Actor and animal advocate Allison Janney is hosting “Shelter Me: New Beginnings,” the fourth episode of the inspiring national PBS series that celebrates shelter pets with positive and uplifting stories.

Premiering in October, this one-hour, emotionally-charged episode focuses on two stories, including an aircraft transport of 128 shelter dogs to loving homes as well as a nationally recognized animal trainer who is implementing a first-of-its-kind doggie play group program in overcrowded city shelters.

“I am honored to host ‘Shelter Me’ and bring awareness to the thousands of loving pets in animal shelters across the country that need homes,” said Allison Janney. “I adopted three amazing dogs and they bring so much love and happiness to my life.”

The “Shelter Me” series was created by filmmaker Steven Latham who wants to break down the negative perceptions and stigmas of public animal shelters and help people realize that shelter pets make the best pets. “Shelter Me” is presented by Ellen DeGeneres' pet food company, Halo, Purely for Pets, and together they are committed to the well-being of shelter pets.

In the first story of “Shelter Me: New Beginnings,” Aimee Sadler, a nationally recognized animal trainer, teaches shelter staff and volunteers how to get their dogs to interact in play groups. The public shelters in Philadelphia and Baltimore are featured. These play groups allow for shelter dogs to be properly exercised and socialized, resulting in more adoptions.

The second story is about a transport of 128 dogs whose lives were saved from Southern California animal shelters. Volunteer pilots from Wings of Rescue flew them to Idaho, where they were all adopted into loving homes.

“Shelter Me: New Beginnings” premieres on public television stations on October 5. Please go to ShelterMe.tv for local listings.

In addition, singer/songwriter Mindy Smith has partnered with the show to produce “Songs For Shelter Me,” an 11-track compilation album to benefit shelter pets, which includes two of her songs from the new episode and is available October 7.

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