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Paul Shaffer from ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’, Adoptive Pet Owners and Their Shelter Pets Featured in New “Meet My Shelter Pet” Online Videos

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

NEW YORK, October 16, 2013 – /PRNewswire/ - Today, the Ad Council, The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund® in partnership with Halo Pet Foundation, released an online video series called “Meet My Shelter Pet” to showcase the unique bonds between shelter pets and their adoptive owners and remind viewers that there are thousands of amazing shelter pets ready to meet them. Launched to coincide with National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, one of the videos features legendary music man and David Letterman band leader, Paul Shaffer, with his daughter Victoria showing off the lovable personalities of their four adopted dogs, Riley, Jake, Echo and Rue.

“Everybody should have a shelter dog. It’s good for the soul,” said Paul Shaffer. “All four of our dogs have been absolute gems. Why would you want to do anything else but rescue a pet?”

The videos are part of The Shelter Pet Project, a public service advertising (PSA) campaign that for four years has helped to positively change the perception of shelter pets, with euthanasia rates declining by 10 percent during the campaign’s time period. Despite these gains, however, 2.7 million healthy and treatable pets are still losing their lives in shelters each year. The Shelter Pet Project’s goal is to bring that number down to zero.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS said: “We know that Paul and Victoria’s online video for The Shelter Pet Project will inspire more people to rescue a shelter pet. That outcome will be music to our ears, and to every shelter director in America.”

“You must watch these videos from The Shelter Pet Project— they will touch your heart in a powerfully positive, uplifting way! The Halo Pet Foundation is honored to support The Humane Society of the United States encouraging pet adoption from shelters," said David Yaskulka, Vice President, Marketing Communications, HALO, Purely for Pets.

Shelter pet adoptions are on the rise in the United States. According to The Humane Society of the United States, 17 million people will acquire a dog or cat within the next year, and each year four million of these animals are adopted from shelters.

“Every happy adoption story encourages other people to open their hearts to a homeless pet,” said Maddie’s Fund® President Rich Avanzino. “By showing the joy their adopted pets have brought to their family, Paul and Victoria are inspiring countless others to share that same incredible experience.”

“The beauty of The Shelter Pet Project campaign is that these pets speak for themselves,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We hope these videos will break down barriers and encourage people to consider shelter pet adoption as the only option bringing a pet into their family.”

In the upcoming months, a video featuring Vampire Diaries and Army Wives’ actress Torrey DeVitto and her dog Beau will be released. To see the videos or for more information about The Shelter Pet Project visit TheShelterPetProject.org.

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We’re there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — on the Web at humanesociety.org.

Maddie’s Fund®
Maddie’s Fund® The Pet Rescue Foundation, (www.maddiesfund.org) is a family foundation funded by Workday and PeopleSoft Founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl. Maddie’s Fund® is helping to create a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. Maddie’s Fund® is named after the family’s beloved Miniature Schnauzer.

About the Halo Pet Foundation
The Halo Pet Foundation was established by Ellen DeGeneres and her pet food company Halo, Purely for Pets® to improve the well-being of pets and the people who love them, and to educate on responsible pet ownership. Inspired by love for animals, the Foundation strives to help pets and their families live longer, happier, healthier lives together. Specifically, the Foundation seeks to educate people on responsible pet ownership, eliminating animal abuse and reducing the overpopulation of uncared for pets. The Foundation is largely funded by Halo, Purely for Pets, which donates (at minimum) five times the national corporate average to philanthropic organizations. The holistic pet food company is active in numerous philanthropic endeavors in addition to its support of the Foundation. In 2010, Halo donated 1 million meals to shelter pets for the U.S. Postal Service Adopt a Shelter Pet Stamp Program. Halo now donates over 1.5 million meals to shelter pets annually in partnership with Freekibble.com, and sponsors the acclaimed PBS series “Shelter Me.” Learn more at http://www.halopetfoundation.org.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to deliver critical messages to the American public. The Ad Council has produced, distributed and promoted thousands of public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas of health & safety, community and education.

Media Contacts:

Abigail Quesinberry
Ad Council
212-984-1971
aquesinberry@adcouncil.org

Raúl Arce-Contreras
The Humane Society of the United States
301-721-6440
rcontreras@humanesociety.org

Alison Gibson
Maddie’s Fund®
925-310-5451
gibson@maddiesfund.org