Last year I wrote about a public television program called Shelter Me. It presented an uplifting look at the role that shelter dogs play in the lives of people from many different walks of life.

The first segment focused on the journey of two stray pit bulls, from the day they were picked up on the streets and brought to the shelter until the day they became beloved family pets. Next, we visited a women’s prison where inmates train shelter dogs to become service animals for people with disabilities. Finally, the program took a look at how shelter pets help returning war veterans cope with post traumatic stress disorder.

If you liked Shelter Me (or missed it and it sounds intriguing), I’ve got good news. Shelter Me: Let’s Go Home (Episode 2) premieres on PBS this April. According to the program’s synopsis:

Shelter Me is an inspiring series that celebrates shelter pets with positive and uplifting stories. We tell stories about people’s lives being improved when they adopt a shelter pet and feature shelter pets that went from rescued to rescuer.

We follow individuals who have adopted shelter dogs and are now volunteering at a hospital. These once-forgotten dogs are now helping people heal by bringing comfort to patients and their families, not to mention joy to the doctors and nurses.

We show a dramatic rescue of homeless puppies, an innovative mobile spay/neuter clinic, and a family adopting a beautiful cat at an animal shelter. [Yeah, cats!! They were missing from last year’s episode.]

We also tell an amazing story about our hero firefighters who train shelter dogs for search-and-rescue. These teams have been to the World Trade Center and helped look for survivors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Superstorm Sandy, and the Joplin tornadoes. When a disaster strikes and people are buried, these search dogs will be the first on the scene to save you.

Every year, 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in America’s shelters.

Shelter Me focuses on the success stories to bring more people into the shelters to give these incredible animals a second chance.

Shelter Me
is about hope, helping others, and making a difference

Visit the program’s website to watch a synopsis and see when your local PBS station is airing the program. Episode one is available on DVD and through iTunes and Netflix, and episode two will soon be available if you miss your local showing.

I’ll be watching the program on April 11 at 9 p.m. when it airs on Rocky Mountain PBS. If any of you have already seen Shelter Me: Let’s Go Home, share your review.

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Image: Lindsay Basson / via Shutterstock