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Promoting rescue, adoption and second chances for dogs, cats, bunnies, and their peeps

Friday, May 27, 2016

Shelter Me: Hearts & Paws

ShelterMe.TV
Ruby is one of four dogs, ten cats, and one rabbit (in addition to over 50 foster animals) that I have lived with over the course of my life.
All of my animals have been rescues. Many directly from the streets and others from shelters. Rescue is pretty much a way of life for me. And so I was thrilled when I received an invitation to screen  Shelter Me: Hearts and Paws, the latest episode in the inspiring PBS series that celebrates the human-animal bond with uplifting stories about shelter pets.



Created by filmmaker Steven Latham, Shelter Me encourages people to get involved in their community's animal rescue efforts by adopting, fostering, donating, volunteering and networking shelter pets through social media. The project includes a website where viewers can create and share profiles of shelter pets. Shelter Me also works closely with local rescues and shelters to organize spay-neuter events and humane education programs.

Hosted by Kristen Bell, Shelter Me: Hearts & Paws is an emotionally charged episode featuring Cat Town Cafe, the first cat cafe in Oakland, CA and MUTTS creator Patrick McDonnell's visit to Animal Care Centers of New York City. The Shelter Me series is definitely a must see for all animal lovers.

ShelterMe.TV Shelter Me series
Actress Kristen Bell introduces her rescue dog Lola.
The first half of the episode features Cat Town Cafe, the first cafe to partner with its local municipal shelter and feature cats in an innovative, fun, and creative way to boost adoptions. They prioritize cats who are under-socialized and do not show well in a traditional caged facility. During the episode, we follow the transformation of Levy, a shy orange tabby, from a cage at Oakland Animal Services to his first taste of freedom at the Cat Town Cafe and 13 days later to adoption and a home of his own. 

I asked founder, Ann Dunn, if she thinks the cat cafe trend that she started will continue. "With the doubling of our adoption rate through Cat Town Cafe, it seems a light has gone on for so many rescue organizations that putting animals in an environment where people feel good is integral to inspiring adoption.  When confronted with an overwhelming reality such as high euthanasia rates at municipal shelters, most people look away, not because they don’t care, but because they care so much, but feel powerless. By removing that focus, lots and lots more people show up to help and adopt."

And while cats are quite suited for the cafe lifestyle, what about other adoptable animals? Ann said she would love to see craft beer gardens with adoptable dogs! 

ShelterMe.TV Shelter Me series
Life is sweet at the Cat Town Cafe
The second half of the episode features award-winning artist, animal advocate and MUTTS and Shelter Stories creator Patrick McDonnell. Viewers follow Patrick as he searches for hopeful and inspiring stories inside Animal Care Centers of New York City. We meet ACC staff, behaviorists, volunteers, and adopters and watch Patrick bring real stories of adoption and second chances to life with a simple pen and pad of paper. 

Patrick stresses that while many see shelters as sad places, he believes they are also filled with joy and most importantly, hope. I asked him how we can help change the negative perception of shelters. "We all need to do more to advertise both the wonderful animals in shelters and the people who do so much to get them into loving homes. Always boast about your own perfect adoptee - be an ambassador. If every shelter had people supporting them in this way, we could change the world."

ShelterMe.TV Shelter Me series
Patrick McDonnell with his own shelter ambassador, 
Shelter Me: Hearts & Paws will premiere in the Chicago area on May 31st at 8:00 p.m. Find out when it airs in your area here. The first five episodes of the series are available for free online streaming at ShelterMe.TV. Past celebrity hosts include John Hamm, Jane Lynch, Allison Janney, Katherine Heigl, and Edie Falco. You can also follow ShelterMe.TV on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

For a sneak peak, check out the trailer below. 

"Shelter Me: Hearts & Paws" - Episode 6 Trailer from Steven Latham on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Steven Latham for letting me pre-screen Shelter Me: Hearts & Paws and Ann Dunn and Patrick McDonnell for sharing their thoughts and wisdom with me.
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42 comments

  1. Hari OM
    Oh my - what a great website - got that one bookmarked!!! thanks for bringing it attention... YAM xx

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  2. Kristen and Lola look so great together... it's a photo what needs only one word: love :o)

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  3. Love that house for the cats! We always have cats from the Humane Society or a rescue organization. Mom's first dog was also a rescue.

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  4. this is the first i have heard of the series, and it looks like a winner.. every dog i have ever had was a rescue, they were all mixed breed mutts.. rescue is the way to go and i love that cat cafe... there are now rescue for all different breeds, all of mine were from animal control and spca.. and other shelters for abused animals.

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  5. Craft beer gardens with adoptable dogs I question that one. Though a look of peeps sure do go for the craft beer gardens here now. Interesting concept.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot


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  6. There's a cat cafe in Dallas! Some of my friends have been there to play with the kitties.

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  7. Great preview of what I'm sure will be a wonderful movie! I love the previous "Shelter Me" episodes, and Patrick McDonnell and his incredible comic strip, Mutts, have recently become my favorites. Can hardly wait to see this movie!

