“One of my favorite TV shows!”
— Ellen DeGeneres
WASHINGTON (Aug. 11, 2009)–Following the success of the season one and two DVDs of “DogTown,” National Geographic will bring back the friendly faces of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and its resilient canine wards for a third time in “DogTown: Friends in Need,” available Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, on shopNGvideos.com, in stores where videos are sold or by calling (800) 627-5162.
Featuring 10 new episodes detailing the transformation of rejected, misfit dogs into adoptable pets with a second chance at life, the three-disc standard-definition set also includes the bonus programs “Archie and Electra’s New Run,” “Rescue Dogs” and a primer on Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. “DogTown: Friends in Need” is available for pre-order now.
In season two, viewers watched the amazing rehabilitation of the Michael Vick dogs at Dogtown, the last-hope shelter that’s part of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest facility for homeless animals in the country. Here, dedicated vets, caregivers and trainers tackle cases most deem too difficult. “It just takes a lot of patience, a lot of TLC … and a pocket full of chicken!” says dog care manager and trainer John Garcia.
“DogTown: Friends in Need” introduces viewers to some of the sanctuary’s most challenging cases to date — Aristotle, a scab-covered terrier mix rescued from a hoarding situation; Waylon, an aggressive chow mix that lashes out unpredictably; Rush, a traumatized shepherd mix airlifted from a Middle Eastern war zone; and Gertie, a puppy-mill shih tzu that snorts. On the front lines along with Garcia are dog care manager Michelle Besmehn; veterinarians Dr. Michael Dix and Dr. Patti Lampietro; and trainers Sherry Woodard, Pat Whitacre and Ann Allums.
“DogTown: The Survivors”
Aristotle, a terrier mix rescued from a hoarding situation, comes to Dogtown with a skin condition that is one of the worst cases veterinarian Michael Dix has ever seen, but with special meds and extra care, this shy puppy transforms into a “bouncing, not-itching, monkey” with a bright future. Meanwhile, trainer Pat Whitacre faces Waylon, an aggressive chow mix he is sure hides an endearing personality underneath.
“DogTown: Against the Odds”
Dog care manager Michelle Besmehn travels to Los Angeles to rescue several older dogs from an overcrowded puppy mill. Many have severe medical issues and haven’t seen a vet before. A Chihuahua named Mei Mei likely spent her life in a cage and needs Michelle’s training to become house-trained; and Gertie, a shih tzu, requires the right home for her special needs. Then, Dr. Dix performs a risky lung surgery on Charro, an adult Labrador mix with a persistent cough.
“DogTown: Starting Over”
Two homeless dogs named Haley and Hana are rescued from an underground cave in Ethiopia, where it is believed they survived for more than two months after being dumped there by locals. Can behavior consultant Sherry Woodard help the street dogs overcome their fears and improve their social skills in order to take on a domestic world? Hugo, a 100-pound bloodhound, must learn a safer way to interact when he returns to Dogtown after seriously biting a family member. Dr. Patti Lampietro performs surgery on a golden retriever injured by a coyote trap.
“DogTown: New Hope”
Trainer John Garcia takes on Rush, a shepherd mix airlifted from a Middle East war zone, that is withdrawn and frightened of loud noises — a suspected case of post-traumatic stress. Meanwhile, trainers face a similar situation with Scruffy, a terrier mix that managed to survive Hurricane Katrina, but is now petrified of new situations, from walking through doorways and onto floor surfaces to getting into cars.
“DogTown: A Fighting Chance”
Music star Emmylou Harris calls for help with a vicious shepherd mix named Gunnar, leaving animal behavior specialist Sherry Woodard only a few days to come up with a plan to overcome his aggression. Vet Patti Lampietro performs exploratory surgery on Theresa, an abandoned pit bull with a history of skin cancer. Boisterous trainer John Garcia teaches a painfully shy Catahoula leopard dog mix named Little Girl to trust the world one person at a time.
“DogTown: A Fresh Start”
Dogtown’s head veterinarian, Michael Dix, performs surgery on Zambi, a black Lab mix, in the hopes of giving this dog a new chance at life. Trainer Ann Allums gears up with Casey, a beagle mix with a hyper temperament that has kept him from being adopted for the last five years. Trainer Pat Whitacre works to socialize Bingo, a painfully shy shepherd mix.
“DogTown: Will to Survive”
Trainer John Garcia takes on a tough project with Chico, a border-collie mix with a strong prey drive. Trainer Ann Allums helps Tuxedo, a puppy that lost his eyesight as a result of Salmonella poisoning, learn basic skills and obedience to keep him out of danger. Trainer Pat Whitacre comes to the rescue of a severely emaciated stray named Scone that he must get healthy before he can help the gentle-natured dog find a home.
“DogTown: Life After Dogtown”
A special “where are they now?” episode, updates the stories of some of Dogtown’s favorite patients: Tuffy, the pointer-mix found nearly dead in the desert; Remington and Ruger, the two inseparable outdoor hounds; Aristotle, the pink Jack Russell with virtually no hair; and Wiggles, the abandoned bulldog suffering from a neurological condition. The special includes never-before-seen footage and interviews.
“DogTown: Rescue and Renewal”
Dog care manager Michelle Besmehn travels to Parkersburg, W.Va., to bring back several dogs rescued from a mass-breeding operation: Parker, a male dachshund, has painfully rotten and infected teeth that, if left untreated, will eventually kill him; and Barney, a shih tzu, has sores on his paws from living in a wire cage that prevent him from walking without pain. Meanwhile, Buzz, a long-term resident of Dogtown, needs trainer Jeff Popowich’s help to learn how to feel safe around people so he can live a happier, more fulfilled life.
“DogTown: Friends in Need”
A young pit bull found on the street after Hurricane Gustav is rescued and nursed back to health. A sheltie mix known for threatening people in her past learns that rewards follow good behavior, and Ellie, a hound mix that suffers serious medical conditions after years of living in a home where she lacked minimum care, is rescued and treated.
This fall, National Geographic will publish the long-awaited companion book, “DOGTOWN: Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Redemption,” by Stefan Bechtel (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-0562-0; 320 pages, 50 black & white photographs, $26; Oct. 27, 2009). Consumers can play caregiver, trainer and veterinarian in the new “DogTown” game for PCs, available October 2009 from Nat Geo Games. Season four of “DogTown” debuts January 2009 on the National Geographic Channel. To learn more about the show, visit www.natgeotv.com/dogtown.
“DogTown” is produced by National Geographic Television for the National Geographic Channel. For National Geographic Television, executive producer is Kim Woodard; series producer is Darcy Dennett. For the National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Chris Valentini; senior vice president, production and development, is Juliet Blake; and executive vice president of content is Steve Burns.
National Geographic Entertainment (NGE) was established in 2007, combining into a single operating group National Geographic’s Cinema Ventures, Feature Films, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio business units. NGE is part of National Geographic Global Media, also formed in 2007, bringing together all of National Geographic’s editorial platforms to streamline collaboration and further support the Society’s mission. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” National Geographic works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 370 million people worldwide each month through magazines, books, digital media, television, radio, music, film, exhibits and live events. It funds more than 250 scientific research, exploration and conservation projects each year and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
“DogTown: Friends in Need”
Street Date: Oct. 27, 2009
Order Due Date: Sept. 22, 2009
Suggested Retail Price: $29.98
Run Time: Approx. 500 mins.
National Geographic Society