Review: ‘Stray’ (2021), starring Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal

March 13, 2021

by Carla Hay

Zeytin in “Stray” (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

“Stray” (2021)

Directed by Elizabeth Lo

Culture Representation: Taking place from 2017 to 2019, in Istanbul, Turkey, the documentary “Stray” follows the lives of a select number of stray dogs in the city.

Culture Clash: Syrian refugee teens who are homeless take care of some of the dogs, but their vagrant and unstable lifestyles make their ability to care for the pets very dubious.

Culture Audience: “Stray” will appeal primarily to people interested in watching a documentary about dogs that live on the streets and how the city of Istanbul handles these homeless pets.

Zeytin and another dog in “Stray” (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

People who’ve seen director Ceyda Torun’s 2017 documentary “Kedi” (about stray cats in Istanbul) can view director Elizabeth Lo’s documentary “Stray” (about stray dogs in Istanbul) as a great companion piece. You don’t have to see one documentary to enjoy the other, but it’s worth comparing and contrasting the two films. “Stray” is a more heart-wrenching movie than “Kedi” because homeless dogs in Istanbul seem to have it much harder than homeless cats.

Whereas “Kedi” focused on seven cats (male and female) and gave each about the same amount of screen time, “Stray” features three dogs (all female) in the spotlight, but one dog in particular gets the majority of the screen time. Her name is Zeytin, a tan Labrador Retriever mix with a personality that’s utterly endearing. She is friendly, smart and independent. And even in harsh circumstances, she maintains her dignity. A lot of humans could learn from a dog like Zeytin.

“Stray” begins with a prologue stating: “Turkish authorities have tried to annihilate stray dogs since 1909, leading to mass killings of Istanbul’s street dogs for the last century … Widespread protests against the killings transformed Turkey into one of the only countries where it is now illegal to euthanize or hold captive any stray dog.”

What does that mean for stray dogs like Zeytin? They are allowed to roam free on the streets, but there doesn’t seem to be the type of organized system for animal adoptions that other countries have. Stray dogs in Istanbul wear government tags on their ears to indicate if they have been spayed or neutered. The documentary (which was filmed from 2017 to 2019) is cinéma vérité style, from the point of view of the dogs, with no interviews and no background information on Istanbul’s animal shelters.

Zeytin has a close female companion named Nazar, a beige Labrador Retriever mix with a darker-toned face than Zeytin. Nazar also has blue pen markings all over her fur. By comparison, Zeytin looks remarkably well-kept for a stray dog.

Zeytin’s fur looks clean and doesn’t show any signs of mange or flea infestations. And she doesn’t look injured. The ages of Zeytin and Nazar are unclear, but an unknown person in the movie mentions that Zeytin looks young.

There’s a scene in the movie that shows the dogs near the beach. And although there’s no scene in the movie of the dogs swimming in the water, you get the feeling that Zeytin knows a place where she can wash herself on a regular basis. She’s smart and resourceful. If you believe that dogs have souls, then she has a good one.

Zeytin and Nazar begin following a group of Syrian refugee teenage boys (who look to be about 13 to 16 years old) who are also homeless. The dogs end up staying with the boys in an abandoned building. A few of the boys’ names are heard here and there. One is named Jamil. Another one is named Halil. They make money by asking for handouts or selling random items.

There’s a core group of about four or five of these refugee teens who hang out together and take care of Zeytin and Nazar. In the abandoned building, one of the boys talks about how he went to an immigration office with his family to apply for a refugee work permit, but the government only had a record of his family members, not him.

The personal stories of the other boys are not told in the documentary. But they all habitually sniff glue in plastic bags to get high, which is an indication of their emotional pain. The teens are eventually kicked out of the building by the apparent owner, who threatens to have them arrested for trespassing and loitering. The kids beg him to let them stay there and say they won’t make any trouble, but he refuses. He also scolds them about sniffing glue.

One of the things that people might dread in watching a documentary like this is the sight of any dogs being abused. Fortunately, there is no animal abuse in the movie, but it doesn’t sugarcoat how rough life on the streets can be for these dogs. The teen refugees often talk about how hungry they are, so it’s probably the same for the dogs. When a charity food truck comes by during its scheduled stop, the refugees run to it and get enough food for themselves and the dogs.

Zeytin and other stray dogs also get food by rummaging through garbage or by hanging out near restaurants and street food vendors. There’s a scene of Zeytin sleeping outside near tables at a café. And like clockwork, Zeytin is shooed away by an employee about the same time every day until she finds somewhere else for her daytime nap.

