‘Free Puppies!’ documentary focuses on rescue dogs from the rural South in the U.S.

August 8, 2022

A rescue puppy arrives on transport and meets her new owner at the Vince Lombardi Service Station in New Jersey , as seen in “Free Puppies!” (Photo courtesy of First Run Features)

The following is a press release from First Run Features:

Millions of rescue dogs from the rural South have been transported to new homes thanks to the tireless efforts of a vast, grassroots network of dog rescuers. “Free Puppies!” is the true story of where those dogs come from and how a group of feisty and intrepid women rescuers are working together to save them.

Although transports have moved dogs from the South for decades, when Hurricane Katrina left more than 250,000 pets stranded, the infrastructure of modern pet transport for a nation-wide dog rescue effort was born. Since then, individual volunteers, transporters, shelters and rescue groups have created a movement to place millions of southern dogs in areas of the country with high demand for adoption but low supply.

By following a group of women dog rescuers from Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, “Free Puppies!” reveals the challenges that contribute to the rescue dog crisis in the first place. These women not only save dogs from euthanasia, but also organize affordable and accessible spay and neuter, reform local ordinances, advocate for humane education, and fight urgent and complex challenges facing underserved areas of the rural South. The film includes interviews with the ASPCA, Atlanta Humane Society, McKamey Animal Center, My Kids Have Paws Veterinary Clinic, Dixie Day Spay, and dozens of rescue organizations, shelter directors, healthcare providers, and local officials.

“Free Puppies!,” a film by Samantha Wishman and Christina Thomas opens August 12, 2022, in live cinemas.

70 minutes | Color | English

Credits:

  • Samantha Wishman – Director, Producer, Editor
  • Christina Thomas – Director, Co-Producer, Editor
  • Muffie Meyer – Story Editor
  • Carter McCormick – Director of Photography Eliot Popko – Director of Photography
  • Joey McCormick and Willard Hamilton – Original Music

2022 Puppy Bowl: See photos and videos

(Photo courtesy of Discovery+/Animal Planet)

The following is a press release from Discovery+ and Animal Planet:

Everyone’s favorite other game is back in action for the ultimate woof-a-thon. The original call-to-adoption television event and cutest sports competition, PUPPY BOWL, returns for its 18th year, highlighting more shelters, more incredible stories, and the most puppies ever featured in PUPPY BOWL history. Get ready to cheer on the adoptable puppy players of TEAM RUFF and TEAM FLUFF as they give it their all to catch air-speed and take home this year’s CHEWY “Lombarky” trophy. Catch all the action in the GEICO ‘stadium within a stadium’ that takes this game to the next level. Between ear pulls, tail tugs, sloppy kisses, incredible interceptions, puppy penalties and hard-won touchdowns, this is the game you don’t want to miss! Tune in to PUPPY BOWL XVIII, the 3-hour spectacular event that can be streamed on discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service, and Animal Planet on Sunday, February 13 at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT.

PUPPY BOWL celebrates adoptable pups in all their cuteness and showcases the incredible shelters and rescues, as well as their staffers, who dedicate their lives to helping animals find their fur-ever loving homes. This year an astounding 67 shelters and rescues from 33 states bring 118 incredible adoptable puppy players out to sport their TEAM RUFF ‘Tail Mary Tangerine’ and TEAM FLUFF ‘Bark Blue’ bandana colors. Each pup player is coming to strut their paws and show off their uniqueness, and with the help of the Wisdom Panel™ dog DNA test, we’ll find out what’s beyond those bandanas and luscious fur, and how each dog’s breed mix might give them a leg-up on the field. And on top of these hidden traits which may be revealed, these players will give it their all to chase, fetch, guard, heel, and sprint to the CHEWY end zone pylons for the ultimate touchdowns and score game catching field goals on THE HOME DEPOT goal posts.  

Thanks to our returning and notoriously entertaining slo-mo cam, fans will get to see these canines’ devotion to the game as they put their tricks to the test to score a touchdown and a possible chase of the tail. While showing off their tricks and shakes, audiences will get the pawesome views from the water bowl cam which will catch our furry friends in a PEDIGREE® timeout to re-energize their quirky selves and quench their thirst. For the ultimate top-notch aerial view, the TEMPTATIONS™ Kitty Sky Box will also be featured throughout the game so fans can feel as if they’re in the center of all the puppy madness. 

