American Humane gives advice for National Dog Bite Prevention Week

April 4, 2019

The following is a press release from American Humane:

Every year more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs with 800,000 of these bites serious enough to require people to seek medical care. As part of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week® coalition, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, is encouraging Americans during National Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 7-13, 2019) and all year round to prevent dog bites and help avoid a double tragedy for both people and animals.

“A dog bite can have a devastating effect not only on the victim, but also on the dog, who may be euthanized,” says Robin Ganzert, PhD, president and CEO of American Humane. “It’s up to us humans to protect ourselves, our families and our dogs from the dangers and consequences of dog bites.”

Dogs can bite for many reasons, including improper care and/or a lack of socialization.  All dogs, even well-trained, gentle dogs, are capable of biting when provoked, especially when eating, sleeping or caring for puppies. Thus, even when a bite is superficial or classified as “provoked,” dogs may be abandoned or euthanized. Therefore, it’s vitally important to keep both people and dogs safe by preventing dog bites wherever possible.

To reduce the number of injuries to people and the risk of relinquishment of dogs who bite, American Humane offers the following suggestions:

For Children:

  • Never approach an unknown dog or a dog that is alone without an owner, and always ask for permission before petting the dog.
  • Never approach an injured animal – find an adult who can get the help s/he needs.
  • Never approach a dog that is eating, sleeping or nursing puppies.
  • Don’t poke, hit, pull, pinch or tease a dog.

For Dog Owners:

  • Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet.
  • Interactions between children and dogs should always be monitored to ensure the safety of both your child and your dog.
  • Teach your children to treat the dog with respect and not to engage in rough or aggressive play.
  • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
  • Never put your dog in a position where s/he feels threatened.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep him/her healthy and to provide mental stimulation.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you can control your dog.
  • Regular veterinary care is essential to maintain your dog’s health; a sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.
  • Be alert, if someone approaches you and your dog – caution them to wait before petting the dog, give your pet time to be comfortable with a stranger.

American Humane also offers a free online booklet available for families with children called “Pet Meets Baby,” providing valuable information on introducing a new child to a home with a pet – or a new pet into a home with a child: http://www.americanhumane.org/interaction/programs/humane-education/pet-meets-baby.html.

Consider these statistics and tips provided by National Dog Bite Prevention Week® Coalition members:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association estimates there are approximately 78 million dogs in U.S. homes and each year 4.5 million people are bitten or injured by dogs. “Even the gentlest dog can bite if they are in pain, feel threatened, or are competing for resources such as food or space,” said Dr. John de Jong, AVMA President. “Not only is it important to understand how dogs behave, it is important to understand how a dog may interpret our behavior.” AVMA’s ‘Jimmy the Dog’ video series lets preschoolers look at how a dog might interpret different scenarios.
  • Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for nearly one third of all homeowners’ liability claim dollars paid out in 2018, costing $675 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm®, the largest writer of homeowners’ insurance in the United States. An analysis of homeowners’ insurance data by the I.I.I. found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide decreased to 17,297 in 2018, compared to 18,522 in 2017– a 6.6 percent decrease.  The average cost per claim increased by 5.3 percent. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $39,017 in 2018, compared with $37,051 in 2017.
  • In 2018, State Farm paid $123 million for 3,280 dog bite and injury claims. The insurance company believes that educating dog owners about being responsible will reduce dog-related injuries. State Farm is also one of the few insurance companies in the country that does not have a breed restriction list and does not exclude homeowner or renter insurance coverage because of the breed of dog owned. Under the right circumstances any dog might bite.

“We’ve seen firsthand over the years the tragic consequences surrounding dog bites and their effect on those involved – the people who are injured, the animals who may be relinquished or even destroyed, and the dog’s owners who have to cope with the loss of a beloved family member,” said Lesa Staubus, DVM, American Humane Rescue veterinarian, speaking at the April 4 National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition kick-off event in Chicago. “Once your dog has bitten someone – or you or a family member fall victim to a dog bite – it will be already be too late.  Let’s practice good prevention instead.”

American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.americanhumane.org today.

Mattel introduces Barbie Career 60th Anniversary doll collection

March 6, 2019

Barbie Career 60th Anniversary Collection.
Barbie Career 60th Anniversary Collection. Pictured from left to right: Maya Gabiera, Surfer, Brazil; Naomi Osaka, Tennis Player, Japan; Kristina Vogel, Cycling Champion, Germany; Tessa Virtue, Ice Skater, Canada; Yara Shahidi, Actress, United States; Adwoa Aboah, Activist and Model, United Kingdom; Dipa Karmakar, Artistic Gymnast, India; Chen Man, Photographer, China; Ita Buttrose, Journalist, Australia. (Photo courtesy of Mattel)

The following is a press release from Mattel:

Mattel, Inc. kicks off worldwide celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Barbie, the number one fashion doll in the world designed to inspire the limitless potential in every girl.

In its 60th year, the Barbie brand is honoring the largest lineup of global female role models and taking the next step to close the Dream Gap by donating to fund like-minded organizations aimed at leveling the playing field for girls through the Mattel Children’s Foundation. Research** has shown that starting at age five, girls start doubting their potential, this is the Dream Gap.