Food vendors will usually chase the dogs away, but a few will give the dogs their scraps. And on rare occasions, a random stranger will stop to give the dog some store-bought food. But most people on the street ignore the strays.

Some people with their own pet dogs are afraid to let their pets near the strays. One woman who’s walking her Jack Russell Terrier named Bella reacts to seeing Zeytin by nervously scooping up Bella and saying about Zeytin, “She might kill you,” even though Zeytin is harmless and shows no signs of aggression.

Zeytin and Nazar have an overall congenial relationship, but they show their contrasting temperaments in two different scenes. Nazar is more ill-tempered and has a tendency to be greedy and possessive, compared to Zeytin who tends to be calmer and more generous. However, Zeytin is not afraid to defend herself if necessary.

In one scene, some meaty bones are discarded on the street. Nazar growls and snaps at Zeytin to prevent Zeytin from getting near the bones, because Nazar wants all the bones to herself. Zeytin is able to sneak off with one of the bones though. In another scene, Nazar playfully greets another dog named Zilli, but Nazar (who is nearby) seems to get jealous and starts a vicious fight with Zeytin. The teenagers have to separate the two dogs, and one of the boys comforts Zeytin, who looks sad that her friend turned on her for no good reason.

Zeytin’s demeanor with other dogs is so approachable and friendly that the documentary shows that she can win over dogs who look mean and tough. She encounters a pack of about 10 to 12 dogs, and some of them try to bully her. But when she defends herself, she earns their respect, and they let her hang out with their pack for a while. Zeytin is never seen instigating a fight.

She also has an independent streak because she doesn’t seem to want to stay with one pack for too long. In the production notes for “Stray,” director Lo commented: “Zeytin quickly emerged as the focus of our production because she was one of the rare dogs we followed who did not inadvertently end up following us back. To the very last day of shooting, she remained radically independent.”

When strangers approach Zeytin on the street, she is curious and amiable. A man with a daughter who looks about 3 years old encourages his daughter to pet Zeytin. In another scene, a passerby remarks that Zeytin is a beautiful dog.

And in one of the film’s scenes that can be considered laugh-out-loud funny, Zeytin and some other dogs are wandering in the streets while a feminist protest is happening, with women holding signs and shouting about their rights. In the middle of this protest, a male dog mounts Zeytin and starts having sex with her. One of the women in the crowd shouts jokingly to the dogs, “Not now, guys! Please!” Another woman says to the male dog about his sexual intercourse with Zeytin, “Do it only if she wants to! Ask her first!”

Another dog that’s featured in the documentary, but not as prominently as Zeytin and Nazar, is a black and white pitbull mix puppy named Kartal, who’s about four or five months old. Zeytin first meets Kartal when Zeytin and some other dogs walk near a family home where Kartal is outside with another puppy from the litter and Kartal’s mother. Zeytin approaches as if to greet the other dogs, but Kartal’s mother growls protectively and doesn’t let the other dogs get too close.

Later in the movie, some of the teenage refugees go back to the house and beg the dog’s owner to let them take one of the puppies. The owner refuses but hints that they can come back at night and steal the puppy they want. The boys end up stealing Kartal, whom they rename Sari. The puppy often looks confused, but the boys make sure that she’s kept safe, and there’s a moment when Kartal/Sari finds another puppy as a temporary play companion.

Zeytin seems to have mixed feelings toward Kartal/Sari as a new arrival to this pack. Zeytin is not hostile to Kartal/Sari, but she’s not overly welcoming either. When Kartal/Sari tries to snuggle up to Zeytin or try to play with her, Zeytin moves away, as if she’s uncomfortable being a babysitter. Kartal/Sari’s time with this group of homeless teens doesn’t last long though. (Don’t worry, she didn’t get hurt.)

You don’t have to be an animal enthusiast to enjoy “Stray,” although it certainly makes a difference in how you might look at and remember this film. Even though the dogs in the movie do not have an ideal life, they are protected under Istanbul law. And that probably gives them a better chance not to be openly abused and murdered by people on the streets.

There’s a resilience to these dogs but also a constant sense of worry about where and how they are going to get their next meal, as well as how they are going to stay safe. Life on the streets means these strays can belong to anyone and no one at the same time. Unlike homeless humans, homeless dogs can’t sign up for emergency shelters or apply for government aid. But the last five minutes of “Stray” (which has the best scene in the movie) is a clear indication that dogs can have feelings and reactions just like a lot of humans do. And they also deserve to be seen, heard and treated with kindness.

Magnolia Pictures released “Stray” in U.S. virtual cinemas on March 5, 2021.

