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.

Kelly Clarkson named host of 2019 Clear the Shelters special

August 2, 2019

Kelly Clarkson (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

The following is a press release from NBCUniversal:

NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal, today announced that Kelly Clarkson will host the special “Clear The Shelters” show that will air on NBC stations beginning August 23 (check local listings). The show will recap this year’s popular nationwide pet adoption campaign. Launching in July and culminating with Clear The Shelters day Saturday, August 17, more than 1,400 animal shelters/rescues in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, will reduce or waive pet adoption fees to help families and individuals adopt a pet. Visit cleartheshelters.com to access a list of participating shelters/rescues.

“Clear The Shelters is a summer tradition that communities everywhere look forward to. We’re excited for Kelly to host our special ‘Clear The Shelters’ show to help us celebrate all the fun and heartwarming adoption stories from our 2019 campaign. We’re proud to join with animal shelters and rescues, as well as our affiliate station partners and sponsors, to present this annual event that celebrates animals and helps shelters match families with their new furry best friend,” said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

Kelly Clarkson is among the most popular artists of this era. At NBC, Clarkson serves as a coach for NBC’s “The Voice.” She will host her own daytime program, “The Kelly Clarkson Show” this fall, premiering in national syndication on September 9, 2019. The Texas-born, singer-songwriter and Grammy Award-winning artist first came to fame in 2002 as the winner of the inaugural season of “American Idol.” Clarkson’s debut single, “A Moment Like This,” followed and quickly went to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, ultimately ranking as the year’s best-selling single in the U.S. Since then, she’s released eight studio albums, which have resulted in worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums, and 36 million singles.

“I am a huge animal lover and can tell you from personal experience that when you open your heart and home to a rescue animal, your pet will thank you every single day of its life. It’s the most beautiful and purest form of unconditional love you can ever have. I’m so excited for people to discover this feeling when they find their perfect pet on August 17, and to tell all the amazing pet adoption stories from this year’s Clear The Shelter’s campaign,” added Clarkson.

Launched nationally in 2015, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign has inspired thousands of families to adopt pets living in shelters and rescues. During Clear The Shelters 2018, pets of all types were adopted including ‘Bailey’ a long-haired Chihuahua-mix puppy from Orange County, CA, who was adopted by a veteran and his family. In New Hampshire, ‘Baby,’ a 15-year old senior cat was adopted after being a hospice resident at a Massachusetts shelter. One year later, Baby is off her medications and showers her new family with unconditional love. In Texas, ‘Pepperjack’ a yellow Labrador was adopted and renamed ‘Jake’ after his family read about him in PEOPLE magazine’s special Clear The Shelters issue. Today, ‘Jake’ is enjoying his new life.

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, resulting in more than a quarter million pets finding new homes. Visit ClearTheShelters.com / DesocuparLosAlbergues.com for more information. Follow the effort on Twitter @ClearTheShelter, and on social media using the hashtags #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues.

NBCUniversal announces plans for 2019 Clear the Shelters campaign

July 12, 2019

(Photo courtesy of WOOD-TV)

The following is a press release from NBCUniversal:

NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations (NBC and Telemundo owned stations), a division of NBCUniversal, today announced that its pet adoption campaign – Clear The Shelters – returns to communities all around the country and in Puerto Rico this July and August. NBC and Telemundo stations in 160 markets are teaming up with more than 1,000 animal shelters and rescues to host Clear The Shelters events. On August 17, organizations will waive or reduce pet adoption fees to help families and individuals adopt a pet. Since 2015, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign has helped more than a quarter million pets find new homes. Visit cleartheshelters.com to access a list of participating shelters/rescues.

“We are excited for Clear The Shelters to return to communities everywhere for a fifth year in a row. Thanks to our wonderful shelter and affiliate partners and our sponsors Cat’s Pride and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the happiest day of the year is right around the corner. We are all looking forward to make this year’s campaign the best one yet,” said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

Clear The Shelters was initiated in 2014 in the Dallas-Fort Worth market as a partnership between NBC and Telemundo stations, KXAS and KXTX, and dozens of North Texas animal shelters, including Irving Animal Services. The effort resulted in the adoption of more than 2,200 homeless animals, the most adopted in one day in North Texas.

“Clear The Shelters has become a significant annual event for WKYC Studios and our viewers,” said Adam Miller, Director of Content for WKYC Studios in Cleveland. “Together we raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption and the overcrowding issues that local animal shelters typically experience in the summer months.”

Shelters located in major DMAs like Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth as well as Puerto Rico, will waive or reduce pet adoption fees to help families find their perfect pet. This year’s campaign will includes the participation of 42 NBC and Telemundo owned stations, plus 140 NBC affiliated stations from the following station groups: Capitol Broadcasting Company, Dispatch Broadcast Group, Hubbard Broadcasting, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Raycom Media and Tegna Media, among others.

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 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, resulting in more than a quarter million pets finding new homes. Visit ClearTheShelters.com, DesocuparLosAlbergues.com for more information. Follow the effort on Twitter @ClearTheShelter, and on social media using the hashtags #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues.

