lawrence finds the strength to face her newfound fear of dogs and motivate a state to pass legislation to help prevent cruelty to animals. Susie’s Hope is a truly touching film that’s guaranteed to uplift all who watch it.”


UP presents Susie’s Hope, a Susie’s Hope Movie, LLC in association with Stone’s Throw Films and ALTAIR Casting and Production Services production. Susie’s Hope stars Emmanuelle Vaugier, Burgess Jenkins, Andrea Powell with Lance E. Nichols, Jon Provost, and Megan Blake.  Directed by Jerry Rees. Executive produced by Eve Roser. Casting by Phil Newsome. Director of Photography is Mark Vargo. Edited by Michael Jablow.  Screenplay by Jerry Reese and Dan A. R. Kelly.


Follow the cast at:


For more information about the Susie’s Law and the Susie’s Hope™ non-profit organization, which promotes education and awareness of the care and responsibility required in owning pets as well as animal safety around unfamiliar animals:


About UP

UP, America’s favorite network for uplifting entertainment is a 24-hour television network that provides high-quality, diverse, family-friendly programming, including original and premiere movies, theatricals, drama and comedy series, music and holiday specials. UP can be seen in 67 million homes in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) on cable systems including Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable, as well as DIRECTV (Channel 338), DISH Network (Channel 188) and Verizon FIOS (Channel 224).  As part of its mission to entertain and uplift, the network’s pro-social initiative “Uplift Someone” reminds and inspires people to do simple acts of kindness.  UP is also a service provider to its sister network ASPiRE.  Based in Atlanta, UP is a division of UP Entertainment, LLC, which also offers gMovies, the first faith-friendly streaming movie service.


Follow UP on the Web at www.UPtv.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UPtv, Twitter on @UPtv and Instagram at UP_TV.


About Stones Throw Films

Stone’s Throw Films (www.stonesthrowfilmsnc.com) is a national production company that specializes in independent features, short films, documentaries, corporate and non-profit communications, as well as website and behind-the-scenes videos. The company offers creative storytelling solutions and collaborates with clients in the development, budget, and production of projects.


Note to Editor: For additional press materials, high-resolution photos, and screeners, please visit: www.UPtv.com/pressroom.

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Chelsye J. Burrows                              David Gardner

770.692.4559                                      770.692.9939

cburrows@UPtv.com                            dgardner@UPtv.com


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