The PUPPY BOWL XVIII Pre-Game Show begins exclusively on discovery+ and Animal Planet at 1PM ET/ 10AM PT where fan-favorite PUPPY BOWL sportscasters Rodt Weiler, Sheena Inu, James Hound, and field reports Mini Pinscher and Greta Dane provide the inside scoop on this year’s Puppy Bowl Draft ahead of the big game. The pre-game show spotlights exclusive interviews with coaches and players, a look at the adorable pups warming up and running their favorite routes during CHEWY’s ‘Play of the Day.’ In addition, audiences will get a first-look tease at the purr-fect halftime show through the ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™ Kitty Halftime Report. We’ll also get puppy DNA analysis from Wisdom Panel™ dog DNA test Players Report and catch up with several special puppy players past and present including Chunky Monkey, who won the hearts of many during Puppy Bowl XVII and Marshall, who was declared victorious as the winner of the Puppy Bowl XVII ‘Pupularity Playoff”. Those who tune-in will meet Biscuit, the Washington Capitals service pup who is training with America’s VetDogs and see a special look at the BISSELL Pet FoundationTM and their rescue efforts of transporting cats and dogs out of the Hurricane Ida danger zone to safety at Animal Welfare League in Alexandria, VA. 

To kick off the game, special guests Elmo & Tango are traveling all the way from Sesame Street to gather the PEDIGREE® Starting Lineup players in the center of the field for the PUPPY BOWL XVIII coin toss to who from Team Fluff or Team Ruff will be the first to wag their tails! In addition, Elmo & Tango will be featured throughout the game as they cheer on one unforgettable pup, Wasabi, a Chihuahua/Cocker Spaniel mix from The Sato Project, from the sidelines throughout the game. As the game progresses, we will see which pup has what it takes for the one and only BISSELL Pet FoundationTM MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) award by scoring the most touchdowns. This pup will join a league of past MVP champions, and through TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE®, audiences will catch up with a previous Puppy Bowl MVP now in his loving, forever home and living his best life “on Tropic Time”. Be sure to tune in to find out which lucky pup will also take home the coveted SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. Underdog Award! 

And of course, Dan Schachner, PUPPY BOWL’s official and favorite Ruff-eree is returning for his 11th year of calling the puppy penalties, ruffs stumbles & tumbles, and awesome touchdowns for a game unlike any other. Dan is ready for the ultimate puppy showdown and fans will hear all these calls and more from returning commentators Steve Levy and Taylor Rooks as they give us the play-by-play coverage of the rambunctious pups of Team Fluff and Team Ruff as they frolic, jump, dive, and occasionally snooze their way to victory. In addition to seeing these puppy players on the field, audiences will also see the return of the SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. Pup Close and Personal segments that shine a light on adorable star athletes including one special Senior Spotlight story which showcases that age is just a number and senior dogs are ultimately puppies at heart. This year’s Pup Close and Personal features various segments including:

  • A special profile on Orange Twins Rescue, started by Ariana Grande and her choreographers and creative directors’, twins Scott & Brian, who accompany a pair of bonded Siberian Husky/ Chihuahua mix puppy sisters, Bimini & Tayce to Farm Animal Refuge in San Diego where they meet baby goats and cows
  • Kirby, a very special Labrador retriever who is the Houston Texans’ service pup in-training in partnership with America’s Vet Dogs, who visits NRG Stadium for a service practice session with Texans player Justin Reid
  • Hoku, a American Staffordshire Terrier/ Catahoula Leopard Mix; and Puppy Bowl’s first ever Hawaiian pup, from Maui Humane Society, who as a participant of the rescue’s ‘Buddies’ program, embarks on a special field trip to a hike in Maui’s National Parks where we learn about the legend of the ‘Poi’ dogs of ancient Polynesian culture
  • Birch, a Chihuahua / Toy Fox Terrier mix who is cared for by a special foster under Ninna’s Road to Rescue foster program and is coached for the big game by Puppy Bowl XVI alum, Darcy
  • Benny, a special needs Labradoodle, who is living his best life with a foster from Bosley’s Place where he spends his days practicing laps on the lush property with his fellow dog companions
  • A special look at The Dogist (Elias Weiss Friedman) who teams up with Pilots to the Rescue, to bring one incredible Dalmatian puppy, Pongo, on a flight from a Virginia shelter to New York City for PUPPY BOWL XVIII

 In addition to these incredible Pup Close stories, PUPPY BOWL XVIII will also feature an unforgettable senior spotlight story featuring Mr. Lee Asher from the upcoming discovery+ series, My Pack Life, as he hosts Sharkey, a Greyhound Mix from Family Dogs New Life shelter at his own rural sanctuary, The Asher House, in Oregon where Sharkey will not have a day full of adventure but will have a chance of finding a forever home.  

