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.

2019 Tribeca Film Festival movie review: ‘The Dog Doc’

April 28, 2019

by Carla Hay

The Dog Doc
Dr. Marty Goldstein (far right) with dog Waffles and Waffles’ owner in “The Dog Doc” (Photo courtesy of Cedar Creek Productions)

“The Dog Doc”

Directed by Cindy Meehl

World premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 28, 2019.

Dr. Marty Goldstein, who has a thriving but controversial veterinary practice in New York state, has received much criticism from others in the medical community for using alternative methods to treat sick animals. Goldstein believes that combining alternative and traditional treatments can increase the chances of recovery and possibly extend a sick animal’s life expectancy. The problem is that most vets believe that traditional medicine (which relies heavily on prescribed medication) is the only legitimate way to treat a sick animal.

“The Dog Doc” takes a fascinating look at Goldstein’s integrative methods, with a behind-the-scenes look at several cases that he had over the course of two-and-a-half years. Even though his Smith Ridge Veterinary Center—which has patients from all over the world—treats several types of domestic pets, Goldstein says that dogs are his personal favorite, and they are the focus of this documentary. Goldstein, a self-described former hippie, is over the age of retirement, but his passion for his work still remains, and it’s also evident with his loyal and professional staff.

The case of an adorable young male dog named Waffles (a small white terrier mix) is probably the most heart-wrenching and the most heartwarming story in the movie. Waffles, who was abandoned as a puppy, had a rough first year of his life, which is documented in the film. He’s been constantly plagued by mysterious illnesses that have robbed him of his appetite, left him in chronic pain, and even hindered his ability for his bones to grow properly. But he has a will to live that’s inspiring to anyone who’s faced life-or-death challenges.

Goldstein repeatedly states that his methods do not cure cancer or other terminal illnesses that have no cure. Instead, he believes that medication can often cover up a problem instead of reducing or eliminating the problem. Instead of over-medicating a sick animal, Goldstein believes in treating an animal with medicine in conjunction with holistic methods, such as changing the animal’s diet. He’s not a fan of over-processed animal food, and he encourages pet owners to switch to more organic meals that fit with an animal’s natural diet.

One of Goldstein’s most fascinating alternative treatment methods is cyro surgery—freezing tumors in animals that have severe tumors that can’t be removed. It’s not a cure if the tumor is cancerous, but the results are usually that the animal gets more relief from pain, and the tumor usually doesn’t grow at the rate that it had been growing before the freezing operation.

“The Dog Doc” also examines the issues that Goldstein’s detractors have with his type of combined holistic treatments, which are still not taught at accredited U.S. veterinary schools. He’s been called a crazy quack by some of his critics, but the documentary interviews a fellow doctor who used to be skeptic until he saw for himself how Goldstein’s methods worked better than traditional medical treatments. The film also shows Goldstein giving a presentation to veterinary students at Cornell University, his alma mater, in an effort to inform future vets of options they might not learn in medical school. One of Goldstein’s constant laments is that the medical industry has been slow to change many teachings that he considers to be outdated.

“The Dog Doc” director Cindy Meehl, who directed the “horse whisperer” documentary “Buck,” had a dog that was a patient of Goldstein’s several years ago. But that hasn’t prevented her from being objective enough to take a look at the pros and cons of his methods. One traditional vet concept that Goldstein vehemently disagrees with is that domesticated animals, such as dogs, with the same disease should receive the same medical treatment, regardless of the size and breed of the animal. Goldstein believes that each animal should be treated on a case-by-case basis, since each animal has a unique genetic makeup that might affect how they react to different treatments.

Viewers can judge for themselves if Goldstein has the right ideas, but the documentary shows that Goldstein has hundreds of cases to prove that his methods have worked. Most of all, the movie is a testament that dogs and other pets are treated like members of a family, who often will do what it takes to get the best help possible when their beloved pet gets sick.

American Humane gives advice for National Dog Bite Prevention Week

April 4, 2019

The following is a press release from American Humane:

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

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

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

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

For Children:

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

For Dog Owners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 Puppy Bowl: See photos and videos

January 30, 2019

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

The following is a press release from Animal Planet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 28, 2019

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

The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Pedigree Brand

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

About Pedigree Foundation

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

About Hallmark Channel’s Adoption Ever After

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

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