A crowd of people lined up at the Eventi hotel in Manhattan last week waiting to meet an Internet celebrity. But there would be no signing of autographs — unless a paw print counts.
Manny the French Bulldog became famous after pictures of him sleeping in sinks went viral, bolstered by the Frenchie’s unique bark.
His owner Amber Chavez says the bulldog now has more than 2 million followers on social media. She says his rising stardom is easy to understand.
“Just look at him,” she told CBS News correspondent Wendy Gillette. “I think it’s his personality. He’s hilarious”
Manny is so popular that he’s currently on a 15 city national tour. Fans who follow him online even bring their own dogs to meet him in person.
Manny is one of a growing number of pets who are social media stars. Animals such as Grumpy Catand Boo the Pomeranian could be considered legitimate celebrities. A YouTube video of Mishka the dog saying “I love you” has 95 million views.
Popularity has turned some pets into cash cows. Chavez quit her job to manage Manny full time. He now has ad deals and his own line of products for sale. His owners donate half of their profits to charity, yet still made over $100,000 last year.
Katie Sturino is finding new fame with her dog Toast.
The puppy mill rescue’s tongue always sticks out because she lost her teeth. After nabbing 250 thousand Instagram followers, Toast was hired to take part in an advertising campaign for Karen Black sunglasses.
If you think your pet should be the next big thing, these owners say get ready to work like a dog.
“It’s a lot of work,” said Sturino and added, with a laugh, “I don’t really socialize anymore.”