“For 60 years, Barbie has championed girls, inspired generations to believe through make believe and showed them that they have choices. With more than 200 careers, six runs for president and a trip to the moon before Neil Armstrong, Barbie continues to evolve to be a modern, relevant role model for all ages,” said Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Barbie.  “The Barbie brand believes girls should never know a world, job, or dream women haven’t conquered. Through our global platform, we are igniting a movement to help close the Dream Gap and further establish Barbie as the ultimate girl empowerment brand.”

The brand is celebrating and inspiring girls around the world in its 60th year by:

  • CELEBRATING ROLE MODELS TO INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION by shining a light on women who are breaking boundaries in a variety of diverse career fields.
    • Barbie will honor more than 20 women across multiple countries and continents ranging from 19 to 85 years old and speaking 13 languages.
    • This is the largest and most diverse lineup of women honored to date by Barbie and a continuation of the “Shero” program launched in 2015.
    • These women are gifted a one-of-a-kind doll made in their likeness, the highest honor from the Barbie brand.
    • Around the world, Barbie is honoring role models including actress and activist, Yara Shahidi, tennis star, Naomi Osaka, activist and model, Adwoa Aboah, and many more.
  • LAUNCHING THE BARBIE DREAM GAP PROJECT FUND by dedicating resources to like-minded organizations in support of closing the Dream Gap and leveling the playing field for girls.
    • Barbie will donate one dollar from every doll sold* in the United States up to $250,000. The funds will be managed through the Mattel Children’s Foundation, the company’s social impact arm.
    • Follow @barbie during the 60th celebrations and join the conversation to help close the Dream Gap and inspire a girl in your life by using #Barbie60 #YouCanBeAnything.
    • This initiative builds on theBarbie Dream Gap Project announced last year, the brand’s ongoing global initiative to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential
  • LEVERAGING BARBIE AS A ROLE MODEL and connecting with fans through inspiring content that is purpose-driven at the core, while entertaining and fun.
    • As the #1 girls brand on YouTube, Barbie has a powerful platform to showcase teachable moments and is launching a new vlog on March 7 called “Finding Your Voice.”
    • For the month of March, Barbie Vlogger becomes an editor on the YouTube Kids app with a curated playlist of inspiring videos. Barbie Vlogger was given this honor because she has become a top girl influencer on YouTube with more than 108 million views.
  • HOSTING INSPIRING EVENTS FOR GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD and inviting fans everywhere to celebrate Barbie, a global cultural icon. To find an experience near you, please visit www.Barbie.com/60.
    • An immersive Barbie pop-up experience in New York City to celebrate the brand’s past, present and future on March 9. Equal parts fashion tribute and art installation, fans of all ages can celebrate the icon.
    • The Barbie “Be Anything” Tour will kick-off in Bentonville, Ark. with GRAMMY-nominated, country music star Kelsea Ballerini on March 9 and 10. It will run through October and stop at 36 participating U.S. Walmart locations. At each stop, girls can hear about a role model’s journey, enter for a chance to win up to $20,000 to make their dreams come true and enjoy other fun and interactive experiences for the whole family.
    • “Barbie Presented by Amazon” pop-up stores are in five major markets across the U.S. based on Amazon’s innovative physical retail model. Fans are treated to an immersive Barbie experience through April 2.
    • In-store activations in various participating U.S. Target locations throughout the country on March 9 that will feature the “What Will You Be” exclusive Barbie-themed apparel and accessories line for girls ages 5 to 10.
    • Celebrating female empowerment with a visual message at landmarks across the world including New York’s Empire State Building, TOKYO SKYTREE®, Toronto’s CN Tower and Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
  • INTRODUCING COMMEMORATIVE PRODUCT encouraging girls to dream. From princess to president, astronaut to zoologist, there isn’t a plastic ceiling Barbie has not broken.
    • Barbie Career 60th Anniversary doll collection celebrates six careers that have been in the Barbie line from the beginning and are still areas that are underrepresented by women, including astronaut, pilot, athlete, journalist, politician and firefighter.
    • Barbie 60th Anniversary and Proudly Pink Barbie dolls pay homage to Barbie’s heritage with stunning design to celebrate 60 years of fashion.
    • The brand is collaborating with partners across multiple categories including apparel, publishing, food, beauty, travel and more to celebrate the milestone.

Visit barbiemedia.com for more information, images and video footage of the brand. Follow @barbie and @barbiestyle on social media and join in the celebration using #Barbie60 and #YouCanBeAnything.

*For every Barbie doll purchased in the U.S. between 3/6/19 and 3/11/19, Mattel will donate $1.00 to the Barbie Dream Gap Project Fund (part of the Mattel Children’s Foundation) – up to a maximum total donation of $250,000. Offer is void in AL, AR, CT, HI, IL, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NY, SC and UT.  No portion of the purchase is tax deductible.

**Study conducted by researchers at New York University, the University of Illinois and Princeton University.

About Mattel

Mattel is a leading global children’s entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends® and Mega®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.

Fisher Price relaunches Rescue Heroes brand of toys

February 15, 2019

Fisher-Price Rescue Heroes
Fisher-Price Rescue Heroes (Photo courtesy of Mattel)

The following is a press release from Mattel:

Fisher-Price®, the leading global brand for infants and preschoolers, will re-launch Rescue Heroes®, a preschool toy line featuring action figures that honor real life heroes who work together to combat disasters whenever or wherever they happen. Through play, the Rescue Heroes toy line aims to stimulate children’s imagination and sense of adventure without involving violence. The product line will be available exclusively at Walmart stores nationwide and at Walmart.com beginning this summer.

