ASPCA to be Featured in February 21st NBC Television Special Highlighting Remarkable Shelter Dogs

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"Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport" Will Celebrate Shelter Underdogs and Animal Adoption

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Shelter pets should be celebrated and protected, regardless of the circumstances that put them in peril." -ASPCA President & CEO Matthew Bershadker

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is one of three animal welfare organizations nationwide to be featured in this weekend’s primetime television special “Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport,” which will showcase the special appeal of shelter pets. The program will air locally on NBC® 4 New York on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 7 p.m. ET and on NBC Owned Television Stations and NECN. Viewers in other markets should check their local listings for airtimes.

With the help of beloved actress and comedian Betty White, Olympic superstar skier Lindsey Vonn, singer Emmylou Harris and other celebrities, the half-hour special will highlight adoption centers from around the country on a search for the country’s most loveable rescue dogs. NBC correspondent, award-winning animal advocate and author Jill Rappaport is the creator, executive producer and host.

“Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport” features categories of dogs often overlooked for adoption such as seniors, pit bulls, mutts and three-legged dogs. At each shelter, these canines will be judged by celebrity animal advocates including: journalist and host of HBO’s® Real Sports Bryant Gumbel and wife and author Hilary Gumbel at Main Line Animal Rescue® in Pennsylvania; teen actor Lou Wegner at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in California; and singer/actress Bernadette Peters at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City. One dog from each shelter will be named “Best in Shelter” and rewarded with a year’s supply of a food-filled care package from show sponsor Blue Buffalo.

“Shelter pets should be celebrated and protected, regardless of the circumstances that put them in peril,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matthew Bershadker. "The ASPCA segment features three pit bull-type dogs who were brought to the ASPCA by the NYPD and were rehabilitated and cared for by our staff so that they could be adopted into loving homes.”

Bershadker added: "Jill shares our passion for helping animal victims of cruelty and homelessness find homes, and I have no doubt this program will help save the lives of the many loving and loyal dogs--just like the ones featured--at nearby shelters."

“This show is about saving lives and finding them ALL forever loving homes,” said Jill Rappaport. “It has been my dream for years to do a show that shines a light on the plight of shelter animals, and the wonderful heart and souls they possess!”

Subaru of America, Inc., show sponsor and ASPCA Corporate Partner, has also been a long-standing supporter of animal causes.

"Since 2007, Subaru has donated $12 million to the ASPCA and organized over 1,200 adoption events at animal shelters and at Subaru retailers nationwide,” said Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. “Animal welfare is an important part of the Subaru brand and we are very proud to support Jill's mission to raise awareness for rescue dogs, especially those under-rescued animals featured in Best In Shelter."

The ASPCA estimates that of the approximately 7.6 million pets who enter animal shelters each year, approximately 2.7 million are euthanized.

Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Estroff, (212) 876-7700, ext. 4588, elizabeth.estroff(at)aspca(dot)org
Alison Jimenez, (212) 876-7700, ext. 4568, alison.jimenez(at)aspca(dot)org

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit http://www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Alison Jimenez
ASPCA
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