Animal Planet Acquires Kelencontent Program and Pays Tribute to Hero Dogs of 9/11 in Documentary Special

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U.S. premiere is first-of-its-kind program that tells the true stories of the people who were saved by remarkable working dogs at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001.

They searched day and night for survivors. They were focused and fearless in their mission. They worked obediently, searching tirelessly, risking injury and offering comfort. They are and will always remain, the HERO DOGS OF 9/11. Premiering in the USA on Tuesday, September 10 at 8pm ET/ PT, Animal Planet presents a one-hour documentary special that reveals the true stories of three survivors and the legacies of working dogs that saved lives at Ground Zero during the September 11, 2001 crisis and aftermath. The special pays tribute to over 300 dogs that were part of the rescue and recovery operation. HERO DOGS OF 9/11 also features the heroic recovery story of the last remaining survivor who was found by dogs 27 hours after the collapse of the World Trade Centre building and miraculously rescued on that fateful autumn day.

Using a seamless blend of riveting first-person accounts, narration, on-location shooting, archival photos, videos and dramatic recreations, Kelencontent’s production of HERO DOGS OF 9/11 reveals these remarkable rescue stories of the survivors and the dogs that saved them. The show is an account of the dedication of our fearless worker dogs, their canine handlers and how they both proved invaluable to the search and rescue mission for the survivors at Ground Zero. The occasional dog collapsed from exhaustion but none of them gave up. Most of these four-legged heroes are now retired or have recently passed away, but they leave behind a story that must be told.

“Everyone in the US and worldwide were affected by the event of 9/11, and now, over a decade later, we are proud to work with Kelencontent to bring HERO DOGS OF 9/11 to our audience to show the deep connection between humans and the canines that worked to save those during the tragedy,” says Rick Holzman, Senior Vice President of Programming and Scheduling for Animal Planet.

HERO DOGS of 9/11 is produced as an exclusive special for Animal Planet. The special was developed and produced by Tanya Kelen, Executive Producer & CEO of Kelencontent with the participation of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Powderhouse Productions and online canine enthusiast hub, Dog Files.

“We’re excited to team up with Animal Planet to salute the dogs and their handlers amongst the first responders who deserve to be recognized. HERO DOGS OF 9/11 is a powerful unknown story that is sure to be memorable and meaningful to Animal Planet’s viewers, who will be delighted by the lifesaving role played by these incredible animals during this historic event,” says Tanya Kelen of Kelencontent.

In addition, Kelencontent is working with the participation of renowned New York-based production company Starlight Runner Entertainment. CEO Jeff Gomez and COO and EVP Mark Pensavalle will serve as transmedia creative consultants to Kelencontent on the show. This marks the first time that Gomez and Pensavalle are credited as Transmedia Producers for an original television production in the United States. Starlight Runner Entertainment has worked on transmedia story development and extension for such notable projects as James Cameron’s Avatar, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron Legacy, Hasbro’s Transformers, Microsoft’s Halo and the Coca-Cola Company’s Happiness Factory.

“This documentary tells a unique story of sacrifice and compassion and we wanted to ensure that the story could touch as many lives as these brave dogs did during the events of 9/11,” said Gomez. “The story extensions and interactive elements will be created for viewers to complement the one hour special, giving an in-depth look at the struggles and achievements endured by the dogs, their handlers and rescue teams on that fateful day in American history.”

Kelencontent retains worldwide distribution rights with more international announcements coming soon.

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About Kelencontent    
Founded by Tanya Kelen (, the company works with a seasoned team of first rate in-house and third party creators and producers to finance, produce and distribute high impact broadcast and digital content for multiple platforms. Kelencontent specializes in structuring unique business models as commissions, co-ventures and co-productions. The company has licensed programming and interactive properties in over 140 territories with expertise in non-fiction, comedy, animation, drama & variety programming. Kelencontent has secured original commissions and licenses in North America and international markets and has relationships with over 600 broadcasters worldwide. The company is committed to assisting all partners to develop, finance and license engaging original broadcast and interactive programming that maximizes return on investment across all platforms.

About Starlight Runner Entertainment
Starlight Runner Entertainment, Inc. ( is the world's leading creator and producer of highly successful transmedia franchises, maximizing the value of intellectual properties by preparing them for extension across multiple media platforms. Starlight Runner works with Hollywood studios, video game developers and major brand owners to incubate, develop and produce rich story worlds that quickly reach blockbuster status. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Gomez and Mark Pensavalle, the company's clients include Sony Entertainment (Men in Black 3), Coca-Cola (Happiness Factory), 20th Century Fox (James Cameron's Avatar), Microsoft (Halo), The Walt Disney Company (Pirates of the Caribbean, Tron Legacy), and Hasbro (Transformers). Starlight Runner is now developing and co-producing all-new intellectual properties designed to leverage all forms of digital and traditional media.

About Powderhouse Productions
Powderhouse® ( develops and creates dazzling, original, award-winning alternative entertainment for television and emerging media. Their content is distributed all over the world on TV, the web, and mobile devices. With decades of experience, and a passion for storytelling, Powderhouse combines a world-class team of media professionals and artists. Founded in 1994 by CEO, Joel Olicker and Tug Yourgrau, Powderhouse Productions, has produced a variety of programs for the Discovery Channel, Science Channel, Animal Planet, HGTV, Travel Channel, A&E, and others.

About Dog Files    
Dog Files ( is a highly rated online channel for dog content, including the “Dog Files” web series. The Dog Files website has more than 220,000 unique views per month, 500,000 page views and over 58,000 Facebook fans since launching in 2008. Kenn Bell is the creator, writer, director and owner of the Dog Files.

About Animal Planet USA
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 96 million homes in the US; online assets, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.

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Tanya Kelen