Fisher-Price and Walmart are teaming up to bring Rescue Heroes to families and give parents and children a preschool-friendly way to engage in meaningful conversation about the heroism displayed in the world around us such as from first responders. In today’s world, it is hard to turn on the news without hearing about a manmade or natural disaster; from the California Camp Fires to a tsunami in Southeast Asia, these disasters are difficult topics to address with kids. As a way to engage and empower families, Fisher-Price is hosting an exciting Rescue Heroes parking lot event this summer at Walmart stores across the nation to give kids an opportunity to physically engage with fire trucks and police cars with the goal of getting familiar with how they work and the purpose they serve.

“We’re excited to be the exclusive retailer for the Rescue Heroes toy line that carries such a powerful and important message,” said Anne Marie Kehoe, vice president of toys at Walmart. “We hope that through localized parking lot events, we are helping guide young families in teaching their children about deserving heroes and how they too can help their community.”

“As Fisher-Price looks to reinforce its position in helping parents of kids zero to five years old, Rescue Heroes is a great example of a unique offering that works to provide greater purpose to play,” said Chuck Scothon, SVP of Fisher-Price and Global Head of Infant Pre-School. “Rescue Heroes for us serves to recognize and honor everyday heroes, from first responders to young children who perform incredible, noble acts. It’s a departure from action figures built around good versus evil storytelling, providing mom an alternative she can feel good about,” said Scothon.

This year, Rescue Heroes and Fisher-Price are teaming up with Joe Torrillo, a former Fire Department New York (FDNY) Firefighter and honoring his service with his own one-of-a-kind Rescue Heroes action figure. Joe was on his way to a FDNY Rescue Heroes launch on September 11, 2001, when he stopped to jump into action at the World Trade Center and ultimately survived being buried alive by both collapses. Today, Joe remains an inspirational figure who embraces everything a true hero stands for.

“As a former member of the FDNY, Rescue Heroes and the message they send to kids, hits very close to home. I am thrilled that Fisher-Price is re-launching this inspirational toy line and honored to be receiving my very own action figure,” stated Joe Torrillo, former FDNY Firefighter.

Beginning in April, a suite of digital content, including animated episodes, will roll out across YouTube Kids and Fisher-Price platforms to further stimulate a child’s sense of adventure through Rescue Heroes content.  “Kid Heroes” content will highlight kids across the country who are heroes in their communities, including nationally recognized “kid hero” Roman McConn. Roman is a 7-year-old Texan who channeled his love for animals into a philanthropic venture, Project Freedom Ride, to help animals in shelters find permanent homes.

Starting today, consumers can pre-order the new Rescue Heroes toy line exclusively at Walmart.com.

About Mattel
Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) is a leading global children’s entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends™ and Mega®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.

2019 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: Wire fox terrier wins Best in Show; see complete list of winners

February 12, 2019

The 143rd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show took place at New York City’s Madison Square Garden from February 10 to February 12, 2018. In the U.S., portions of the event were televised on Fox, NatGeo Wild, FS1 and Fox Sports Go.

Here are the results of the event:

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
GCHB CH Kingarthur Van Foliny Home, Best in Show winner at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club)

2019 Best in Show was awarded to GCHB CH Kingarthur Van Foliny Home

Breed: Fox Terriers (Wire)
Sex: Male
DOB: 10/01/11
Breeder: R De Munter & D Uiterwijk
Owner: Victor Malzoni Jr
Sire: Crispy Legacy
Dam: Ginagee Van Foliny Home
AKC: RN 27155701
GCHG CH Oeste’s In The Name Of Love, Best Reserve in Show at the 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club)

2019 Reserve Best In Show was awarded to GCHG CH Oeste’s In the Name of Love

Breed: Havanese
Sex: Male
DOB: 7/23/16
Breeder: Mary E King & Rafe H Schindler & Julie Vogel & Taffe McFadden
Owner: Mary E King & Rafe H Schindler & Julie Vogel & Taffe McFadden
Sire: CH Oeste’s Top Gun
Dam: GCH Oeste’s Stealing The Starlight
AKC: TS 31159701

 

GROUP RESULTS

Hound Group

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Toy Group

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Non-Sporting Group

1st

2nd

GCHP CH Le Petit Prince De La Bete

3rd

4th

Herding Group

1st

2nd

GCHP2 CH Majestic Elite Clever Endeavor PT

3rd

4th

 

Sporting Group

1st

Spaniels (Sussex)

GCHS CH Kamand’s Full Of Beans @ Erinhill

2nd

Setters (Irish)

GCHP CH Militza’s My Cherie Amour

3rd

4th

 

Working Group

1st

2nd

3rd

GCHB CH Ederra’s Glacier The Power Of Mo’ne

4th

GCHP CH Foxfire’s Alltimate Wanna Be

Terrier Group

1st

GCHB CH Kingarthur Van Foliny Home

2nd

GCHS CH Alpine’s LBK Living On The Road DS CGC TKN

3rd

CH Juger Edelweiss Prince Lionheart

4th

GCHS CH J’Adores Stanley Cup Toews At Raelyn

 

