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Tag: ellen degeneres

Woof in Advertising: Ellen’s dog food has new mascot — and it’s a turd with a halo

There’s a new animated turd in town, and no, it’s not a character on South Park.

Halo dog food, Ellen DeGeneres’ brand, has launched a new advertising campaign featuring a saintly pile of feces know as “Poopsie.”

woof in advertisingThe mascot appears in two advertising spots that have been made so far, both telling us that Halo brand pet foods are free of filler, and that the consumption of it leads to healthier, friendlier, more polite poops.

Halo promises dog owners “a poop that’s a pleasure to scoop.”

It’s not clear what, if any, role, DeGeneres played in conceiving the new mascot for the brand, but the ads were developed by RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates), an advertising and marketing agency headquartered in Santa Monica, according to AdWeek.com.

mrhankyPoopsie is not the first animated poop to hit the airwaves. That honor, many think, belongs to Mr. Hankey, a talking, sewer-dwelling lump of human feces who first appeared in a Christmas-time episode during the first season of South Park. He went on to become a recurring character.

South Park, however, has been accused of stealing the character from Ren and Stimpy creator John K., who says the cartoon rips off a series of Spumco comics and cartoons that featured “Nutty the Friendly Dump.” The two characters look alike, and the plot lines are similar, too, with the talking feces surfacing to befriend a main character who has been rejected by classmates.

That controversy didn’t make a lot of headlines when it was playing out, back in 1997, so I don’t know, nor do I want to, whether it led to a court battle over who first produced talking poop.

Twenty years later, though I don’t think anybody is going to sue Ellen (because she’s too nice). And the advertising agency is probably in the clear, too, because Poopsie, being coiled, has an entirely different shape than either Mr. Hankey or Nutty. And Poopsie — as much as I would like to call him a spokesturd — doesn’t talk (at least not yet).

In any event, Halo brand has trademarked the name “Poopsie” and the Poopsie image — basically a spiraled piece of poop with eyeballs and a mouth and a golden halo hovering over it.

Poopsie’s point … and it does have one .. is that “the proof is in the poop.”

Dogs who eat Halo brand are avoiding difficult to digest filler and “meat meal,” and as a result they dispense poop that is, if not truly angelic, at least less offensive, the ads contend.

As the next ad says, “the truth always comes out in the end.”

(This link will lead you to more of our Woof in Advertising posts)

It’s all good, American Humane CEO says

Suddenly, it seems, that video of a dog being coerced into a pool during the filming of “A Dog’s Purpose” is not so “disturbing” at all.

When the video was first leaked, by TMZ, even the makers of the movie — all avoiding any responsibility for what might have happened — all said at least some aspects of it appeared disturbing.

But in the week leading up to the film’s release, the reassurances that nothing bad happened have poured out — from the author of the popular book of the same name, from the star of the movie, Dennis Quaid, from its producer, even from Ellen Degeneres.

And now even the CEO of the non-profit organization that is supposedly “investigating” the incident(s) seems to be saying — before the investigation is even concluded — that nothing inappropriate happened.

Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO of the American Humane Association — the agency that monitors the safety of animals in movie productions — said in a piece written for Variety that the leaked video was “misleading” and “edited” and reflects no wrongdoing on anyone’s part.

“The beautiful story opens at the box office this weekend mired in controversy stemming from the release of an edited video manipulated in an effort to mischaracterize the behind-the-scenes treatment of the film’s four-legged stars,” she wrote.

The film’s official release date is today.

The viral video has provoked a call for a boycott of the movie by PETA, and some conflicting feelings even among dog lovers — both those who insist the German shepherd, named Hercules, is being mistreated, and those who say the edited video is not to be trusted.

The video shows the dog being nudged and coerced to get into a churning pool of water. He had performed the stunt gladly in rehearsals, but the location of where he was entering the pool had been changed on the day of filming.

He clearly resists getting in, and struggles to get out during the first 45 seconds of the video. Another piece of video was edited onto that, showing the dog, on a different day, swimming in the pool before going underwater, at which point someone yells “cut it” and the dog is helped out of the pool.

To restate our take on all this: That second snippet of video is too short, out of context and blurry to draw any conclusions from. The first 45 seconds, in our view, shows a dog being pushed more than a dog performing a stunt in a movie should be pushed. The stunt was called off that day, but not soon enough.

Is that a crime? No. Should it result in the movie being boycotted? We vote no, but that’s up to you. Should there be repercussions — say a warning, or a fine? Probably, but the agency that would impose that appears to have already made up its mind.

Should the makers of the movie, somewhere along the line, admit to an iota of responsibility for what was a small mistake on the set of the movie they were making? Should they make some amends, maybe offering a percentage of opening week receipts to dog-related charities (likely not PETA)?

Well, that would be classy — a whole lot classier than circling the wagons, denying responsibility, and launching a public relations effort to rescue, not a dog, but their movie.

Yesterday, Dennis Quaid defended the movie on The Today Show, and then did the same on Ellen.

Meanwhile, in her piece for Variety, Ganzert acknowledged that the dog “appeared to show signs of resistance” to getting in the water. The rest of the piece is a defense of the movie, a diatribe against PETA and more questioning of why the video was leaked a year and a half after it was taken.

But what about those 45 seconds?

“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) swiftly called for a boycott of the film, and has since continued to exploit — and further sensationalize — the controversy as an opportunity to argue that the animal actors who enchant and educate audiences don’t belong on the Silver Screen,” Ganzert continued.

But what about those 45 seconds?

