American Pet Products Association Names Jill Rappaport Pets Add Life Campaign's Official Spokesperson

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Non-profit organization welcomes award-winning animal advocate and long-time TODAY Show correspondent as campaign’s official spokesperson.

Andy Darmohraj, American Pet Products Association (APPA) Executive Vice President and COO, is pleased to announce the organization has named T.V. correspondent and animal advocate Jill Rappaport official spokesperson of its award-winning campaign promoting responsible pet ownership, Pets Add Life (PAL). Supporting the campaign’s main mission, Rappaport will help spread the joys and benefits of pet ownership and advocate for pet adoption and responsible pet ownership through speaking engagements and a television program dedicated to adopting pets and showcasing pet products to enhance the pet/people experience.

“We are incredibly excited about this new partnership with Jill as her impressive accomplishments and superior work in animal advocacy make her a great match for the PAL campaign,” said Darmohraj. “Jill’s charisma and passion and opportunities to connect with people make her a perfect champion to bring the campaign and its positive message to a broad audience.”

Coming on board as PAL’s official spokesperson, Rappaport’s first engagement will include presenting a keynote address during a PAL-sponsored event during BlogHer 2014, the largest annual gathering of female bloggers, in San Jose, Calif. this July. She will also represent PAL throughout various speaking engagements and television segments in the coming year. The organization will also work with her on providing access to millions of pet products to offer to consumers at a discounted rate.

“The most important thing for me is to be able to find forever homes for animals while at the same time being able to tell pet owners about great products they can get at a good value,” said Rappaport. “The symbiotic beauty of this is being able to save lives while helping people care for their pets and enhance their time with them.”

A TODAY Show correspondent for more than 20 years, Rappaport was the entertainment correspondent for the first 17 years before changing her path after chronicling her beloved dog Jack’s bone cancer on the show. In her popular, award-winning “Bow to Wow” series, she helped make over shelter pets, giving them a second chance at life, and through her work also helped save hundreds of horses that were severely abused. Most recently Rappaport has been featured on NBC Nightly News with a variety of informative stories related to animal welfare. Rappaport is also the best-selling author of People We Know, Horses they Love, and has written three others books, including Jack & Jill: The Miracle Dog with a Happy Tail To Tell, about her beloved dog Jack, and 500 Cats.

Rappaport is the recipient of numerous national honors and awards for her work on behalf of animal welfare. She was named the ASPCA Good Will Equine Welfare Ambassador and received the coveted Presidential Service Award for Media Excellence at the 2012 ASPCA Humane Awards. She was the recipient of three coveted Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of The United States and received the 2012 Global Pet Expo's annual "Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award" from the American Pet Products Association whose past recipients include Ellen DeGeneres and Rachael Ray.

Rappaport recently launched her own line of leashes and collars called “Jill Rappaport’s Rescued Me Collection”, and has an equestrian jewelry line called "Hannah's Heart" named after her beloved late mare that benefits horses in need. She also just launched “Jill Rappaport’s Shelter Shake”, a toy to be given out to various shelters across the country, so animals feel like they are “one step closer to a loving home". Rappaport lives on a farm with her five rescue dogs and seven horses, to whom she refers as her "fur angels."

Founded by The American Pet Products Association (APPA), Pets Add Life (PAL) is a nonprofit campaign dedicated to sharing information about how pet ownership benefits animals and people alike. PAL’s mission is to increase awareness of the bonds and other rewards associated with pets of all types. Primarily through social media with YouTube Videos, an active Facebook campaign, celebrity endorsements and contests, PAL spreads the joys of pets, encourages pet adoption and promotes responsible pet ownership.

For more information on the PAL campaign, visit PetsAddLife.org or contact Brooke Gersich at 775-322-4022 or Brooke(at)theimpetusagency(dot)com.

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The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit http://www.americanpetproducts.org for more information.

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Julie Rowe or Jamie Baxter
American Pet Products Association
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