AGILITY RESULTS

Masters Agility Champion

Verb
Breed: Border Collie
Handler: Perry DeWitt
Time: 32.05

 

All-American Dog

Plop
Handler: Lisa Topol
Time: 37.99

8-Inch Division

1st

Gabby
Breed: Papillon
Handler: Andrea Samuels
Time: 39.31

2nd

Lark
Breed: Papillon
Handler: Betsey Lynch
Time: 43.20

3rd

Logan
Breed: All American Dog
Handler: Kimberly Barton
Time: 44.35

4th

Bexar
Breed: Havanese
Handler: Cherry Windlinger
Time: 50.45

12-Inch Division

1st

Pixel
Breed: Miniature American Shepherd
Handler: Ami Sheffield
Time: 33.45
2nd
Pre
Breed: Poodle
Handler: Laura Dolan
Time: 35.10
3rd
Plop
Breed: All American Dog
Handler: Lisa Topol
Time: 37.99
4th
Trek
Breed: Shetland Sheepdog
Handler: Brittany Schaezler
Time: 40.32

16-Inch Division

1st

P!nk
Breed: Border Collie
Handler: Jennifer Crank
Time: 31.23

 

2nd

Boss
Breed: Shetland Sheepdog
Handler: John Nys
Time: 33.33

3rd

Trudi
Breed: Miniature American Shepherd
Handler: Chip Gerfen
Time: 34.29

4th

Skye
Breed: Keeshond
Handler: Claire O’Neil
Time: 39.10

20-Inch Division

1st

Verb
Breed: Border Collie
Handler: Perry DeWitt
Time: 32.05

2nd

Verb
Breed: Border Collie
Handler: Perry DeWitt
Time: 32.05

3rd

Boca
Breed: Australian Shepherd
Handler: Dave Grubel
Time: 34.94

4th

Atty
Breed: Dalmatian
Handler: Tod Hebert
Time: 39.21

24-Inch Division

1st

Harley
Breed: All American Dog
Handler: Erin Stumler
Time: 43.92

2nd

Kaboom
Breed: Border Collie
Handler: Amber McCune
Time: 45.63

3rd

Isaac
Breed: Poodle
Handler: Anita Justinus
Time: 47.57

4th

Ebbets
Breed: Labrador Retriever
Handler: Elliot Kaplan
Time: 55.58

Best Junior Handler

1st

Madeline Beuhler
Pugs

CH Shijo N’Mar-J Rumor Has It @ Boxwood

Place Winners

2nd

Hunter Calvelage
Bernese Mountain Dogs

GCH CH Carma Que’s Paddle Faster

3rd

Melony Lopez
Poodles (Miniature)

4th

Victoria Tarr
Australian Shepherds

Ch Vinelake’s Parting Glance BCAT

2019 Puppy Bowl: See photos and videos

January 30, 2019

Puppy Bowl XV
Puppy Bowl XV (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)

The following is a press release from Animal Planet:

Ready, Set, Pup! Television’s fuzziest sports competition and original adoption extravaganza is back and celebrating its 15th year, the biggest to date, as the world’s cutest sporting event returns to Animal Planet for PUPPY BOWL XV on Sunday, February 3 at 3PM ET/12PM PT. In years past, 100% of the puppies and kittens that have participated in PUPPY BOWL have been adopted to loving families. Animal Planet continues this tradition this year with a new set of adorable animals that are ready to tumble and fumble into their new homes across the nation. Tune in for this special two-hour event to experience all the fuzzy puppy faces from #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff who go nose to nose to win the CHEWY.COM “Lombarky” trophy at GEICO stadium. While we will be sure to keep score of touchdowns and puppy penalties, these pups playing the game are sure to go big and go home – with their new loving forever adoptive families!

This year, Animal Planet worked with over 50 dedicated animal shelters and rescue organizations from over 20 states and territories in the U.S. and made an international stop to Costa Rica, to get these puppies set for the big game. With a bigger game in store for viewers, audiences will be sure to find their favorite elements returning to the fluffiest game of the year including a front row seat to the pre-game rituals of these special pups via the locker room camera. Viewers will also get an up close and personal look at the game through the famous water bowl cam, the fan favorite kiss cam, aerial shots of the field from the TEMPTATIONS™ Sky Box, and a look at the touchdowns through the SPRINT cameras in the end zones. This year we go beyond fur-deep to find out what these adorable puppies are really made of, with a WISDOM PANEL™ Canine DNA Test. What genetic traits are giving them those advantages on the field? We tested them all to find out! The tail-gating starts with the PUPPY BOWL Pre-Game Show at 2PM ET/11AM PT, featuring aww-nalysis and cuddly commentary from sports correspondents, including the infamous Rodt Weiler with James Hound and Sheena Inu serving as pre-game show analysts. The first half of PUPPY BOWL XV is sponsored by STXfilms’ Ugly Dolls, with the second half sponsored by Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 from UNIVERSAL PICTURES.

This year’s PEDIGREE® Starting Lineup presents puppies who are also competing for the individual BISSELL® MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) by scoring the most touchdowns with dog-approved toys by CHEWY.COM. We’ll see familiar faces including America’s favorite “Rufferee,” Dan Schachner, who returns for the eighth year in a row to call the puppy penalties, furry fumbles and terrier touchdowns, along with award-winning animal advocate and television correspondent Jill Rappaport, who introduces the SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. Pup Close and Personal segments that highlight some of the heartwarming stories of the adorable athletes.

