During the Hot Summer of 1993

Filming of The Shawshank Redemption had just begun at the old Ohio State Reformatory near Mansfield, Ohio, when actor Jodiviah Stepp befriended two stray dogs, who were living at the prison. With the help of director, Frank Darabont, Jodiviah eventually adopted Rita, one of those homeless dogs.

View the Trailer

Here is a short introduction to “Rita” and “Hayworth” and the story about their lives at the The Ohio State Reformatory.


Photo Galleries

Behind The Scenes of 
The Shawshank Redemption

Exclusive photos of Jodiviah, Tim Robbins, and the “New Fish Cons” during the filming of the movie.

The Stray Dogs That
Became Our Friends

Photos of Rita and Hayworth during the filming and their renewed life afterward.

The Shawshank Redemption
20th Anniversary Event

In 2014, along with some of the cast and fans, we celebrated twenty years since the release of the film.

In The Media

Media coverage of Rita the Shawshank Dog and the 20th anniversary celebration for the Shawshank Redemption film.

About The Book

Rita The Shawshank Dog book cover


This is the story of an actor, who while filming The Shawshank Redemption, crossed paths with two homeless dogs and how their lives were changed forever. This true story is told not only in words but also in a collection of pen and ink illustrations by author and artist, Brad Mavis.

This book would make an excellent gift for anyone who enjoys The Shawshank Redemption and who loves animals.

Purchase at Barnes & Noble      Purchase at Amazon

A portion of each book purchase will be used for The Rita Project, an organization that will continue to let Rita’s memory bring hope to homeless animals.

Brad Mavis and his dog

About the Author

After graduating from Columbus College of Art and Design, Brad Mavis pursued writing and directing independent films. Recently, he has turned his passion for storytelling into writing and illustrating books for adults and children.

His second passion is helping homeless animals, and he has worked closely with a local animal shelter for over a decade. He currently lives in Ohio with his dog, Molly.

Other books by this author are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Questions? Comments? Let us know!

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Save a Pet?

Webpage-1_fbIconHave you saved a homeless animal and  given them hope?  Please share your story on The Shawshank Dog Facebook page. And remember to ‘Like’ it!