 

Dennis Quaid returns for ‘A Dog’s Journey,’ the sequel to ‘A Dog’s Purpose’

May 17, 2019

Dennis Quaid in “A Dog’s Journey” directed by Gail Mancuso. (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)

The following is a description from Universal Pictures:

Some friendships transcend lifetimes. In “A Dog’s Journey,” the sequel to the heartwarming global hit “A Dog’s Purpose,” beloved dog Bailey finds his new destiny and forms an unbreakable bond that will lead him, and the people he loves, to places they never imagined.

Bailey (voiced again by Josh Gad) is living the good life on the Michigan farm of his “boy,” Ethan (Dennis Quaid) and Ethan’s wife Hannah (Marg Helgenberger). He even has a new playmate: Ethan and Hannah’s baby granddaughter, CJ. The problem is that CJ’s mom, Gloria (Betty Gilpin), decides to take CJ away. As Bailey’s soul prepares to leave this life for a new one, he makes a promise to Ethan to find CJ and protect her at any cost.

Thus begins Bailey’s adventure through multiple lives filled with love, friendship and devotion as he, CJ (Kathryn Prescott), and CJ’s best friend Trent (Henry Lau) experience joy and heartbreak, music and laughter, and few really good belly rubs.

Directed by Emmy winner Gail Mancuso (TV’s “Modern Family”), “A Dog’s Journey” is produced by Gavin Polone (“A Dog’s Purpose”), and written by W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon, and Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky, based on the best-selling novel by Cameron. The film, from Amblin Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment, in association with Walden Media and Alibaba Pictures, will be distributed by Universal Pictures domestically, and by Universal Pictures and Amblin Partners internationally.

Cast: Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Henry Lau, Kathryn Prescott, with Dennis Quaid and Josh Gad

Director: Gail Mancuso

Screenplay By: W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon and Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky

Based on the novel by: W. Bruce Cameron

Producer: Gavin Polone

Executive Producers: Seth William Meier, Lasse Hallström, Luyuan Fan, Wei Zhang

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 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.

Ashley Judd, Bryce Dallas Howard embody family love for pets in ‘A Dog’s Way Home’

January 11, 2019

Jonah Hauer-King and Ashley Judd in “A Dog’s Way Home” (Photo by James Dittiger)

The dramatic film “A Dog’s Way Home” chronicles the heartwarming adventure of Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human. The film, which is directed by Charles Martin Smith, has a cast that includes Jonah Hauer-King as Lucas and Ashley Judd as Lucas’ single mother Terri, who are Bella’s owners; Alexandra Shipp as Olivia, Lucas’ co-worker who is with Lucas when they find her as a stray puppy; and Edward James Olmos as Axel, a homeless veteran who takes ownership of Bella during her journey. The adult Bella is played by Shelby, a mixed breed that in real life was a stray dog rescued from an animal shelter. “A Dog’s Way Home” opens in North American cinemas on January 11, 2019. Here are photos and videos from the movie:

 

Netflix reveals details of docuseries ‘Dogs’

October 29, 2018

A scene from "Dogs" (Photo courtesy of Netflix)
A scene from “Dogs” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

The following is a press release from Netflix:

“Dogs” launches globally on Netflix on November 16, 2018. An elegant, engaging and cinematic verite documentary series celebrating the deep emotional bonds between people and their beloved four-legged best friends. The series tracks six incredible stories from across the globe including Syria, Japan, Costa Rica, Italy and the U.S.—each proving that the unconditional love one feels for their dog is a beautiful universal truth. With episodes helmed by critically acclaimed directors including: Academy Award-nominated Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil”), Academy Award-winning Roger Ross Williams (“Life Animated,” “Music by Prudence”), Academy Award-nominated Heidi Ewing (“Jesus Camp,” “One of Us”), Emmy Award-winning Richard Hankin (“The Jinx”) and Academy Award-winners T.J. Martin and Daniel Lindsay (“Undefeated”), “Dogs” takes us on an inspirational journey exploring the remarkable, perhaps even magical qualities that have given these animals such a special place in all of our hearts.

“Dogs” is a Netflix Original Documentary Series, developed as a documentary series by Glen Zipper with Academy Award-nominated Amy Berg of Disarming Films and Zipper, of Zipper Bros Films, serving as executive producers.

Episode 1: The Kid with a Dog

Directed by: Heidi Ewing (“Jesus Camp,” “One of Us”)

A scene from “Dogs” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Corrine, an 11 year old girl who suffers from traumatic seizures, is forever changed when she meets Rory, a certified dog who has been trained to detect oncoming seizures. This episode highlights the depths of a closely formed friendship between a child and their dog, the unbreakable trust they have in each other and the incredible power of a dog’s ability to assist humans in health and wellness.

Episode 2: Bravo, Zeus

Directed by: Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil”)

A scene from “Dogs” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Two years after fleeing his home in war-torn Syria, Ayham has made a new home for himself in Germany.  He cannot feel at peace however, until he is reunited with his best friend, a Siberian Husky named Zeus. Ayham and his friends risk everything they have to bring Zeus across the border from Syria to Lebanon in the hopes of ultimately being reunited in Germany.