This year’s Pup Close and Personal highlights include profiles of Olympic silver medalist and longtime animal advocate, Gus Kenworthy, who has teamed up with Muddy Paws Rescue to prep Sierra, a Staffordshire Terrier mix, to the right headspace before the big game; Violet Vanderpump, a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix rescued by Lisa Vanderpump’s very own rescue, Vanderpump Dogs; and our very own Ref, Dan Schachner, who joined The Sato Project on a visit to Puerto Rico’s Dead Dog Beach, where they rescued and rehabilitated numerous puppies and prepped for travel to the U.S. on ‘Flight of Freedom’ plane with at least 100 of Dan’s closest furry friends. Other in-depth profiles include Melody, a Chihuahua/Shih Tzu Mix from Memphis Humane who takes a visit to Graceland, home of Elvis Presley; Flo, a Maltese/Chihuahua mix who goes on an exciting adventure to her first trip to Del Mar Dog Beach in San Diego, CA thanks to the Helen Woodward Animal Center; and a special visit to Territorio de Zaguates or ‘Land of the Strays’ in Costa Rica, a dog sanctuary on acres of open land famous for the hikes that staff and would-be adopters would take with hundreds of dogs in tow!

Accompanying Dan on the sideline is his trusty rufferee assistant, Shirley, the rescue sloth who is keen to show off the slow-motion action throughout the game. We’ll also meet Shirley’s biggest & enthusiastic fan club – a group of loveable baby sloths from Costa Rica’s Toucan Rescue Ranch sanctuary. Viewers will additionally meet each of the team’s designated mascots – TEAM RUFF will be energized by an adorable trio of baby porcupines, while TEAM FLUFF has a charming capybara on their side for moral support. And don’t forget to check out the spectacular group of baby kangaroo cheerleaders who root for their favorite team from the sidelines! PUPPY BOWL XV will also feature three fuzzball special needs players that are looking forward to finding their forever home; including Pippi, a blind Jack Russel Mix; Bumble, a blind and hearing-impaired Australian Shepherd Mix; and Will, a three-legged Doodle Mix.

Midway through the exciting game, get ready for a purr-fect surprise with the ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™ KITTY HALF-TIME SHOW. Audiences will experience a show like no other as we celebrate the 15th anniversary in style with a giant pop-up cake, performances by Adam Feline of Purrr-oon 5, a fearless performance by the Atlanta Acro-Cats, and a spectacular domino display finale!

Fans will have the chance to watch an early premiere of the PUPPY BOWL XV Pregame Show on January 27 on Animal Planet GO. Broadcast of the event will also be available on GO in conjunction with the 3:00pm ET/ 12:00pm PT start time and unlocked at 5:00pm ET/ 3:00pm PT. Viewers will also be able to experience several mid-form pieces on GO including the GEICO “Kitty Tailgate,” a go-to guide for all things PUPPY BOWL XV; the ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™ “Road to the Kitty Halftime Show,” a behind-the-scenes parody video series where we will meet the choreographer, costume designer and the musical directors of Kitty Halftime Show; and the GEICO “Around the Bowl & Spot Center,” where a veteran dog host and his clueless rookie co-host commentate on all the latest PUPPY BOWL action. Crowds can flock to the Animal Planet and PUPPY BOWL Facebook pages while also following the action from players in real time on Twitter and Instagram. Audiences can also check out the PEDIGREE® “Puppy Bowl XV: Training Camp,” an exciting VR experience available on Facebook and YouTube where audiences will find themselves up close and personal inside the famous GEICO Stadium during training camp with these awesome pups!

Fans can also head to Facebook and YouTube for original social content like Dan the Ref explaining the rules of refereeing to his rufferee assistant, Shirley; UNIVERSAL PICTURES’ video of kids trying to convince their parents to get them a dog by discussing the benefits of pets, and another sweet video of kids explaining why adoption is the best way to get a dog. Viewers can watch the team mascots – TEAM FLUFF’s dashing capybara and TEAM RUFF’s adorable baby porcupines – as well as the assistant rufferee Shirley predict the winners of the AFC, the NFC championship games, and even the Super Bowl. Additionally, for the first time ever, Puppy Bowl will be featured on Snapchat’s Discover page where audiences can keep up with the day’s best moments with the “Puppy Bowl Highlights” Show, as well as ‘Our Story’ coverage of the PUPPY BOWL XV, featuring behind-the-scenes cuteness and more! A fan favorite feature this year is the PEDIGREE® PUPPY BOWL Trading Cards, where you can upload your pet’s own photo, pick 1 of 10 specialized frames, and add creative stats including “Favorite TV Show,” “Naughtiest Habit,” and more. Digital audiences are also invited to vote on Twitter, in real time, for the winner of the Most Valuable Puppy award at twitter.com/animalplanet and results will be revealed during the epic program.