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  8. I think those cat cafes sound like a great idea the beer gardens, may be a great idea but I do think it might be a bit harder for dogs to handle a situation like that

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  9. This looks great, and as big rescue advocates, we'll definitely have to check it out!

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  10. Thanks for sharing. I love when shelters share what's working for them in housing, fundraising, and marketing.(as in how do you get the information about the dogs out to the public that wants to adopt) There are many creative ideas out there and you don't always have to recreate the wheel to make changes and improvements to your local shelter/rescue. Often there are lots of great ideas available that will work with the resources, funding, and staffing you have available.

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  11. Great rescue. Hope more people would consider rescuing
    Snorts,
    Lily & Edward

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  12. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CAN YOU HEAR MOM AND MADI CHEERING!! WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY SO LOVINGLY TOLD MY OUR FRIEND KRISTIN!! EACH ANIMAL YOU HAVE LOVED HAS TRULY BEEN LUCKY AND I'M SURE YOU FEEL LUCKY TO HAVE LIVED WITH THEM AND LEARNED FROM THEM
    Hugs madi your bfff

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  13. BLESSING on those who step up to help those in need !!!

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  14. I LOVED this episode. I still have to watch the others, but I'm sure I will love them just as much. And craft beer gardens with adoptable dogs? That would be awesometown!

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  15. I love the idea of craft beer gardens with adoptable dogs. I am now following Shelter Me.TV on social media. Thanks!

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  16. Rescue is so dear to my heart as well. I admire that all of your animals have been rescues. So inspiring!

    I absolutely love the idea of cat cafes. And the fact that it results in more kitties finding homes is so perfect. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  17. Thanks soooo much for sharing this pawsome information!

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  18. what a nice idea - the cat cafe - thanks for sharing this
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  19. What a wonderful project and so great that those who can really bring attention to shelters are getting involved!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  20. There are so many great people out there trying to help animals. I just wish there was no need for them.

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  21. I'm glad they put some episodes online to stream. It's going on my to watch list!

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  22. You DID make me laugh with the Beer Garden for Dogs. LOVE IT * giggles helplesly *

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  23. Amazing!!! Being heavily involved in rescue and with my local shelters this touched my heart! I love love love the website to share the pets too!

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  24. What a great project! Thanks for sharing with us. A cat cafe opened in our area...about 40 mins from where we live...and the mom plans to visit it. We would love if one opened closer to us.

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  25. https://shelterme.tv/segments/ I'm so glad you included this link - I'm watching a ton of these segments over the long weekend! So many celebs involved which I bet is helping raise a ton of money. Awesome. I love that MUTTS creator is involved too... I love his comic strips.

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  26. Oh, that is FABulous!!!! I can't waits to see them!
    Oh, and you look FABulous too gurl!
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥ (the OTHER Ruby....hehehe)

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  27. WOWOWOW - cannot wait to see them

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  28. This sounds like a great show. I bookmarked the page so I can start watching them!

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  29. All my cats are rescues, rescues make the best pets.

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  30. First - so excited to watch this series! Doesn't look like it's airing here until August so I'll be happily streaming in the meantime.

    Second - how much do I want to open a craft beer garden with adoptable dogs?!?!? I'm only half joking here!

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  31. This show sounds wonderful! I agree that cat cafes have opened up a whole new world for potential cat adopters. Cats don't do so well in traditional adoption event settings, but they settle into cafes rather well. This gives people a better idea of what each cat's personality is really like.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  32. What a great idea for a series, I love that animals are getting even better chances of getting people to fall in love with them and take them home. This is pretty exciting!

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  33. What an awesome rescue, and it sounds like it's going to be a great show! We will be keeping an eye out for sure!

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  34. Love that sneak peek :) I really want to go to a cat cafe! They have been so wonderful for adoption and raising awareness.

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  35. This looks like a wonderful show, but it looks like it's already shown in SC. I'll keep an eye out.

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  36. I haven't heard of this. I will have to check it out. It sounds like a great show. I also love Kristen Bell!

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  37. Even though I'm not really a cat person, I really would love to visit a cat cafe one day. Shelter Me sounds like a great show. Rescue pets are awesome pets!

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  38. Love this episode! What a show! Great pic of Kristen and her Lola! We've been Bell fans for a long time and hearing her love of rescue is just great. I've heard of the cat cafe and think it's just wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing this!

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  39. That looks like such a great show. We have some cat cafes in NYC ... Mom and Dad totally want to check them out!

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  40. Love the cat house or should I say house for cats. They don't care, they have a great place to do what cats do best: Snooze! I will look for the show. All the cats in my life and most of the dogs have been rescues and anything that can be done to help animals in need is a very good thing.

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  41. This show looks really great! We don't have cable, so we miss a lot of programs like this. That kitty condo in the Cat Town Cafe photo looks amazing!

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  42. Love the video trailer and the cause. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

    Wyatt's Family

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