Episode 3:  Ice on the Water

Directed by: Richard Hankin (“The Jinx”)

A scene from “Dogs” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

In a picturesque town off of Lake Como, Italian fisherman Alessandro relies on his partner, Ice, a 10-year-old Labrador to help with the family business as they get ready for the busy tourist season.  The fishermen in town struggle, but Ice continues to stand guard and do all he can, even in the coldest winter months.

Episode 4: Scissors Down

Directed by: Roger Ross Williams (“Life Animated”)

A scene from “Dogs” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

In Japan, people’s relationships with their dogs is on a whole new level.  Dogs are dressed in clothing to match their owners and the craft of dog grooming is a true artform.  This episode follows two of the world’s most renowned dog groomers as they fly to California to compete in the ultimate dog grooming competition.

Episode 5: Territorio de Zeguates

Directed by: T.J. Martin and Daniel Lindsay (“Undefeated,” “LA 92”)

A scene from “Dogs” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Territorio de Zeguates is a sanctuary deep in the Costa Rican rainforest that houses thousands of dogs and saves them from living on the streets. But with that many dogs, how long can the organization sustain without running out of resources?  The people who run the shelter dedicate their lives to making these dogs lives better, even at their own expense.

Episode 6: Second Chances

Directed by: Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil”)

A scene from “Dogs” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

New York City has a love affair with adopting dogs. There are more dogs in New York than there are people in the city of Cleveland—and thousands of them are rescues. This episode follows every step of this adoption ecosystem through the charity Hearts and Bones as they go on a rescue mission to bring dogs from a kill shelter in the south to the Big Apple for a better life.

Follow DOGS:

Instagram: @netflixdogs

2018 Clear the Shelters: Jane Lynch set to host NBC special

July 16, 2018

Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch with Toast at ASPCA ‘Noseblind’ Event at 24th Street Loft in New York City on February 25, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

The following is a press release from NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations:

NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal, today announced its fourth annual pet adoption campaign Clear the Shelters™ returns next month with NBC’s Jane Lynch joining the pet adoption campaign as spokesperson and host of a special “Clear the Shelters” show that will air next month. Launching in August and culminating with Clear the Shelters™ day on Saturday, August 18, the fourth annual Clear the Shelters™ pet adoption campaign will include the participation of NBC and Telemundo stations in more than 70 markets plus more than 600 animal shelters and rescues. On Saturday, August 18, shelters and rescues will reduce or waive pet adoption fees to help families adopt a new pet.

“Clear the Shelters has become a memorable event that communities look forward to every summer. We’re excited to work with our shelters partners once again to help families find their perfect pet. We also look forward to working with Jane to help raise even more awareness about animals needing homes,” said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

An Emmy® Award and Golden Globe® Award winner, host of NBC’s hit show “Hollywood Game Night,” successful actor and advocate of pet adoption issues, Lynch has four rescue dogs of her own including her two 11-year old dogs “Millie” a Pit-Shepherd mix and “Bernice” a Cocker Spaniel, as well as one-year old Cocker Spaniel “Rumi” and “Arbuckle” a seven-year old Australian Cattle dog that is an internet and social media sensation with more than 71,000 followers on Instagram @allaboutarbuckle.

“I am so looking forward to clearing the shelters with NBC and Telemundo stations! Every pet deserves a loving human and nothing loves a human more than rescue pets!,” added Lynch.

This August, Lynch work with the NBC and Telemundo stations to help raise awareness about the fourth annual Clear the Shelters™ pet adoption campaign and the importance of pet adoption. Lynch will also host a special show that will recap this year’s pet campaign. The special show will air on NBC stations on August 25 (check local listings).

Launched nationally in 2015, NBC and Telemundo stations’ Clear the Shelters™ campaign has resulted in the adoption of more than 150,000 pets. Last year, the Clear the Shelters™ campaign resulted in pets of all types finding new homes. In San Diego, rabbits “Midnight” and “Cocoa” were adopted by two girls while in Massachusetts, goats, pigs and even horses were adopted. In addition, numerous celebrities and news personalities participated in the third annual Clear the Shelters™ social media campaign including Ellen DeGeneresChelsea HandlerMario Lopez, NBC’s Kristin Bell, E!’s Christine EvangelistaVeronika ObengOlivia PiersonNatalie HalcroTyler HenryJustin Sylvester and Carissa Culiner, Telemundo’s Al Rojo Vivo host Maria Celeste, Telemundo stars Carmen Villalobos and Ximena Duque, model Kate Upton, Sex and the City’s Kristin Davis, and actress Gabourey Sidibe, among many others.

For more information and news about the NBC and Telemundo stations’ Clear the Shelters™ ® pet adoption campaign including participating shelters/rescues, visit CleartheShelters.com. You can also follow the effort on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #CleartheShelters. To access information in Spanish, please visit DesocuparlosAlbergues.com and follow #DesocuparlosAlbergues. Since 2015, more than 150,000 pets have been adopted through Clear the Shelters™, an initiative spearheaded by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. Clear the Shelters™ is sponsored nationally by Cat’s Pride® and Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

About NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations is the division of NBCUniversal that includes 38 NBC and Telemundo local television stations serving 26 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 37 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.