“A full spectrum of rigorous safety measures was in place to protect the dog throughout this particular scene,” she added. “In addition to one of American Humane’s Certified Animal Safety Representatives, five individuals –including scuba divers and animal handlers — were present on the set at the time to ensure the safety of the dog.”

But what about those 45 seconds?

Here is what I would like to hear from the AHA — were the methods used trying to get Hercules in the water during those 45 seconds acceptable to them? Was the level of stress the dog was allowed to reach acceptable? Should a dog be allowed to get stressed at all during the filming of a movie stunt?

AHA suspended the monitor it had assigned to the film pending the results of the “third-party” investigation it says has been launched.

But with the publication of his Variety article, it’s pretty clear what Ganzert and the AHA want that “ongoing” investigation to find.

Dog’s can’t talk. Dogs don’t have a union. If the American Humane Association has appointed itself as their guardian in Hollywood — and is soliciting our donations to carry out that mission — we’d like to think it is objective, vigilant and doesn’t give a hot damn about the profit margins of movie makers.

In that respect, Ganzert’s article, on the eve of the movie’s release, is not too reassuring.

As for the movie’s makers, we’d like to think that your production treated dogs in a manner as sweet as your movie’s message and that, if you didn’t, even in small way that has been blown out of proportion, you are at least a little bit sorry it.

Rescue dog and cat stamps have arrived

stamps

The new U.S Postal Service stamps we told you about back in March — featuring rescued dogs and cats — are now available in finer post offices everywhere.

The stamps feature five cats and five dogs, and the photos were taken by Sally Andersen-Bruce. All of the  animals were adopted from a shelter in New Milford, Conn.

For the stories behind each of the pets that appear on the stamps, go here.

The Postal Service’s campaign, called Stamps to the Rescue, is being supported by Ellen DeGeneres and Halo, her dog food company.

New stamps will feature once homeless pets

stampsOn April 30, the Postal Service will issue a 44–cent, Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamp series.

With the 10 stamp designs — five cats and five dogs — the U.S. Postal Service hopes to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets.

The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed.

The stamps were designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.

In celebration of the new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps, the Postal Service, together with Ellen DeGeneres and her dog food company, Halo: Purely for Pets, will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.

To pre-order the stamps, go here.

Here’s a closer look at the dogs chosen for the stamps:teddy

Teddy, a wired-haired Jack Russell terrier: The owners of Teddy’s mother were surprised when she gave birth to another litter. They couldn’t afford to raise more puppies, so they gave Teddy and his siblings to a shelter.

Today, Teddy lives with a loving family, their other Jack Russell, and a cat. 

trevorTrevor, a yellow Lab: Trevor and his litter mates were found abandoned at 8-10 weeks of age at a new home construction site.

They were rescued by Labrador Retriever Rescue of CT, Inc. Trevor was adopted by a couple who are a perfect match for his outgoing personality.

 

buddy

Buddy, a golden retriever: Buddy is a pure-bred golden who was purchased from a pet store. At only eight months old, he had such bad hips that his family gave him to a shelter.

Now, Buddy is flourishing with his family who have improved his health through regular exercise and a good diet. 

bindi suBindu Su, an Australian shepherd: Bindi Su’s mother was handed over to a rescue group when her owners found out she was expecting.

Bindu Su was adopted at eight weeks old.

Now she competes in agility events and visits a local nursing home weekly. 

jakeJake, a Boston Terrier: Purchased at a pet shop on Thanksgiving when he was eight weeks old, Jake’s original family quickly realized that they couldn’t take care of him.

The pet shop had a no-return policy, so Jake was turned over to a shelter.

Snoopy edges Lassie in AOL poll

snoopySnoopy beat out Lassie, but just barely, in a recent poll conducted on behalf of the new AOL pet website, PawNation.com.

Both Lassie and Snoopy captured 39 percent of the votes for “favorite celebrity animal,” but Snoopy edged the beloved, but fading from memory collie by 14 votes. Garfield and Scooby Doo trailed with 12 and 11 percent, respectively.

The survey covered other important issues as well.

Asked “which celebrity pet’s passing did you mourn the most?” Oprah’s deceased dog Sophie came in at the top, followed by Mickey Rourke’s chihuahua, Loki.

In other results from the poll, the honors for “craziest pet owner” went to Leona Helmsley, with Paris Hilton a distant second. And the celebrity picked as the one people would most trust to watch their pet was Jennifer Aniston, who captured a whopping 70 percent of the vote, beating out Mickey Rourke, Pam Anderson and Nicole Richie.

Almost half of the respondents said their pets sleep in their beds every night, and more than fourth said they did some sometimes.

(Graphic: from redkid’s “Snoopy Says Generator”)

Ellen to star in animated movie, “Dog Show”

Ellen DeGeneres will lend her voice to “Dog Show,” an animated feature in the works at Warner Bros.

In what will be her first return to the animated big screen since she was the voice of Dory in “Finding Nemo” in 2003, the  Emmy-winning daytime talk show host will be the starring voice in the movie about a stray dog and her misfit friends who shake up the purebred world of a Westminster-like dog show.

Robert Downey Jr. and Tina Fey will also be providing voices for the movie. DeGeneres will also be the movie’s co-producer.

Vick dog appears on today’s “Ellen” show

A trainer from Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah will appear on today’s Ellen Degeneres Show with one of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dofighting operation.

John Garcia, from Fredonia, Ariz., will appear with Georgia, one of 22 pit bulls sent to the sanctuary after being rescued from Vick’s dog fighting operation in Virginia, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Vick, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for his part in a dogfighting conspiracy. He and three co-defendants raised and trained pit bulls for fighting. Poor-performing dogs were executed.  

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