When the musical titled “Dr. Doolittle” came out in 1967, few people realized how exceptional it was to include 1,200 trained animals in a single movie. All the animals were supplied by Roy G. Kabat, whose Animal Actors Co. worked with exotic and domestic animals for movies and television and had a small traveling circus.
In 1971, Kabat and his wife and son moved onto the old Kasper Kubli ranch in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon. Renamed Animal Actor’s Ranch, it became the place for animals to take a break from Hollywood and to rest and reproduce. By driving out Highway 238, people could see camels and goats, llamas and lions. A large barn housed exotic birds, coyotes, wolves, leopards, pigmy horses and more.
A remodeled milking barn housed several trainers who kept the animals in top shape should they be needed for a new movie or to join groups of animals that appeared in fairs and circuses around the country every year. Some movie animals were nearly as popular as their human costars.
Southern Oregonians know Roy Kabat today for starting the Dogs for the Deaf facility in the mid-1970’s at his Animal Actor’s Ranch.
Source: O'Harra, Marjorie. "Applegate--Where Animals Take a Break from Acting." Medford Mail Tribune, 6 Feb. 1972, section b ed., p. 1.