During the game, audiences will also meet nine fuzzball special needs players that are looking forward to finding their forever home; including Benny, a wheelchair bound Labradoodle featured in one of this year’s Pup Close stories; Forrest, a one-eyed Neapolitan Mastiff/Cane Corso Mix; Rocket, a deaf Chihuahua/Dachshund: Pongo, a deaf Dalmatian; Ridley, a deaf and vision impaired Border Collie; Bunny, a deaf American Staffordshire Terrier/Labrador Retriever Mix; Moby, a French Bulldog with a cleft palate; Bimini, a vision impaired Siberian Husky/Chihuahua Mix; and Irwin, a three-legged ​​American Pit Bull Terrier/Chihuahua Mix. This year’s big game will feature the return of two special PUPPY BOWL moments. First, TEAM RUFF and TEAM FLUFF players will be cheered by adorable, adoptable puppy cheerleaders who will root and howl for their favorite players from the sidelines. This year, the new cheer squad will bring-it from their own special sideline setup to shake their pom poms, run a few cheer-formations, and amp up the volume with an overload of cuteness as PUPPY BOWL XVIII players make their way down the field. Next, audiences will again see Puppy Bowl’s ‘Adoptable Pup’ segments, hosted by Dan Schachner and sponsored by CHEWY. Sprinkled throughout the program, 11 shelters from around the country will feature one of their puppies (and 3 shelters with kittens during KITTY HALF-TIME) that are all up for adoption during the game! 

In addition to these unforgettable moments, put your paws together midway through the game for the ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™ KITTY HALF-TIME SHOW for these adoptable kittens at their practically purr-fect beach party. At this ocean-side getaway, audiences will experience the beach-tastic party with these felines having some fun in the sun and learning about their heartwarming adoption stories in their loving new fur-ever home.

Fans can also access even more furry fun and exclusive content by downloading discovery+. Leading up to PUPPY BOWL XVIII, discovery+ and Animal Planet GO users will find exclusive in-app original programming, including the PUPPY BOWL mid-form series “Pupclose & Personal” featuring Ariana Grande’s best friends and choreographers, Scott and Brian Nicholson, who founded Orange Twins Rescue, a non-profit organization that rehabilitates and rescue animals in need. Plus, we’ll also see Dan the Ref take us down memory lane, highlighting the very best and firsts of Puppy Bowl’s 17-year history. Additionally, fans are also invited to Tweet along with game day commentator Meep the Bird and vote in real time, for the winner of the Most Valuable Puppy award. Results will be revealed during the epic program.

For the first time in Puppy Bowl history, there will be 23 exclusive Puppy Bowl NFTs released leading up to and on the day of the game hosted by Chronicle, an NFT studio and marketplace. Each drop will feature unique and pawsitively adorable trading cards varying in price and rarity, and a portion of the proceeds from all the sales will benefit Orange Twins Rescue, an animal rescue organization founded by brothers Scott and Brian Nicholson, and Ariana Grande. For the latest on when the NFTs are releasing, follow along on Animal Planet’s TwitterInstagramFacebook, and TikTok.

Additionally, fans can look forward to the following exclusive digital content: Elmo will be taking over Discovery’s Instagram Story to tell his own puppy adoption story; Kirby, the Houston Texans’ service pup in-training, will be hosting a Discovery Instagram Story takeover as he prepares to play in the Puppy Bowl; and the cutest pregame puppy scrimmage will stream live on Animal Planet TikTok the day of the game.

Fans can also show off their puppy fandom by using the special custom GIF sticker pack available by searching “Puppy Bowl” in the GIF section on social platforms or by visiting the Puppy Bowl GIPHY page

Official PUPPY BOWL XVIII sponsors include ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™, BISSELL Pet FoundationTM, CHEWY, GEICO, THE HOME DEPOT, the PEDIGREE® brand, SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC., TEMPTATIONS™, TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE®, and Wisdom Panel™ pet DNA test. 

For more information about the shelters, rescues and organizations that participated in PUPPY BOWL XVIII, Animal Planet audiences can visit Puppybowl.com/Adopt. 

PUPPY BOWL XVIII is produced for discovery+ and Animal Planet by Bright Spot Content, an All3Media America company. Simon Morris is executive producer and showrunner with Suzanne Rauscher and Sandy Varo Jarrell also serving as executive producers. For Animal Planet, Erin Wanner is executive producer, Pat Dempsey is supervising producer, and Marissa Donovan is production coordinator.

PUPPY BOWL XVIII PLAYERS

AMC Networks partners with Adopt-A-Pet.com for FurFest adoption promotion

October 20, 2020

The following is a press release from AMC Networks:

AMC Networks today announced it has teamed up with Adopt-a-Pet.com, North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, for AMC’s annual horror marathon FearFest, to raise awareness for pet adoption with ‘FurFest.’ All month long, AMC, AMC+, and Shudder are encouraging viewers to support Adopt-a-Pet.com’s mission to end the overpopulation of companion animals in shelters and help pets find loving forever homes through custom, PET-tacular spots airing across linear, digital, and social channels.

