Jill Rappaport—veteran journalist who’s about to celebrate 22 years on NBC’s “The Today Show,” where she now specializes in reporting stories about pets and animal welfare–discusses her lifelong love of animals. She goes on to explain how, even as the “Today” entertainment reporter—a post she held for 15-16 years of her stint on the program—that passion for animals proved significant, helping to break the ice in interviews with stars/fellow animal lovers like Russell Crowe. Rappaport notes that writing her first book, “People We Know, Horses They Love” and chronicling on “The Today Show” her beloved German shepherd Jack’s battle with cancer—including chemo and a leg amputation—constituted the twin turning points of her career, reinventing herself as self-proclaimed “animal advocate” on “Today” and animal welfare correspondent for “NBC Nightly News.” She described her “Bow To Wow” adoption segment and its track record for finding home for the participating animals (100%), the challenges of deciding what organizations and issues to cover amidst limited airtime, and her attendant persistence pitching stories to various NBC producers, and more. (www.facebook.com/jill.rappaport.75?fref=ts)
ALSO: We spoke briefly with Stephanie Downs, co-founder and president of the Fix-It Foundation, updating us on her full-length conversation on the July 20, 2011 edition of “Talking Animals” outlining the unique nationwide process by which they match-up needy pet owners and funders who will underwrite the spay or neuter procedure, and the research project conducted in St. Croix seeking to identify various methods to promote spay/neuter even in areas culturally disinclined. (http://fixit-foundation.org)
COMEDY CORNER: There was no comedy segment today.
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play Name That Animal Tune today.
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