Katherine Heigl Hosts Show Illustrating Lives Positively Impacted By Shelter Dogs

(Tampa, Fla.) – May 1, 2012 – Ellen DeGeneres’ pet food company, Halo, Purely for Pets® is the sponsor of “Shelter Me“, a new PBS film that illustrates how people’s lives are positively impacted by shelter dogs.

The project’s creator, acclaimed filmmaker Steven Latham, wants to engage the public in finding solutions to put a stop to the nearly four million dogs and cats euthanized every year in the United States.

Actress and animal advocate Katherine Heigl is hosting the PBS premiere of the one-hour, emotionally charged television special.

“As a huge animal lover, I was immediately drawn to this project because it advocates for the homeless pets at our local shelters,” said Heigl, co-founder of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation. “It’s important to generate awareness and overcome stigmas about these local facilities as well as promote these amazing animals and how they improve people’s lives.”

“Katherine Heigl and Ellen DeGeneres have been so dedicated to helping shelter pets and I am grateful that they are part of ‘Shelter Me,”” said Latham. “We need to continue to raise awareness and increase shelter adoptions. I want people to realize that shelter pets are the best pets.”

Animal lover, vegan and actress Alexandra Paul, narrates a depiction of Halo’s commitment to providing shelter pets with nutritious, all natural food, through a variety of the company’s philanthropic efforts, appearing at the beginning and end of the show. Mimi Ausland from Freekibble.com appears in the segment, delivering Halo Spot’s Stew to the Humane Society of Central Oregon (HSCO). In a recent survey, Halo learned from HSCO and 60 other shelters that shelter workers believe quality food makes a difference in adoption rates.

Halo’s involvement includes a 30-second sponsor message at the beginning and end of the show, narrated by animal lover, vegan and actress Alexandra Paul, depicting Halo’s commitment to providing shelter pets with nutritious, all natural food, through a variety of the company’s philanthropic efforts.

Latham’s production company approached Halo to be the sponsor because both the pet food company and co-owner Ellen DeGeneres are passionately dedicated to helping shelter pets. In 2010, Halo donated 1 million meals to shelter pets in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Servicer Adopt a Shelter program. Halo is also the official kibble sponsor of Freekibble.com, a pet related trivia site that has donated more 7.6 million meals to shelter pets.

“It’s important to raise public awareness and increase shelter adoptions by showing first-hand how these incredible animals positively impact people’s lives,” said Steve Marton, CEO of Halo. “Our involvement in ‘Shelter Me’ is a reflection of Halo’s commitment to support animal shelters across America.”

“Halo’s participation in this film is fundamental,” said Latham. “I wanted to partner with an organization that is committed to making a difference for shelter pets. The work Halo does is incredible, authentic and completely in the spirit of this project.”

Latham has three of his own rescue dogs and often cares for foster dogs. An active shelter volunteer and advocate for homeless pets, Latham believes the key to increasing the number of pets adopted from shelters is awareness. “Most people don’t understand that there are exceptional dogs and cats sitting in shelters, just waiting for homes,” he said. “Shelter Me” is Latham’s way of educating the public and debunking misperceptions that shelter pets are “damaged” in some way. “This is one of the most important projects I’ve done,” he said.

Audiences will travel to a women’s prison in Southern California, where inmates train shelter dogs to become service animals for people with disabilities. Another story shows the incredible transformation of two U.S. soldiers who begin recovering from PTSD after they are paired up with shelter dogs.

Viewers will also see the journey of two stray dogs, from the day they are picked up on the streets and brought to the shelter until the day they become a beloved family pet. “Shelter Me” takes people inside of city animal shelters to give a true sense of the environment, committed staff and the millions of animals in need of a home.

“Shelter Me” premieres on public television stations in May. Please go to www.ShelterMe.com for local listings.

“Shelter Me” is produced and directed by Steven Latham of Steven Latham Productions; executive produced by Steven Latham, Lyndon Johnson and Ady Gil; co-produced by Shane Lachtman, Marion Zola and Timothy Karsten; edited by Conrad Stanley, Cheryl Campsmith and Jeff U’Ren; cinematography by Peter Krajewski; music by Andrew Gross and Gil Talmi.

For over 25 years, Halo, Purely for Pets® has created holistic pet products of uncompromising quality. Halo believes nutrition is the single most important factor in the quality of a pet’s life. Halo offers natural pet food, treats, supplements and grooming products – including the award-winning Halo Spot’s Stew, Dream Coat and Liv-a-Littles treats. Ellen DeGeneres – a long time Halo customer – became a part-owner of Halo in 2008. In 2010, Halo donated one million meals to shelter pets in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service Adopt a Shelter Pet program. Halo is also the official kibble sponsor of Freekibble.com, a pet related trivia site that has donated nearly seven million meals to shelter pets. HALO’s natural dog food, natural cat food, treats, supplements and grooming products are available at PETCO, Whole Foods Market, your local pet specialty and natural food store, and online at http://www.halopets.com.

Katherine Heigl and her mother, Nancy Heigl, founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation to improve the plight of pets through a variety of program, such as funding spay/neuter initiatives and assisting rescue organizations. Katherine and Nancy are convinced that spaying and neutering saves lives and stops litters – litters that too often end up at public shelters and are subsequently killed due to a lack of adopters and lack of space. The Foundation is focused on “fixing” the problem. Since its inception, the Foundation has contributed more than $2.5 million towards saving the lives of many deserving pets and educating the public in the process.

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  1. While this film is a great cause, it’s very sad that once again, the thousands of rescue groups that step in to take dogs OFF the shelters PTS list are once again over-looked.

    No one every talks about the groups who take those dogs, one’s whose time has run out or when the shelter is just too full and can’t keep them more than 3-5 days. And rescues don’t operate of county or city funding as rescues do.

    Hope one day Ellen gets that part right.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Lori Ann:

    We sure wish we could support every worthy group! We are proud to say we do support many rescues as well.


  3. Travis Upton says:

    This is a great story. My Aunt lives in Newcastle Wy and rescued one of the dogs on Shelter me. She is so humble and looks for no recognition, her reward is knowing one of the dogs is providing a service to someone in need. However it is very expensive to keep rescues open.


  4. Lana Kilponen says:

    We recently rescued a cat from the shelter so she would get proper medical attention. She had been sitting there for a year with a huge ulcer on her upper lip that was quite deforming. We adopted her until a rescue could take her. She has an auto immune issue and has to be on canned food that is grain free for the rest of her life. We had tried others but she was getting sick quite a lot. We have since gone to Halo and she loves everything but her peas and carrots. It is quite expensive when they have to be on it daily as their only source of food but we’re definitely trying, and if it helps her, it’s all worth it. My daughter tried it tonight and gave it an A+ Bother her and my husband never feed our pets anything unless they try it too, lol

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