The custom spots, featuring a few four-legged horror fans, encourage viewers to find their perfect watch buddies through adoptions and especially raise awareness for black cat and black dog adoptions this spooky season. Halloween may be the season for magical black cats, but in reality, they are most often left behind in shelters because of the color of their fur. Many animal welfare organizations call this “black cat syndrome,” with the phenomenon happening with black dogs as well. Through the collaboration, audiences are encouraged and inspired to help fight “black cat syndrome” by adopting these furry friends or by donating to Adopt-a-Pet.com. See the custom spot: 

“We all know that spooky season is best enjoyed with a buddy by your side, which is why we’re thrilled to join forces with Adopt-a-Pet.com to help viewers find their perfect four-legged watch companions,” said Linda Schupack, President of Marketing, AMC Networks Entertainment Group. “The movies on AMC’s FearFest and Shudder are already scary enough. How great to cuddle up with a lovely black cat or black dog for Halloween and beyond.”

“Teaming up with AMC Networks is an exciting and unique way to spread the word about pet adoption,” said Dana Puglisi, Chief Marketing Officer of Adopt-a-Pet.com. “We appreciate AMC and Shudder’s efforts to help get more pets into loving homes. And we love all the extra snuggles those newly adopted pets will receive while their people binge through the FearFest thrills!”

Now in its 24th consecutive year, AMC’s annual horror marathon FearFest brings the frights with an entire month of genre programming from iconic franchises like Halloween and Insidious, and the return of award-winning docuseries Eli Roth’s History of HorrorShudder, dubbed “the ultimate in streaming horror” by Newsweek, offers the best selection of original and classic horror, thriller and supernatural films and series, uncut and commercial free. Both are also now available as part of the new AMC+, a premium streaming bundle featuring only the good stuff, which also includes IFC Midnight’s best genre cinema from independent, foreign and documentary films. In addition to the largest slate of classic horror movies such as Friday the 13th and Halloween, AMC+ also includes all series within The Walking Dead Universe, as well as AMC’s Eli Roth’s History of Horror, and new Shudder programming, such as Joe Bob’s Halloween Hideaway Special and A Creepshow Animated Special, and much more.

See the full FearFest lineup.


Find the Best in Horror at Shudder.

About AMC Networks

Known for its groundbreaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks is the company behind the award-winning brands AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films. Its diverse line-up of popular and critically-acclaimed series and independent films include Killing EveBetter Call Saul and The Walking Dead, which has been the #1 show on ad-supported cable television for ten consecutive years, as well as PortlandiaBrockmireLove After Lockup, and the films BoyhoodDeath of Stalin, and many more. Its original series Mad Men and Breaking Bad are widely recognized as being among the most influential and acclaimed shows in the history of TV. The Company also operates AMC Studios, its production business; AMC Networks International, its international programming business; the subscription streaming services Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, and UMC; and Levity Entertainment Group, the Company’s production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.

About Shudder

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. For a 7-day, risk-free trial, visit ​www.shudder.com​.

About Adopt-a-Pet.com

Adopt-a-Pet.com is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, helping over 19,000 animal shelters, humane societies, SPCAs, pet rescue groups, and pet adoption agencies advertise their purebred and mixed breed pets for free to millions of adopters each month. Sponsored by companies including Purina, Chewy, and Elanco Animal Health LLC, Adopt-a-Pet.com helps homeless dogs, cats, and even rabbits and other animals go from alone to adopted.

CBS All Access announces ‘That Animal Rescue Show’

September 22, 2020

“That Animal Rescue Show” (Photo by Danny Matson/CBS Interactive, Inc.)

The following is a press release from CBS All Access:

 CBS All Access, ViacomCBS’ digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, today revealed the official trailer and key art for its upcoming original docuseries “That Animal Rescue Show.” Executive produced by five-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater and two-time Academy Award winner Bill Guttentag, all 10 episodes will be available to binge exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers on Thursday, October 29, 2020.

“That Animal Rescue Show” follows the animal rescue community in and around Austin, Texas, where Linklater lives. The 10-episode docuseries provides a window into this captivating world through moving, humorous and powerful stories of animals, the humans who love them and the inspiring, life-changing bond that occurs between people who have dedicated their lives to rescue and the animals who rescue them right back.

“That Animal Rescue Show” is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Dr. Phil’s Stage 29, Linklater’s Detour Filmproduction, and Guttentag and Nayeema Raza’s 1891 Productions. The series is distributed internationally by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group. An episode of the series was accepted as part of the official selection for the 2020 Telluride Film Festival. In addition to Linklater, Guttentag and Raza, the series is also executive produced by Phil McGraw, Jay McGraw and Julia Eisenman.

