NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan Teams Up With
Animal Welfare Group ‘Last Chance for Animals’
To Rescue and Rehabilitate Dogs from Factory-Style Kennels
Cesar Gets Firsthand Look Inside Puppy Mills in Special Episode
Dog Whisperer: Inside Puppy Mills Premieres Friday, May 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
(WASHINGTON, D.C. — APRIL 15, 2009) Every year, more than one million purebred and “designer” dogs are born and bred into puppy mills — often packed in tiny wire cages, neglected, dehydrated, dirty and chronically sick, with little or no human interaction or affection — and then sold legally to pet stores throughout the country. Now, in a powerful new Dog Whisperer episode, Cesar Millan goes undercover to witness the horrors of puppy mills firsthand and works to rehabilitate dogs who have never known a world outside their overcrowded cages, or learned how to interact with humans.
Premiering Friday, May 8, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel, Dog Whisperer: Inside Puppy Mills exposes inhumane conditions at these factory-like breeding operations, as Cesar joins an undercover mission with the animal welfare organization Last Chance for Animals (LCA). With hidden cameras, LCA operatives spot-check several Los Angeles County kennels — essentially dog-breeding facilities that may be exceeding legal capacity limits. After negotiating with the owners of one of these kennels, the team, including Cesar, is able to rescue 11 dogs considered worthless by breeders — a small start in their hope to save as many dogs as possible from these conditions. The team members then learn from Cesar as he teaches them how to rehabilitate the traumatized dogs from the moment they are taken out of their cages. “We are from two different points of rescuing,” Cesar says of LCA. “They do the physical rescue, I do the psychological rescue. So together it’s a team, it’s a good pack.” Entertainer Sharon Osbourne even adopts one of the rescued pups!
Dogs bred at puppy mills can typically exhibit hyper or nervous behavior, acting fearful, obsessive or aggressive. Cesar has seen this behavior frequently during his career, but he has never seen the factory-style breeding grounds and caged conditions that cause it. For the first time, he’ll find out what it’s like inside the kennel facilities, how these dogs are living and who’s running the operations.
“It takes of a lot of concentration not to judge [puppy mill owners] when you know they’re doing something wrong. But in order for me to help and influence them, I have to see what they’re doing,” he says. “I saw a dog that was blind. I saw many dogs in one kennel. I felt a lot of frustration; I felt a lot of confusion … definitely aggression … a lot of anxiety.”
LCA has done amazing work investigating and uncovering overcrowding and deplorable conditions at local breeding kennels. Earlier in the year, after one of LCA’s investigations, World Kennels in Lancaster, Calif., was ordered to release 75 dogs and puppies to local shelters. The following day, World Kennels agreed to discreetly release another 40 dogs to LCA. Among these dogs were Sophie, a 5-year-old Pekingese, and Lovey, a 6-year-old Yorkshire terrier. LCA volunteer Kim Sill offered to foster the two dogs but was unprepared for the problems they displayed. Kim believed she was the first human outside the kennels to have contact with Sophie. From day one, Sophie has been aggressive to every person she comes in contact with, except for Kim, to whom she is very attached. Lovey, on the other hand, has no problems with people, except that she obsessively licks them.
Cesar quickly identifies Sophie’s aggression issues and corrects Kim’s response to them, showing her how to improve Sophie’s behavior around strangers. Within minutes, Sophie is calmer than Kim has ever seen. Then, Cesar works with Lovey to teach her to calm her nonstop affection. Lovey’s obsession might seem sweet at first, but it quickly becomes burdensome. With Cesar’s help, LCA learns how they can go one step further in their puppy mill rescue efforts and give the dogs a normal, happy life.
“When you bring a dog into your life, please do your homework and don’t buy a dog from a puppy mill. Visit a local shelter or rescue group instead,” Cesar says.
For more information and exclusive clips, visit www.natgeotv.com/dogwhisperer.
About Last Chance for Animals
Last Chance for Animals is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations and legislation. LCA's work advocates conscious and informed lifestyle decisions, and the organization is committed to disseminating truthful information about societal animal abuse to improve the treatment of animals.
About Dog Whisperer
Each episode of Dog Whisperer follows dog behavior specialist Cesar Millan as he goes directly into the homes of dog owners — without any prior information about the dog’s case — and documents the remarkable transformations that take place under Cesar’s calm, assertive guidance.
The hugely popular series has grown into a pop culture phenomenon, including parodies on “South Park” and “Saturday Night Live”; references on popular shows including “Jeopardy!” and Bravo’s hit series “Work Out”; appearances on “Oprah,” “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Martha Stewart,” “Today Show,” “The View” and “Live with Regis and Kelly”; and a guest star role for Cesar on the hit series “Ghost Whisperer.”
The series celebrated its landmark 100th episode in September 2008 with a grand reunion of many of the past guests — and their dogs. The second and third seasons of Dog Whisperer each received nominations for the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program.
About Cesar Millan
With more than 20 years of experience working with canines, Cesar has been called a “Dr. Phil for dogs,” and for good reason. He has a unique gift of rehabilitating dogs and training their owners. His talent with dogs first developed on his grandfather’s farm in Mexico. Now, at his Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles, he receives as many as 100 calls a week from owners desperate for help and confronting a crisis with their beloved pets. He is their emergency responder, and often their last resort. Often, the dogs Cesar works with are “red zone cases” that trainers or veterinarians have told the owners to put down. Cesar believes every dog deserves a chance at rehabilitation before such drastic measures should even be considered. His pack of dogs at the center are largely dogs no one thought should be left alive — and they now live in harmony as part of Cesar’s pack, and make frequent appearances on the show.
Millan was made an honorary member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and was presented The Michael Landon Award for Inspiration to Youth Through Television at the 28th Young Artist Awards.
Cesar’s most recent book, “A Member of the Family,” released in October 2008, is his third New York Times best seller. Other things Cesar include: the first three seasons of Dog Whisperer are available on DVD; Cesar and his wife Ilusion have founded the nonprofit Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, providing financial support and rehabilitation expertise to shelters throughout the United States; Cesar has an exclusive product line available at Petco; and he is giving online seminars, “Sessions with Cesar,” an interactive coaching course. More information can be found at www.cesarmillaninc.com.
Dog Whisperer is produced by MPH Entertainment and Emery/Sumner Productions for National Geographic Channel. Executive producers for MPH Entertainment are Jim Milio, Melissa Jo Peltier and Mark Hufnail. Sheila Possner Emery and Kay Bachman Sumner are producers. This special episode was coordinated by Dog Whisperer co-producer Christina Lublin. For the National Geographic Channel, senior executive producer for season four is Char Serwa; senior vice president of production is Michael Cascio and executive vice president of content is Steve Burns.
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National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Cable Networks (FCN). Since launching in January 2001, NGC initially earned some of the fastest distribution growth in the history of cable and more recently the fastest ratings growth in television. The network celebrated its fifth anniversary January 2006 with the launch of NGC HD which provides the spectacular imagery that National Geographic is known for in stunning high-definition. NGC has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available in nearly 70 million homes. For more information, please visit www.natgeotv.com.
Chris Albert, National Geographic Channel, 202-912-6526, CAlbert@natgeochannel.com
Photos: Lauren Jones, National Geographic Channel, 202-912-6708, firstname.lastname@example.org