ANIMALS PLAY PIVOTAL ROLE AS UNEXPECTED SAVIORS
IN ANIMAL PLANET'S EMOTIONALLY CHARGED SERIES SAVED,
PREMIERING THIS FALL
-- People in Peril Find Salvation Through Deep Bonds With Their Pets -
A man contemplating suicide never could have dreamed that a four-pound dachshund
would save his life. And, the death of a young American soldier shattered the hopes and dreams
of the family and fiancée he left behind, but one stray puppy helped put the pieces of their lives
Beginning Monday, November 14, at 8 PM ET/PT, Animal Planet brings viewers
SAVED, a six-part series that uplifts spirits and proves that animals have the power to transform
human lives. Each story reveals people eclipsed by their darkest hours who then find light and
hope in the purest of forms - animals. Some might call it divine intervention; others might call it
a miracle as every animal in SAVED gives his/her human family the greatest gift of all: a second
chance at life.
"We all have heard stories where animals are heroes in the physical sense, rescuing
people from a fire or a near drowning," says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of
Animal Planet. "The stories that haven't been told are the ones where animals save us in the
emotional sense, and that's where SAVED comes in. Each story shows how pets extraordinarily
bond with their owners, breaking through emotional barriers and giving them new meaning and
purpose in life."
"I wouldn't be alive today if it were not for my dachshund, Sammy Davis," says Patrick
Major of Castro Valley, California, who has been battling illnesses all his life. Born with an
incurable bone and muscle disease, Patrick is forced to wear leg braces while he walks. To add to
his struggle, Patrick was diagnosed with kidney disease, which drove him into a deep depression,
nearly destroying his will to live. In an attempt to boost his spirits, Patrick's girlfriend pleaded
with him to adopt a dog. In the beginning, Patrick wanted nothing to do with Sammy Davis.
However, as time passed, he realized that Sammy Davis was more than just a dog... he was his
guardian angel. Sammy Davis did everything in his power to get Patrick up and out of bed,
forcing him to take control of his life.
Army Spc. Justin Rollins was killed in Iraq. But on the last day of his life, he was
overjoyed when he and his unit found 15 stray puppies outside an Iraqi police station. The unit
snapped photos of themselves with the puppies, which Justin planned to send to Brittney, his
fiancée. Unfortunately, he was killed in combat before getting the chance. Shortly after, Brittney
received the photos from a unit sergeant's girlfriend and shared them with Justin's parents.
Seeing Justin smiling with the pups and recognizing his genuine happiness, Justin's parents and
Brittney knew they had to find these puppies and bring one home immediately. But even before
receiving the puppy that was going to join her family, Rhonda selected the name - Hero - in
honor of Justin's bravery.
"I really believe Justin saved Hero's life, and in turn, Hero saved us," says Justin's
mother, Rhonda Rollins. "I wanted that puppy from Iraq. I wanted the one my son held. It's the
last thing that gave him a bit of happiness the night he was killed."
Other SAVED stories include a Yorkshire terrier that saved a traumatized child in the
aftermath of 9/11, as well as a Dalmatian that helped a family cope with the loss of firefighter
sons who responded to the attack on the Twin Towers. In addition, episodes of SAVED features
a young man who escaped the violence of gang life through a deep love of horses and a veteran
whose German shepherd helped him deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
SAVED is produced by Picture Shack for Animal Planet. George Plamondon, Betsy
Schechter and Michael Rosen are executive producers for Picture Shack. For Animal Planet,
SAVED is developed and produced by Vaibhav Bhatt.
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 97 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