A year ago, Animal Planet’s PUPPY BOWL XIV broke ratings records and was the highest rated Puppy Bowl ever with a 1.46 rating among Adults 25-54 in L+SD on Sunday, Feb. 4 from 3-5PM/ET (12-2PM/PT), up a whopping +32% from PUPPY BOWL XIII (1.11) on Feb. 5, 2017. More so, PUPPY BOWL XIV was the #1 social non-sports program on cable with more than 1.2 million interactions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and earned trending topics on Twitter and Facebook.

Official PUPPY BOWL XV sponsors include TEMPTATIONS™, CHEWY.COM, PEDIGREE®, SPRINT, BISSELL®, STXfilms, UNIVERSAL PICTURES, GEICO, SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC., ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™, and WISDOM PANEL™ Canine DNA Test.

Returning for the second year to Animal Planet is Puppy Bowl Presents: The Dog Bowl, the paw-tastic football competition for adult and senior dogs living in rescues and shelters, hosted by award-winning animal advocate Jill Rappaport. These fuzzballs are oftentimes overlooked by younger pups, but here at The Dog Bowl audiences can see these 63 dapper dogs and the amazing spirit they can bring to any loving family. Similar to PUPPY BOWL, The Dog Bowl works hand in hand with shelter and rescue partners (31) to create two amazing team rosters – Team Goldies and Team Oldies – as they matchup for their own furry football competition to score hard-won touchdowns in the ALLSTATE® nets to win the CHEWY.com Lombarky trophy. Additionally, 100% of the dogs that have participated in The Dog Bowl have been adopted to loving families. For Dog Bowl, PURINA presents the Starting Lineup for these special dogs who are also competing for the individual MILK-BONE MVP (Most Valuable Pooch) Award. Similar to PUPPY BOWL, these experienced pooches will also get a chance to find out what they’re made out of with the help of the WISDOM PANEL™ Canine DNA Test. Ancestry, disease screening and more! Audiences will also be able to enjoy the support of the featured tail-gaters of Dog Bowl II and winners of Season 7 of America’s Got Talent, The Olate Dogs, as they root for their favorite players. Get ready for an amazing match with these dogs who are eager to showcase that even though they might not be puppies, they are puppies at heart on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8PM.

Throughout the program, audiences will see the SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. “Dogs Life” in-depth profiles that shed light on a few of the amazing organizations and dogs as they prep for their road to Dog Bowl II. We’ll see profiles on Ronnie Stanley, an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, who is working with Maryland’s largest animal shelter, The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), to hold a ‘Dog Bowl Combine Day’ tryout with three prospective dog players at the shelter to see who will make the cut to play in Dog Bowl II; Cadence from Nowzad, Afghanistan’s only official animal sanctuary founded by Former British Marine Pen Farthing; Iggy, who took a special flight to Dog Bowl II thanks to Pilots N Paws; and Marnie, the world’s most famous rescue dog with 2.1 million followers on Instagram known for her signature head tilt and hanging tongue, who is working paw in paw with California-based Paw Works to select which of their senior dogs will be playing in Dog Bowl II.

This year’s Dog Bowl halftime show is epic to say the least, with a special look at DC Humane Alliance’s ‘Barktoberfest’ featuring senior wiener dog races and Jill Rappaport reporting on amazing dog adoption stories. The Dog Bowl also features several social media senior celebrity dogs who made their presence known during the game including Mervin the Chihuahua (@mervinthechihuahua), Marnie the Dog (@marniethedog), Kimchi Kardoggian (@the_kardoggians), and Ella Bean (@ellabeanthedog). Dog Bowl II also includes several special needs dogs including Sutty a (three-legged Pomeranian / Border Collie mix), Anneliese (a three-legged Beagle mix), Wilma (a partially blind Chihuahua), Captain Will (a one-eyed Chihuahua / Shih Tzu mix), Mr. Bojangles (a Poodle/Shih Tzu mic who is also our first wheelchair player!), Elijah (a straight-legged German Shepherd), Gizmo (a partially blind Papillon mix), and Audrey (a deaf Australian Shepherd / Border Collie mix). These special dogs and more are all up to duke it out to win a touchdown and the hearts of viewers. Dog Bowl sponsors include MILK-BONE, WISDOM PANEL™ Canine DNA Test, ALLSTATE®, PURINA, CHEWY.COM and SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC.

For more information about the shelters, rescues and organizations that participated in PUPPY BOWL XV, Animal Planet audiences can visit https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppybowl/.

PUPPY BOWL XV is produced for Animal Planet by Discovery Studios where Simon Morris is executive producer and showrunner and Cindy Kain is vice president of current production. For Animal Planet, Dawn Sinsel serves as senior executive producer and Pat Dempsey is supervising producer.

2019 American Rescue Dog Show: Hallmark Channel expands show to two nights; see photos and videos

January 28, 2019

American Rescue Dog Show
“American Rescue Dog Show” host Rebecca Romijn (Photo by Kim Nunneley/Alexx Henry Studios, LLC)

The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:

Hallmark Channel’s second annual “2019 American Rescue Dog Show” presented by Pedigree premieres as an expanded, two-night event, Sunday, February 17 and Monday, February 18 (8 p.m. ET/PT) on Hallmark Channel. The special focuses the spotlight on various breeds adopted from shelters and rescue organizations across the country vying for top dog in the world’s most adorable categories. The “2019 American Rescue Dog Show” is hosted by Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, who are joined by co-hosts Ross Mathews and Larissa Wohl as they cover all the action ringside and backstage. Guest judges are pet rescue advocates Bill Berloni, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, Mike Rowe and Lisa Vanderpump.