“That Animal Rescue Show” joins CBS All Access’ growing slate of original series that currently includes “The Good Fight,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Tooning Out the News,” “No Activity,” “Why Women Kill,” “Interrogation,” “The Thomas John Experience” and “Tell Me a Story,” as well as the upcoming limited event series “The Stand,” “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” “The Harper House” and “Guilty Party.” CBS All Access is also the exclusive domestic home to “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Star Trek: Picard,” the animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and the U.S.S Enterprise set series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”

About CBS All Access:

CBS All Access is ViacomCBS’ direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service. CBS All Access gives subscribers the ability to watch more than 20,000 episodes and movies on demand – including exclusive original series, current and past seasons of hit shows from the CBS Television Network and growing libraries from brands across the ViacomCBS portfolio including BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian and more, as well as a wealth of films from Paramount Pictures. The service is also the streaming home to unmatched sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues. CBS All Access also enables subscribers to stream local CBS stations live across the U.S. in addition to the ability to stream ViacomCBS Digital’s other live channels: CBSN for 24/7 news, CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis, and ET Live for entertainment coverage.

The service is currently available across all major device platforms including online, mobile and connected TV and OTT platforms and services. Versions of CBS All Access have launched internationally in Canada and Australia (10 All Access), with unique but similar content and pricing plans. For more details on CBS All Access, please visit https://www.cbs.com/all-access.

About CBS Television Studios:

CBS Television Studios is one of the industry’s leading suppliers of programming with more than 70 series currently in production across broadcast and cable networks, streaming services and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, genre-defining franchises including the ever-growing “Star Trek” universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, and an extensive library of iconic intellectual property.

EDITOR’S NOTE: CBS All Access will rebrand as Paramount+, which goes into effect in early 2021.

HBO Max premieres ‘The Dog House UK’

July 9, 2020

“The Dog House” UK (Photo courtesy of HBO Max)

The following is a press release from HBO Max:

HBO Max’s heartwarming unscripted series The Dog House: UK is moving up its premiere date to Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Finding forever homes for rejected dogs isn’t easy – but that’s exactly what the staff of Wood Green do every day. Set inside a rural British animal rescue center known for its commitment to matching homeless dogs with eager owners, The Dog House: UK captures the joy and complexity of the human-dog “dating” experience. Each of the first season’s eight episodes introduces tearful tales of abandoned dogs, while also touching on relatable backstories of families, couples, and singletons all hoping their lives will be changed by a new four-legged friend. It’s up to the center’s dedicated staff to match pet with potential new owner – and to arrange an all-important first date that will determine if the adorable pups and hopeful humans have that fated connection. The show was originally produced by Five Mile Films for Channel 4 in the UK for distribution by all3media International.

2020 American Rescue Dog Show: Rebecca Romijn, Rodney Peete host the show

February 5, 2020

Rebecca Romijn, Gabby Douglas and Rodney Peete at the 2020 American Rescue Dog Show at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, on January 19, 2020. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:

Hallmark Channel’s “2020 American Rescue Dog Show” presented by the Pedigree brand returns for its third year with a two-night event Sunday, February 16, and Monday, February 17 (8 p.m. ET/PT). The only canine competition of its kind, 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 “2020 American Rescue Dog Show” is hosted by Rebecca Romijn and Rodney Peete, who are joined by co-hosts Ross Mathews and Larissa Wohl as they cover all the four-legged action ringside and backstage. This year’s celebrity judges are pet rescue advocates Gabby Douglas, Kevin Frazier, Jennie Garth, Sandra Lee Rand Melissa Peterman.

The “2020 American Rescue Dog Show” will once again highlight the heartfelt traits and benefits of mixed breeds and rescued purebreds, including Beagles, Great Danes, Pugs, West Highland White Terriers and many more. Coming from extensive experience in the dog world, returning ring judges David Alexander, Lisa Arturo, Jennifer Gray and Terry Simons use their pooch prowess to crown a winner in each of the 10 categories: Belly Rubs, Couch Potato, Ears, Senior, Snoring, Special Needs, Talking, Underbite, Wiggling and Wrinkles. The winner from each group will face off in the finals where the panel of celebrity judges will be tasked with deciding which precious pup will go home with the title of Best in Rescue.

In addition to the competition in the ring, this year’s show features special video packages educating viewers about the availability of puppies in shelters, the issue of bonded pairs in need of loving homes and the rewards of adopting one of these doggie duos, as well as firsthand stories from adopters who share how rescuing a dog has enriched their lives. The special will shine a light on the important work of The Beagle Freedom Project, with a powerful segment on the organization’s dedication to rescuing and rehabilitating animals used in testing and research. The Grey Muzzle Organization is also highlighted with the television debut of their Public Service Announcement in which four comedy legends – Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin and Carl Reiner – share their thoughts on growing older and why it’s so rewarding for people to adopt senior dogs in need of homes. Additionally, the show will pay tribute to rescues with a segment devoted to all those on the front lines who work hard every single day to save and improve the lives of dogs everywhere.

