The show takes viewers from coast to coast in search of our country's most loveable rescue dogs with the help of beloved actress Betty White, Broadway legend Bernadette Peters, HBO Real Sports' Bryant Gumbel, Olympic superstar skier Lindsey Vonn, and country music's own Emmylou Harris.
Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport features categories of dogs often overlooked for adoption such as seniors, pit bulls, mutts and dogs with physical disabilities. At each shelter, these canines will be judged by celebrity animal advocates based on very serious criteria like "lickability" and cuddle factor!
Award winning journalist Bryant Gumbel and wife and author Hilary Gumbel judge at Main Line Animal Rescue in Pennsylvania, teen actor Lou Wegner at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in California, and singer/actress Bernadette Peters visits 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. "Most importantly, they will all find permanent homes which is what every shelter dog deserves," added Rappaport.
"We were delighted when Jill asked us to participate," stated Helen Woodward Animal Center President and CEO Mike Arms. "The national exposure and incredible celebrity support means we can really spread the message of helping orphan pets in need. Ultimately, that means we save more lives."
The ASPCA estimates that of the approximately 7.6 million pets who enter animal shelters nationwide each year, approximately 2.7 million are euthanized. Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport gives these homeless animals a second chance, and brings attention to the countless pets waiting to be adopted in shelters nationwide.
"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," said ASPCA President & CEO Matthew Bershadker.
Bill Smith founder of Main Line Animal Rescue applauds Rappaport's continued efforts on behalf of shelter pets. "The animal welfare community has no greater voice than Jill Rappaport and after viewing Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport this Saturday night on NBC families who may not have adopted in the past will see just how rewarding adopting a shelter pet can be."
NBC Owned Television Stations, part of NBCUniversal, includes 11 local broadcast television stations and a regional cable news channel serving the largest markets in the nation, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Washington, D.C., Miami-Fort Lauderdale, San Diego and Connecticut, as well as Puerto Rico.