Fox has scheduled a television first with The Great American Dog-A-Thon airing at 8pm ET/PT on Thanksgiving. The dog-centric special is in support of our canine friends and will be co-hosted by Oscar winner Hilary Swank who came up with the idea for the show along with executive producer Michael Levitt. The family-friendly, dog-friendly special celebrates the joy rescue dogs bring to their two-legged family members. Among the celebrities scheduled to appear are Josh Duhamel, Scarlett Johansson, Kesha, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Ann Inaba, Miranda Lambert, Kristen Bell, Fergie, Paula Abdul, and lifelong animal advocate Betty White.
“I have long been an advocate for animal adoption and know first-hand the immense joy a shelter animal brings to our lives,” said Swank. “Yet, every year more than four million animals are euthanized because of overcrowding in shelters. We are so fortunate to have an animal advocate in the FOX network that not only sees the need for more awareness surrounding this issue, but is willing to set aside a two-hour block for this important cause. This partnership will change the path of a soul for thousands of animals looking for their forever home.”
“We’ve seen the entertainment industry come together for so many worthwhile causes benefiting people, now it’s time for them to rally for man’s best friend. It warms my heart that so many animal loving celebrities are stepping up in support of all the beautiful souls that need us to be their voice,” added executive producer Michael Levitt. “This is our big opportunity to change the misperception of shelter animals and show the world that rescuing a dog is always the way to go.”
Here’s the scoop on the special, courtesy of Fox:
This uplifting special for the whole family will be an entertaining and lively celebration of rescue dogs and the joy they bring to our lives. From basset hounds to boxers, pugs to pomeranians, puppies to seniors, The Great American Dog-A-Thon will delight viewers with inspiring and often hilarious tales of rescue dogs, honor the best viral videos starring rescue pups, include musical tributes to amazing superhero canines and feature stories honoring people who dedicate their lives to rescuing animals in need.
Throughout the special, celebrities will introduce the audience to rescue dogs, giving viewers the opportunity to foster or adopt a new best friend.
The special will include awards and celebrity presentations showcasing a variety of canine categories, including Cutest Puppy, Best Celebrity/Dog Lookalike, Guiltiest Dog, Best Licker, Smartest Dog and Best Viral Dog Video.
Viewers will be provided with information regarding adoptable animals in their local areas. Additionally, the special will give viewers the opportunity to donate during the show to raise funds for rescue organizations throughout the U.S. It also will promote awareness of many dog-related issues and topics to encourage people to choose to adopt one of the more than eight million rescue animals currently in the U.S. shelter system, patiently waiting to become part of a loving family in a forever home. With millions of dogs left behind in animal shelters nationally, your new best friend could be waiting for you.
-By Rebecca Murray
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