Last year’s Best in Rescue, Howard the Dog, returns with his parents Walter and Alex for a visit with Ross Mathews backstage. They are joined by Cynthia Rigney, Board President of the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society, who shares with viewers how the grant money the shelter received from the show has helped them help the many homeless pets in their community.

The Mission of the “2020 American Rescue Dog Show” is to celebrate rescue dogs in a unique competition spotlighting the adorable, quirky and even hilarious traits that make dogs perfect in the eyes of those who love them. The goal of the show is to shine a light on these incredible pets and inspire viewers to adopt their next dog from a 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, the Pedigree brand 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 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.

“2020 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 a furry friend of their own.

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 love for all dogs and a commitment to dog adoption. For more information, please visit www.Pedigree.com.

About Pedigree Foundation

We believe every dog deserves a loving, forever home Pedigree Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to help end pet homelessness. Nearly 3.5 million dogs end up in shelters and rescues every year, and nearly half never find a home. The foundation was established in 2008 by Mars Petcare, maker of Pedigree) food for dogs, to help increase dog adoption rates. We’ve awarded more than 5,500 grants and $8 million to U.S. shelters and rescues that help dogs in need. At Pedigree Foundation, we’re working toward a day when all dogs are safe, secure, cared for, fed well and loved. See how you can help: 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 nation’s 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.

2020 Kitten Bowl: Information revealed about this year’s event

January 13, 2020

(Image courtesy of Hallmark Channel)

The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:

Hallmark Channel hosts the nation’s most beloved rescue pet event of the year when “Kitten Bowl VII” premieres exclusively, Sunday, February 2, 2020 (2 p.m. ET/PT). “Kitten Bowl VII” will feature over 100 kittens rescued from across the country, as four teams will be competing for the Feline Football Championship. The 2020 game also marks a milestone of more than 40,000 shelter pet adoptions since “Kitten Bowl” premiered in 2014.

The shelter pet adoption effort around “Kitten Bowl” began with five shelter partners six years ago. Through the partnership with North Shore Animal League America, “Kitten Bowl” neighborhood shelter partners grew to 500. In 2020, more shelter partners than ever will join the effort to raise awareness around the plight of homeless animals and the joys that shelter pet adoption brings. During “Kitten Bowl” weekend, shelter partners of North Shore Animal League America show clips from the show while showcasing beautiful animals in need of loving, forever homes. Hallmark Channel, as part of the network’s overall pet initiative ADOPTION EVER AFTER, will provide cash grants to the top participating shelters. To find a “Kitten Bowl” party near you go to Hallmarkchannel.com or AnimalLeagure.org for further details.

TV personality, author and animal advocate Beth Stern returns as host for this year’s event from Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl 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 endears her to Hallmark Channel viewers and pet enthusiasts nationwide.

On the day of the big game, Stern is joined by Hallmark Channel commentators Jill Wagner and Brennan Elliott for all the play-by-play action along with field correspondent, former NFL running back Rashad Jennings, and four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Boomer Esiason, who returns as the Commissioner of the Football Feline League. “Kitten Bowl VII” will be 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 2020 teams.

“Kitten Bowl VII” is produced by 3 Ball Entertainment with Ross Weintraub, Jeff Altrock and Kathy Sutula serving as executive producers.

Animal Planet to televise live adoption event ‘Give a Dog a Home Live!’ with hosts Kit Hoover and Dan Schachner

November 26, 2019

Dan Schachner (pictured at left) and Kit Hoover (pictured at right) (Photos courtesy of Animal Planet)

The following is a press release from Animal Planet:

Animal Planet’s live weekly animal adoption series “Give a Dog a Home Live!,” is gearing up for the holiday season with a special two-hour primetime edition of “Give a Dog a Home Live!” Animal advocate and host of “Access Hollywood” and “Access Daily” Kit Hoover will join Puppy Bowl referee and host Dan Schachner on a live adventure across the US to meet animals up for adoption, and those dedicated to finding them their forever home. Rescue dogs and cats from Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, as well as animals from numerous Best Friends Animal Society locations (New York, Atlanta and Salt Lake City), will be featured as audiences will be able to interact on social media and find out more information on how to adopt them. The two-hour special will air live from the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, a state-of-the-art pet adoption center, in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, December 7 at 5PM PT/8PM ET.

