ANIMAL PLANET ROLLS OUT NEW SUMMER SERIES LAST CHANCE HIGHWAY AND RENEWAL OF POPULAR HIT SERIES PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES
� Slate Highlights People Who Put It All On the Line to Save Animals --
(PASADENA, Calif., January 14, 2010.) - There is a clock ticking for millions of animals across the country. Shelters are over-crowded, many pet owners don't spay or neuter their animals and there just aren't enough resources to go around. Thanks to some amazing people who have dedicated themselves to racing against that clock, animals are saved every day. Hundreds are rescued every week, even thousands a year, and most people don't even know it's happening.
This summer, Animal Planet will change that with LAST CHANCE HIGHWAY, an eight-part series produced by Al Roker Entertainment that focuses on two individuals' monumental mission to give unwanted dogs one last chance for survival. The stakes are high for Shelly Bookwalter and Kyle Peterson and for the soon-to-be-euthanized dogs they are fighting to save from a tragic fate. Each year, they organize a band of volunteers to take part in a unique mobile adoption campaign. Shelly leads an effort to find homes for strays and unclaimed shelter dogs. And every week Kyle climbs aboard his tractor trailer rig to transport those lucky dogs, and more than one hundred others, thousands of miles up the east coast to meet their new families. This heroic journey is repeated almost 52 weeks a year; it's an exhausting ritual but one which finds homes for more than 150 dogs each week.
On the other side of the country, a different type of rescue effort is taking place with another group of remarkable individuals leading the charge. This past Fall, Animal Planet introduced viewers to Tia Maria Torres, founder and owner of Villalobos Rescue Center, the largest pit bull shelter in the country in the series PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES. This fiery woman's fight to rescue, rehabilitate, foster and find homes for the outcasts of the canine world - pit bulls - attracted more than 16 million unique P2+ viewers across all airings this fall. This February, Animal Planet begins filming the second season of this breakout series following Tia as she continues to save pit bulls and pairs them with ex-convicts on parole to give man and man's best friend a chance for redemption. Season Two of PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES is slated to premiere this fall.
"With the new series LAST CHANCE HIGHWAY and renewal of PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES, we're making compelling entertainment that shines a light on the way the lives of both humans and dogs can be forever changed because of each other," says Marjorie Kaplan, general manager and president of Animal Planet. "In pet adoption, people often fall in love with a dog just from a photo. Being there for the moment when they meet that new family member for the first time is a powerful experience and great television. We're excited to partner with Al Roker Entertainment to share Shelly and Kyle's incredible weekly journey."
"LAST CHANCE HIGHWAY is an incredible example of individuals and families from communities all over the country and all walks of life helping our four-legged best friends beat the odds," said Al Roker, executive producer. "Animal Planet deserves our thanks for showing pet adoption at its best."
"Our viewers cheered Tia's tireless efforts to give dogs and humans alike second chances," says Kaplan. "We're delighted to bring PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES back for a second season this fall."
LAST CHANCE HIGHWAY is produced for Animal Planet by Al Roker Entertainment. Al Roker, Tracie Brennan and C. Russell Muth are executive producers for Al Roker Entertainment. Lisa Lucas is executive producer for Animal Planet. Marc Etkind is vice president of development for Animal Planet.
PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES is produced for Animal Planet by Rive Gauche Television and 44 Blue Productions. David Auerbach is executive producer for Rive Gauche Television, and Rasha Drachkovich is executive producer for 44 Blue Productions. Lisa Lucas is executive producer for Animal Planet. Marc Etkind is vice president of development for Animal Planet.
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 www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.