2021 Puppy Bowl: see photos and videos

January 6, 2021

Puppy Bowl (Photo by Elias Weiss Friedman/Discovery+/Animal Planet)

 

The following is a press release from Discovery Networks:

“We need puppies now more than ever!” said everyone. Have no fear because television’s cutest sports competition and the original call-to-adoption TV event “Puppy Bowl” returns on Sunday, February 7, 2021 for the biggest, most exciting game to date, now as a 3-hour event that can be viewed on both Discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service that features a landmark partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans up to 12 months of Discovery+ on Verizon, and Animal Planet on February 7, 2021, at 2PM ET/11AM PT. Join Discovery+ and Animal Planet for this special three-hour event to experience all the fuzzy puppy faces from Team Ruff and Team Fluff who go paw to paw to win the Chewy “Lombarky” trophy in “Puppy Bowl’s” all-new venue, a ‘stadium within a stadium’ that’s bigger and better than ever before. Be sure to be on the lookout for Team Ruff who is looking to reclaim their title after last year’s loss – they’re coming back with a vengeance! Gear up because it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year for the biggest game of the year – “Puppy Bowl XVII”!

“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 loving homes. In years past, “Puppy Bowl” is 16 for 16 with the adoption rate at 100% as all puppies and kittens featured in “Puppy Bowl” to date have found their forever homes with loving families. And even though this past year has been different from year’s past, one thing is for certain—there will be a “Puppy Bowl”—and discovery+ and Animal Planet continue this annual tradition to highlight these special puppy players and kittens so that they can finally find the place they are meant to call ‘home.’

This year, 22 shelters and rescues from nine Northeastern States are enlisted to bring 70 incredible adoptable puppy players out for “Puppy Bowl” to sport their Team Ruff ‘Tail Mary Tangerine’ and Team Fluff ‘Bark Blue’ bandana colors. What genetic traits are these pups bringing to the game? With the Wisdom Panel™ dog DNA test, we’ll find out what’s beyond those big puppy dog eyes and how each dog’s breed mix might give them an advantage on the field. We’ll see their skills playout in the brand-new Geico Stadium, where these adoptable players have even more room to rumble and fumble!  Fan-favorite elements, including slow motion replays, nose-to-nose action from the famous water bowl cam, and aerial shots of the field from the brand-new Temptations Sky Box are all back this year, along with epic drone shots of puppy players across the arena that bring audiences as close as possible to all the game-play action. The Home Depot goal post nets serve as the backdrop to every touchdown and field goal as audiences have a front row seat view through lens of the cameras in the Chewy end zone pylons.

Joining this year as “Puppy Bowl XVII” announcers are ESPN’s Monday Night Football play- by- play announcer Steve Levy and SportsCenter host Sage Steele who will be providing puppy analysis throughout the game! The “Puppy Bowl XVII” Pre-Game Show begins at 1 PM ET/ 10 AM PT where long-time “Puppy Bowl” sports correspondents Rodt Weiler, James Hound and Sheena Inu, and field reports Brittany Spaniel and Herman Shepard pump up the crowd with pup insights on the furry matchups before the big game. Sponsored by [ yellow tail ]® wine, the Pre-Game Show will also offer ideas on how to create a “Puppy Bowl” “tail”gate party for the perfect viewing experience. The game opens with a special performance of the National Anthem by singing-group and internet sensation, Boys World, before kicking off with the pups of the Pedigree Starting Lineup, who are giving it their all to compete for the one and only Bissell MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) award by scoring the most touchdowns. Who will take home the title this year to join the greats of puppies past in the Puppy Bowl MVP Hall of Fame? Tune in to find out this and which lucky pup will also take home the coveted Subaru of America Inc. Underdog Award!

Joining the game for the 10th year in a row is America’s favorite “Rufferee,” Dan Schachner, who, after a decade, is ready to call the puppy penalties, ruffs & tumbles, and pawsome touchdowns for a game unlike any other. Award-winning animal advocate and television correspondent Jill Rappaport also returns to introduce the Subaru of America, Inc. Pup Close and Personal segments that shine a light on some of these adorable athletes and other adoptable puppies across the country, in addition to the special Senior Spotlight stories which showcase that age is just a number with senior dogs who are ultimately puppies at heart.