“Give a Dog a Home Live!” will share the inspirational stories of three families that are in search of a furry friend to complete their family. They will have the chance of a lifetime to meet and bond with pups live on air, but which pooch will be the perfect fit? Viewers will have the opportunity to help one family choose between three special needs pups to take home by voting on social media for which dog they think they should adopt. One lucky rescue dog will receive a complete mutt makeover by a professional groomer and have a full photoshoot fit for Instagram in preparation of finding a fur-ever home. With dozens of potential adopters on site at Wallis Annenberg PetSpace and an audience full of millions more, anything can happen!

Pet owners are often told they are a spitting image of their four-legged companions. Fans are encouraged to post a photo with their mini-me using #dogpelganger on Instagram, Twitter and Animal Planet’s Facebook page as well as post and share their viewing parties with the #GiveADogAHome hashtag for a chance to see it on TV!

The two-hour special is produced for Animal Planet by Discovery Studios. Sandy Varo Jarrell, Cindy Kain and Robert Lifton are Executive Producers. For Animal Planet, Dawn Sinsel is Executive Producer with Pat Dempsey as Supervising Producer.

‘To Be of Service’ documentary highlights how service dogs helps military veterans

October 29, 2019

The following is a press release:

To Be of Service
“To Be of Service” (Photo courtesy of First Run Features)

“To Be of Service”

Opening In Theaters in New York on November 1 and in LA on November 8, 2019

Featuring Original Song by Grammy Award-winning artist Jon Bon Jovi

Featuring Military Veterans and Their Service Dogs: Greg Kolodziejczyk and Valor, Sylvia Bowersox and Timothy, Tom Moody and Mako, Brandon Lewis and Booth, Phil Bauer and Champ, Walter Parker and Jackson

Directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Josh Aronson (“Sound and Fury”)

Documentary explores the remarkable life changes resulting from the
introduction of trained service dogs into the lives of military veterans
suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Many veterans’ experience of returning home is wrought with depression and a wrenching disconnect from the world they once knew. Family, old friends and jobs seem foreign and the newly returned men and women struggle to function and return to a normal civilian life. Often the meds and therapy provided by the VA hasn’t helped these veterans imprisoned by the wounds of trauma, and they suffer trying to handle even the most mundane of daily tasks. Then, for the lucky ones who are
paired with a service dog, the unconditional love and support offered by these highly trained canines become the bedrock for them to re-engage with the outside world and to learn to feel again. In addition to providing constant companionship, these dogs help veterans navigate their fears. They help them sleep without night terrors, they support them as they face their daily challenges, and, over time, they restore their ability to feel safe, to be independent, to trust and to love again.

In “To Be Of Service” we cross the country to meet veterans just before they are paired with their service dog and learn how profoundly difficult their lives have been. We follow as they are paired with their dog and will re-visit these new battle buddies over the months to see how this deeply bonded friendship brings a return to independence and love for these men and women who have been so traumatized by war.

Since Vietnam the VA has worked to develop treatment programs for veterans suffering from PTSD, including therapy and medications, but, as yet, there is no universally effective protocol. The VA launched a pilot program evaluating the benefits of service dogs for PTSD, which has taken many years to complete, but their conclusions have still not been announced and as yet the VA will not sanction service dogs as a treatment for PTSD and no funding will be forthcoming for dogs.

2019 Clear the Shelters event results in more than 135,000 pet adoptions

August 22, 2019

Clear the Shelters
A woman and her adopted dog at Clear the Shelters in the San Francisco Bay Area (Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal)

The following is a press release from NBCUniversal:

NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ Clear the Shelters™ 2019 campaign resulted in the adoption of more than 135,000 pets – and counting – as shelters continue to report in. The campaign spanned from July 27, 2019 to August 17, 2019. This year’s pet adoption drive was held in more than 1,900 communities in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Clear The Shelters 2019 included the participation of more than 1,982 animal shelters/rescues, 98 NBC and Telemundo owned and affiliated stations, as well as several returning sponsors, and new partners. Clear the Shelters™ is spearheaded by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal. Since 2015, more than 385,000 pets – and counting – have found new homes through NBC and Telemundo stations’ Clear The Shelters initiative.

“This year’s campaign exceeded all of our expectations and resulted in a record number of pet adoptions since we launched our initiative in 2015. We are incredibly thankful to our national sponsors Cat’s Pride and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, shelters/rescues and our NBCUniversal family for the outpouring of support that helped to create awareness about pets living in shelters, so they could find new homes,” said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “To the thousands of people that supported our social media day on August 17, thank you for using your voices and influence to create a social media movement that trended nationally and helped thousands of pets get a new chance at life. Congratulations to all the families that adopted a pet during Clear The Shelters 2019. I look forward to making Clear The Shelters Day 2020 another special day for deserving animals and their loving families.”

