Hallmark Channel debuts ‘2018 American Rescue Dog Show’

January 13, 2018

"2018 American Rescue Dog Show" (Photo by Jeremy Lee/Alexx Henry Studios)
“2018 American Rescue Dog Show” (Photo by Jeremy Lee/Alexx Henry Studios)

The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:

Hallmark Channel’s inaugural “2018 American Rescue Dog Show” premieres exclusively on the network on February 19, 2018 (8 p.m. ET/PT). The special features shelter dogs of various breeds from across the country vying for top dog in the world’s most adorable categories. The “2018 American Rescue Dog Show” is hosted by Rebecca Romijn and Rich Eisen, with celebrity judges Linda Blair, Rick Springfield, Brandon McMillan, Ross Matthews, Andrea Arden and Larissa Wohl covering all the action ringside. The announcement was made today as part of Crown Media Family Networks’ TV Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

The “2018 American Rescue Dog Show” will focus on the heartfelt traits and benefits of mixed breeds and rescued purebreds. Breeds competing for first place include Basset Hounds, English Bull Dogs, Maltese, St. Bernard, Mixed Breeds and many more. Categories they are competing for include Best in Couch Potato, Best in Wiggle Butt, Best in Underbite, Best in Talking, Best in Snoring, Best in Senior Dog, Best in Fetcher, Best in Kissing, Best in Special Needs and Best in Listener. The top 10 dogs will face off in the finals of which one will be crowned Best in Rescue. In addition to competition in the ring, the show will highlight heartwarming stories of courageous dogs who have overcome tremendous odds to be rescued and find forever homes.

“We are proud to honor rescue pets and raise awareness of how truly special these animals are,” said Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “There are beautiful animals available at local shelters and we encourage our viewers to choose adoption through our pet programming, which is at the heart of our brand.” The mission of the “2018 American Rescue Dog Show” is to celebrate rescue dogs in a personality-driven competition. The goal of the show is to spotlight these incredible pets and inspire viewers to adopt their next dog from their local shelter or rescue organization.

Whether already in homes or waiting to be adopted, these dogs are all heart and full of personality. The pedigree of these dogs is pure love. 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.

“2018 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.

Lastly, the Petco Foundation is providing $75,000 in non-profit grants to the winners and AdoptAPet.com will be showcased throughout the show as a great resource for viewers to find their next pet.


ASPCA and the Petco Foundation grant $1.5 million to Dogs Playing for Life

August 16, 2017

ASPCA logo

Petco Foundation Logo

The following is a press release from ASPCA:

The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Petco Foundation are teaming up to provide a substantial grant of $1.5 million to Dogs Playing For Life to expand and elevate its innovative playgroup enrichment training to shelters across the country.

This partnership will begin in Los Angeles County – building on the success the program has already seen at both the Downey Animal Care Center and the Carson Animal Care Center, with plans to eventually extend to all LA County Animal Care Centers.

Even as shelter statistics have continued to improve, large-breed and pit-bull type dogs remain at-risk in shelters due to persistent and pervasive misinformation and misconceptions that prejudice people against them.

Dogs Playing For Life is a creative program that provides socialization and enrichment for shelter dogs in the form of structured playgroups and is aimed at improving the lives of our country’s most at-risk dogs. It also enables shelter staff to better understand each dog’s personality and share that information with potential adopters, increasing the likelihood that participating dogs find safe and loving homes.

“Playgroups give this large-breed dog population the opportunity to do what they were made to do – run around, socialize, learn from each other, and show their personalities,” said Aimee Sadler, founder of Dogs Playing For Life. “This grant from the ASPCA and the Petco Foundation will have a great impact on the number of shelters and dogs who participate in our training and daily playgroup activities. We’re grateful to be supported by two organizations with such a long history of innovation and advocacy in animal welfare.”

“Dogs Playing For Life’s inventive approach will improve the quality of life of shelter dog populations and help defeat life-threatening stereotypes,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “We commend Dogs Playing For Life’s innovation and commitment, and are proud to work with the Petco Foundation to support this program’s expansion nationwide. This initiative has significant potential to help vulnerable canine populations, and we look forward to seeing the impact it has across the country.”

“It is amazing how something so simple – large dog playgroups – can be so transformational,” said Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Petco Foundation. “These playgroups not only showcase the positive, fun nature of these dogs, they force many people to rethink popular misconceptions that these dogs are not friendly with others.  Additionally, playgroups create a better atmosphere for caring shelter staff who see these dogs romping happily in play instead of sitting alone in their kennels. Our goal is that dog playgroups become standard in shelters throughout the country, just like free roaming cat adoption rooms have become commonplace. We are excited to partner with the ASPCA and Dogs Playing For Life to change the face of animal sheltering throughout the nation and to help further the goal of creating lifesaving communities.”

To learn more about Dogs Playing For Life, please visit https://dogsplayingforlife.com.

For more information about the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org.

For more information about the Petco Foundation, please visit www.petcofoundation.org.

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