This year’s Pup Close and Personal highlights include a special profile of actress and animal advocate Kristen Bell who has teamed up with Annenberg PetSpace in Los Angeles to spend time with Java, a Labrador mix puppy looking for a fur-ever home to snuggle in; Biscuit, a very special Maltese mix pup from Paw Works in LA, who gets a special day out with one lucky kid baker from Food Network’s ‘Kid Baking Championship,’ where we’ll also hear from hosts Valerie Bertinelli & Duff Goldman; Fozzie, a Foster Dogs Inc. Norwegian Elkhound who experiences his first ever grooming from Harlem Doggie Day Spa; and Foofur, a Shepherd mix puppy who is cared for by a very special foster under the PAWS Chicago foster program. Other in-depth profiles include Marshall, a deaf Boston Terrier mix rescue pup who’s training with Green Dogs Unleashed to be a therapy dog, where at a local hospital, he will provide a group of COVID ER nurses with a much-needed mental break in the midst of the pandemic; Jett, a double front amputee Labrador mix from Pets With Disabilities in Maryland, who is prepping for the big game with regular jaunts along the countryside with his fellow special needs cat and dog companions; and Stitch, a Hound mix, who at Wilburton Inn-New England dog friendly resort in Vermont, enjoys a special day out at the Inn on a mission to meet an adopter, before getting scrappy on the field.

Audiences will also see four incredible Senior Spotlight profiles that include Scoobert, an 8-year-old Chihuahua Boxer mix from mix from Young at Heart Sanctuary in Chicago who even though is a senior pooch with medical needs, has a special zest for life; veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart, aka @thestreetvet, who treats homeless dogs off the streets of Los Angeles at no cost; Mona, a 10-year-old Toy Poodle mix who undergoes reiki healing sessions at Den Retreat in Los Angeles for a more peaceful state of mind; and Blossom, an American Staffordshire Terrier, who has become the poster pup for the ‘Pitbulls in flower crowns’ series by rescue advocate and photographer Sophie Gamand. Puppy Bowl XVII will also feature five special needs players who are looking forward to finding their loving home including Jett, and four hearing impaired pups including Marshall, a Boston Terrier; Fletcher, an American Bull Dog; Theodore, a Pyr Border Collie; and Rumor, a Heeler mix.

Additionally, for the first time ever on the sidelines, our Team Ruff and Team Fluff players will be cheered on by none other than adoptable puppy cheerleaders who will root and howl for their favorite players. These cheerleading pups will turn up the volume with cuteness overload by shaking their pom poms as the Puppy Bowl XVII players make their way down the field! Midway through the game, get ready to turn up the beat and put on your dancing shoes for the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal™ Kitty Half-Time Show. Audiences will experience the neon dance party they’ve been waiting for all year and rave to the purr-fect beats dropped by senior rescue cat DJ Grand Master Scratch. As an after-party treat, viewers will even be able to see a special adoption update on where these dancing felines found their loving new homes with their loving new forever dance partners.

As a bonus treat for this year’s Puppy Bowl XVII, audiences will also see exciting new ‘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 special pups (and a few kittens during Kitty Half-Time!) that are all up for adoption during the game!

Puppy Bowl digital audiences can point their paws to PuppyBowl.com to vote for their favorite pup in the ‘Pupularity Playoffs’ bracket style tournament featuring photos by Instagram sensation @TheDogist. Audiences can also check out an exciting live puppy playtime scrimmage on Animal Planet’s TikTok in the lead up to Puppy Bowl XVII. Fans may also be able to see their own animal featured in a photo gallery on PuppyBowl.com when they post a pic of their fur-baby watching Puppy Bowl XVII and tag #PuppyBowl. For more fun social content, head to FacebookInstagramTwitter, and TikTok for original videos, GIFs, Instagram Stickers, a Puppy Bowl AR Filter, and more. Audiences can also follow discovery+ on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Fans can also access even more furry fun and exclusive content by downloading Discovery+. Leading up to “Puppy Bowl,” Discovery+ and Animal Planet GO users will find exclusive in-app original programming, including the “Puppy Bowl” midform series “Pupclose & Personal”, where NFL stars Chris Godwin, Ronnie Stanley, and Ryan Kerrigan reveal their personal pup adoption stories to share why they’re so passionate about canine causes. Pus, 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.

Official “Puppy Bowl XVII” sponsors include Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal, Bissell, Chewy, Geico, The Home Depot, Pedigree, Subaru of America Inc., Temptations, Wisdom Panel dog DNA test and [ yellow tail ]® wine.

For more information about the shelters, rescues and organizations that participated in “Puppy Bowl XVII” Animal Planet audiences can visit Puppybowl.com/Adopt.

“Puppy Bowl XVII” is produced for Animal Planet by Bright Spot Content, an All3Media America company. Simon Morris is executive producer and showrunner with Cindy Kain and Sandy Varo Jarrell also serving as executive producers. For Animal Planet, Dawn Sinsel serves as senior executive producer and Pat Dempsey is supervising producer.