“Clear the Shelters is one of our favorite days of the year and this year was our best year yet! We had a record day with the most adoptions we’ve ever done in one day, and also found homes for animals like the Snow the cat, who was with us for 177 days and Teddy, the deaf dog who was looking for a family that was able to work with his special needs. A huge thank you to all the folks who adopted, our online supporters who helped us get the word out about Teddy and all of our pets, and to NBC and Telemundo stations for putting on this amazing event each year. We can’t wait to be a part of Clear the Shelters 2020,” added Lewis Checchia, Executive Director for Morris Animal Refuge.

Pets of all types living in shelters for months and even years found new homes during Clear The Shelters 2019. Teddy, a catahoula leopard dog mix who is deaf, was adopted from the Morris Animal Refuge by a family in Philadelphia. The family learned about the pup on social media and knew they had found their perfect pet because their daughter is also Deaf. In Austin, Lamb, a five-year old pit-bull living at the Austin Humane Society since Hurricane Harvey impacted the area in 2017, found his new home after his new pet parent fell in love with him. In Connecticut, two senior cats who became homeless earlier this summer after their owner died, found new homes, together. Bob, a 4 1/2-month-old White Crested Black Polish rooster was also adopted and will join seven hens in his new home in Rhode Island.

NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ Clear The Shelters 2019 campaign featured several returning and new partnerships including repeat national sponsors Cat’s Pride and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, as well as PEOPLE – the leading entertainment news brand, and The Dodo, the #1 digital media brand for animal people, and the #1 most engaged with media brand in the world on mobile, both returning as the campaign’s exclusive content partners. New partnerships for 2019 included the Michelson Found Animals Foundation – a non-profit committed to saving pets and enriching lives – teamed up with NBC/Telemundo owned stations earlier this year to ‘Fund The Shelters’ with nearly $1.6 million in advance of August 17. WeRescue app also joined the campaign by helping users find Clear The Shelters adoptable pets directly from their mobile device, while GreaterGood.org presented $10,000 grants to select shelters to help pets living in facilities for years, find new homes. iHeartDogs.com donated needed pet supplies to select shelters.

The NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ Clear The Shelters Facebook posts reached more than 19 million users throughout the campaign. The #ClearTheShelters hashtag trended on Twitter nationally and in New York, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego, Boston and Washington, D.C. on August 17. Online, NBC and Telemundo-owned stations websites and apps generated a combined total of 1.4 million-page views from July 17 to August 17 for content dedicated to the Clear The Shelters / Desocupar Los Albergues campaign, with nearly half a million-page views generated on August 17.

Celebrities and personalities took to social media on August 17 to support NBC/Telemundo stations’ #ClearTheShelters social media day including Ellen DeGeneres, E!’s Kristin Cavallari, Stephanie Beatriz and Joel McKinnon Miller of Brooklyn 99, Casey Tutton of Chicago Med, Kal Penn, Diana Maria Rivas and Samba Schutte of Sunnyside, Lauren Ash of Superstore, JR Ramirez of Manifest, William Jackson Parker of The Good Place, Angela Kinsey of The Office, Mandy Moore and Chris Sullivan of This Is Us, Mario Lopez, Leslie Grossman of American Horror Story, Alysia Reiner of Orange is the New Black, Bob Harper of The Biggest Loser, as well as actors Kristin Davis and Lisa Ann Walter, and Telemundo’s Rashel Diaz and Dra. Maria Polo, among many others.

For more information about NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign, visit ClearTheShelters.com / DesocuparLosAlbergues.com. Follow the effort on Twitter @ClearTheShelter, and on social media using the hashtags #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues.

About NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations is the division of NBCUniversal that includes 42 NBC and Telemundo local television stations serving 30 markets, a regional news network and their associated websites and digital platforms, as well as a group of out-of-home properties, a production company, an in-house marketing and promotions company and two national multicast networks, COZI TV and TeleXitos. The local stations, which can be viewed in 38 percent of U.S. homes and in Puerto Rico, produce and deliver their local communities compelling and unique local news, real-time weather forecasts, consumer and investigative reports and entertainment programming across all platforms to help keep their English and Spanish-speaking audiences informed anytime and anywhere.

About Clear The Shelters
Clear The Shelters™ / Desocupar Los Albergues® is an annual, nationwide pet adoption campaign that is spearheaded by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal. Every year, NBCUniversal’s TV stations, plus NBC and Telemundo affiliated stations partner with local animal shelters and rescues in their communities to host Clear The Shelters events. NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign was inspired by a 2014 North Texas pet adoption event hosted by NBC 5 / KXAS and Telemundo 39 / KXTX and dozens of area shelters that resulted in the most adopted pets in one day for North Texas. Since 2015, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters pet adoption campaign has inspired thousands of families all across the country to open their homes and hearts to shelter pets.

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