Now comes the truth.
The trainer’s name is Marc Métral, now 63, a French ventriloquist.
Shortly after the Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) show aired, fans took to Twitter to criticize the act. Abbi Ferguson wrote: “Totally shocked at BGT putting a mask on an obviously terrified dog that’s not talent should be looked into for animal abuse.”
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “It is not clear if Miss Wendy was wearing any sort of muzzle or mask during the performance on Britain’s Got Talent, however the RSPCA would be very concerned if it became clear that she was caused distress at any point. We will be contacting the show to ascertain what methods were used and how they impacted on the dog.”
While Wendy was wearing a device that fits like a muzzle, she was still able to breathe and move her mouth. The device is fitted shortly before Wendy appears on stage and removed just after.
A Britain’s Got Talent spokesperson responded, telling Metro.co.uk: “During the audition process we consulted the RSPCA’s guidelines for the welfare of performing animals and spoke to Marc in detail about his act. We are comfortable that Marc’s act complies with the guidelines laid out by the RSPCA and we look forward to hearing from the RSPCA to talk through the methods used and precautions taken.”
Métral, who has worked with animals since 1980 and with Wendy for the last five years, defended his and Wendy’s performance:
“I’ve been working with Wendy since she was a puppy, training and caring for her for the last five years. She loves performing and I would never put her in a situation that would cause her distress. She gets excited when we work and is always comfortable on stage.”