The “2019 American Rescue Dog Show” will once again highlight the heartfelt traits and benefits of mixed breeds and rescued purebreds, including Afghan Hounds, Corgis, Golden Retrievers, Huskies and many more. Categories include Best in Couch Potato, Best in Wiggle Butt, Best in Underbite, Best in Talking, Best in Snoring, Best in Senior, Best in Short ‘n Sweet, Best in Special Needs, Best in Smiling and Best in Belly Rubs. The top 10 dogs will face off in the finals where one proud pooch will be crowned Best in Rescue. In addition to the competition ring, the show will highlight the importance of fostering homeless dogs and adopting from local animal organizations.

The mission of the “2019 American Rescue Dog Show” is to celebrate rescue dogs in a personality-driven competition. The goal of the show is to shine a light on these incredible pets and inspire viewers to adopt their next dog from their local shelter or rescue organization. Whether already in homes or waiting to be adopted, these dogs are all heart and full of personality.

As the presenting sponsor, Pedigree is closely aligned to the show’s mission. The Pedigree  brand has worked tirelessly to help support the transformation of shelter dogs into pets with loving, forever homes by donating good food for the cause, and millions of dollars through the Pedigree Foundation to shelters and rescues across the country. To that end, Pedigree Foundation will provide a total of $100,000 in grants to the winners’ shelters or rescues.

Serving as the show’s official mascot is the network’s own rescued and adopted pet, Happy the Dog. In addition to starring in movies and specials, Happy the Dog is a certified therapy dog and emotional support animal.

“2019 American Rescue Dog Show” is produced by Michael Levitt Productions. Executive Producers Michael Levitt and Jennifer Schulz are both animal advocates and rescuers whose lives are dedicated to increasing awareness of pet adoption. Levitt, an accomplished TV producer, and Schulz, a communications professional for pet brands and organizations, joined forces to create a show that is both entertaining and heart-warming. Their goal is to celebrate rescue dogs with the hope of inspiring Hallmark Channel viewers to adopt their next pet. Throughout the show, Adopt-a-Pet.com will be showcased as a great resource for viewers to find their next pet.

About the Pedigree Brand

The Pedigree Brand is the number one brand of dog food and treats in the world, feeding more dogs than any other brand. The Pedigree Brand offers a wide variety of products and formats for dogs at every life stage. The Pedigree brand is built on an unwavering glove for all dogs and a commitment to dog adoption. For more information, please visit www.Pedigree.com.

About Pedigree Foundation

Formed in 2008 by Mars Petcare, the makers of Pedigree food for dogs, Pedigree Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to help end pet homelessness. Through no fault of their own, nearly 3.5 million dogs end up in shelters and rescue organizations every year, and nearly half of them never find a home. Pedigree Foundation helps increase dog adoption rates with grants and best practices that support the good work of shelters and dog rescue organizations throughout the United States. Its vision is a day when all dogs are safe, secure, cared for, fed well and loved. For more information on how you can support the foundation, visit www.PEDIGREEFoundation.org

About Hallmark Channel’s Adoption Ever After

Working in collaboration with the country’s leading animal rescue and welfare organizations, activists, distribution and advertising partners, and celebrity influencers, Hallmark Channel’s Adoption Ever After aims to dismantle common misconceptions about shelter animals, provide resources, inspire the public to adopt, and ultimately create a future where every pet has a loving home. The initiative shines a spotlight on the countless lovable pets in our nations shelters through annual on-air programming specials like Kitten Bowl, Hero Dog Awards, and The American Rescue Dog Show, as well as strategic partnerships, consumer marketing campaigns, public service announcements, and grassroots efforts.

‘Patrick’ movie about adorable pug dog set for one-day-only North American release in addition to international release

January 16, 2019

The following is a press release from Screen Media Films:

“Patrick,” centered around an adorable pug, to over 100 cinemas in North America  for a one day only event on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.  Sarah (Beattie Edmondson) is unlucky in love and a bit of a mess. The last thing she needs is a mischievous dog. When she inherits Patrick the pug, not only does he turn her life upside down, but he also changes it forever. Written and directed by Mandi Fletcher (“Absolutely Fabulous”), “Patrick, ” a must-see for dog lovers, reunites newcomer Beattie Edmondson (“Drunk History,” “Bridget Jones’s Baby”) and  real-life mother Jennifer Saunders (“Absolutely Fabulous,” “Shek 2,” “Coraline”), and on screen, alongside Ed Skrein (“Deadpool,” “Maleficent 2”) and Tom Bennett (“Love & Friendship”) Tickets for the special one-day event are available on January 18, 2019, at: www.pugactually.com

Prior to the wide North American release, “Patrick” will be released theatrically in 10 markets on February 15, 2019. Follow “Patrick” on Instagram @pugactually.

Gymboree is closing all of its stores after bankruptcy problems

January 14, 2019

by Patricia Garrett

Gymboree

Gymboree, a prominent retailer for children’s clothing and toys, is closing all of its remaining stores (about 900) after the company failed to rebound from a bankruptcy. According to Market Watch, Gymboree is expected to file for a second bankruptcy, which will shutter its remaining stores.