Pet Valu announces closure of all U.S. operations; Canada operations to remain open

November 4, 2020

(Photo courtesy of Pet Valu)

The following is a press release from Pet Valu:

Pet Valu, Inc. (“Pet Valu U.S.”), a specialty retailer of pet food and supplies in the United States, today announced plans to commence a wind down of its operations due to severe impact from COVID-19. The Company expects that all of its 358 stores and warehouses in the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S., as well as its corporate office in Wayne, PA, will close by the end of the wind-down process.

Pet Valu U.S. licenses its name and contracts for certain services from Pet Valu Canada, which is a separate company based in Markham, Ontario that is not impacted by this wind down. Pet Valu Canada is a market leading, highly profitable and growing business with a tremendous history and a very bright future. Pet Valu Canada will continue to serve customers across Canada through its approximately 600 stores, franchise locations and e-commerce site at www.petvalu.com/ca/, offering its usual assortment of thousands of pet products and supplies and in-store services such as dog washes and grooming. 

All Pet Valu stores in the U.S. are currently open and ready to serve their devoted pet lover customers through the wind-down process. Customers in the U.S. can continue to use Pet Valu gift cards and loyalty rewards for purchases. Effective immediately, U.S. customers will no longer be able to place orders on the Pet Valu U.S. e-commerce site at www.petvalu.com/us/.

Jamie Gould, Pet Valu, Inc.’s recently appointed Chief Restructuring Officer, said, “The Pet Valu U.S. team is proud to have met the needs of our devoted pet lover customers in the U.S. for more than 25 years. However, the Company’s stores have been significantly impacted by the protracted COVID-19-related restrictions. After a thorough review of all available alternatives, we made the difficult but necessary decision to commence this orderly wind down.”

He continued, “During the store closing process, we will continue to provide our customers with the same great in-store experience, offering them even better deals and value. We will work to assist our dedicated associates through the transition. We thank all of them for their commitment to our company and our customers, and especially for going above and beyond so we could help customers as an essential service during the pandemic.”

Pet Valu U.S. expects to commence store closing sales at all locations in the U.S. in the coming days. The Company will continue to take necessary precautions to keep its stores safe for customers and employees.

The Company has retained Malfitano Partners as its restructuring advisor, SB360 Capital Partners, LLC to assist with store closing sales and A&G Realty Partners, LLC to assist on U.S. real estate-related matters. Mr. Gould joins Pet Valu, Inc. from a successful career of retail restructuring in global assignments in the apparel, eyewear and office products industries. William Transier, Chief Executive Officer of Transier Advisors, has been appointed as independent director to the Board of Directors of Pet Valu, Inc.

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.

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.

 

PetSmart gives away free dog-friendly ice cream sundaes for National Ice Cream Day 2019

July 1, 2019

PetSmart
(Photo courtesy of PetSmart)

The following is a press release from PetSmart:

PetSmart® is once again sweetening the celebration for National Ice Cream Day by offering a weekend of free, dog-friendly ice cream topped with dog biscuit treats at PetSmart PetsHotel® locations across North America on Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21.

Dogs can get a four-ounce, complimentary serving of dog-safe ice cream and toppings during normal business hours at all PetSmart stores with PetsHotel facilities while supplies last. The frozen treats are customarily offered as an add-on treat service at Doggie Day Camp and during overnight stays.

“We love seeing pet parents enjoying summertime with their dogs,” said Debbie Beisswanger, vice president of services at PetSmart. “That’s why we’re excited to offer dog-safe ice cream treats for the fifth year in a row during National Ice Cream Day. It’s always a huge hit and a fun way for pets and pet parents to beat the summer heat.”

As part of National Ice Cream Month, National Ice Cream Day is observed each year on the third Sunday in July. PetSmart is encouraging pet parents to share photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram of their pets enjoying National Ice Cream Day using #nationalicecreamday and tagging PetSmart.

To find a PetsHotel location, visit our Store Locator.

About PetSmart®
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. PetSmart employs approximately 55,000 associates and operates more than 1,650 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption. PetSmart, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada work with more than 3,500 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 8 million adoptions, more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. In May 2017, PetSmart acquired Chewy.com, a leading online retailer of pet food and products in the U.S., which operates as an independent subsidiary.

Find PetSmart on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/PetSmart
See PetSmart on Instagram: @PetSmart
Follow PetSmart on Twitter: @PetSmart
See PetSmart on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmart
PetSmart homepage: http://www.petsmart.com/

Turn your passion for pets into a career you’ll love! Visit careers.petsmart.com to learn more about corporate, retail store and Distribution Center opportunities.