In 2017, Gymboree closed about 350 of its stores in the U.S. as part of its first bankruptcy reorganization. The San Francisco-based Gymboree also operated the retail stores Gymboree Outlet, Crazy 8 and Janie and Jack. According to the Wall Street Journal, the fate of Janie and Jack is uncertain since Gymboree is still seeking a buyer for the brand. If no buyer is found, Janie and Jack stores will also be closed.

Gymboree, which was founded in 1976, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2017. The company reported $1.25 billion in sales for 2016. In July 2016, The Gymboree Corporation sold the Gymboree Play & Music business to Zeavion Holding.

2019 Kitten Bowl: Information revealed about this year’s event

January 14, 2019

Kitten Bowl VI
Kitten Bowl VI (Photo courtesy of Hallmark Channel)

The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:

Hallmark Channel hosts the nation’s most beloved rescue pet adoption event of the year when “Kitten Bowl VI” premieres exclusively on, Sunday, February 3, 2019 (2 p.m. ET/PT). “Kitten Bowl” returns after a successful run at Super Bowl Live in Minneapolis in 2018 and will feature kittens rescued from across the country, all of whom will be vying for the National Championship of Feline Football trophy. The 2019 game also marks a milestone of more than 25,000 shelter pet adoptions since “Kitten Bowl” premiered in 2014.

The shelter pet adoption effort around “Kitten Bowl” began with five shelter partners five years ago. Through partnership with North Shore Animal League America, “Kitten Bowl” neighborhood shelter partners grew to 500 and will exceed that number in 2019. During “Kitten Bowl” weekend, shelter partners of North Shore Animal League America show clips from the show while showcasing beautiful animals from local areas in need of loving, forever homes. Many shelters will give away Hallmark Channel’s coveted “Kitten Bowl” trading card packs and the five shelters who adopt the most animals during the adoption event will receive cash grants. The “Kitten Bowl” adoption event runs from February 2-February 16.

TV personality, author and animal advocate Beth Stern returns as host for this year’s event from Hallmark Channel Stadium. Stern embodies the spirit of adoption in her everyday life, having fostered countless animals in need. Stern’s tireless year-round efforts to find homes for animals makes her a synergistic fit to lead the charge for “Kitten Bowl VI.”

On the day of the big game, Stern is joined by Dean Cain and former NFL player Rodney Peete for all the play-by-play action along with commentary by former NFL running back Rashad Jennings and fourtime Pro Bowl quarterback Boomer Esiason, making “Kitten Bowl VI” the MUST SEE event on the day of the big game.

North Shore Animal League America and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation drafted the 2019 teams. “Kitten Bowl” is part of Hallmark Channel’s evergreen pet initiative, ADOPTION EVER AFTER, which highlights the plight of homeless animals and the joys rescued and adopted pets bring into our lives.

“Kitten Bowl VI” is produced by 3 Ball Entertainment with Todd A. Nelson, Ross Weintraub and Kathy Sutula serving as executive producers.

2019 Cat Bowl: Hallmark Channel reveals details of inaugural event

January 14, 2019

(Photo by Aaron Burns/Crown Media United States)

The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:

Hallmark Channel announces the first-ever annual “Cat Bowl,” part of the network’s core philanthropic effort ADOPTION EVER AFTER, which uses entertainment programming to showcase animals available for adoption in neighborhoods all across America, is set to premiere exclusively on the network, Saturday, February 2, 2019 (10 p.m. ET/PT). “Cat Bowl” is a companion program to the network’s storied pet franchise, “Kitten Bowl,” the first animal competition on television to create awareness for the plight of homeless animals and the joys that adopted pets bring to our lives. The “Kitten Bowl” franchise is responsible for the adoption of more than 25,000 shelter pet adoptions over five years through partnership with North Shore Animal League America and its shelter partners across the country.

“Cat Bowl” will showcase adorable and adoptable adult ‘cat-letes’ as they compete on the gridiron for a special place in viewers hearts. Inspirational stories of senior and special needs cats will highlight the special event. During each year’s broadcast of “Kitten Bowl,” awareness for pet adoption rises dramatically. Hallmark Channel announces that with its partner North Shore Animal League America, “Cat Bowl” and “Kitten Bowl” will be a part of the biggest pet adoption event in the country. More than 500 shelter partners will showcase local animals available for adoption from February 2-February 16.

TV personality, author and animal advocate Beth Stern is the host for this year’s event from Hallmark Channel Stadium. Stern is joined by Hallmark Channel star Alison Sweeney and “Home & Family” co-host Cameron Mathison for all the play-by-play action. The special will also feature Where Are They Meow, stories that follow up on some former “Kitten Bowl” cat-letes such as Jerry Mice, Puma Esiason and last year’s star, Swirl.

North Shore Animal League America and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation drafted the cats for a more heartwarming “Senior Bowl” than has ever taken place on the gridiron.

“Cat Bowl” is part of Hallmark Channel’s evergreen pet initiative, ADOPTION EVER AFTER, committed to educating the public about the many rewards of pet adoption in hopes of inspiring viewers to open their homes and hearts to shelter pets.

“Cat Bowl” is produced by 3 Ball Entertainment with Todd A. Nelson, Ross Weintraub and Kathy Sutula serving as executive producers.