Jill Rappaport Honored at Global Pet Expo 2012

Greenwich, CT—January 16, 2012) – The American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) are pleased to announce that TODAY show correspondent and Animal Advocate, Jill Rappaport is the 2012 recipient of Global Pet Expo’s annual “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award”.

Rappaport will personally accept the award Thursday, March 1, 2012 in Orlando, Florida at The Purina® Media Reception at Global Pet Expo. This media-exclusive event is held in conjunction with Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s largest annual tradeshow, taking place February 29 " March 2, 2012 at the Orange County Convention Center. Global Pet Expo attendees include independent pet product retailers, distributors and mass market buyers, media and other qualified individuals from the pet industry.

Rappaport has been on TODAY for 20 years. She served as the entertainment correspondent for the first 17 years, but when her beloved dog Jack got bone cancer, her life and career changed forever. While chronicling Jack’s illness on the show, she realized that animal welfare issues were her calling and so her path changed. In her popular, award-winning “Bow To Wow” series, shelter dogs get a makeover and a second chance at life, and through her work she has helped to save hundreds of horses that were severely abused. Since its inception, “Bow to Wow” has had a 100% success record, and even Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps has adopted one of the dogs from Jill’s segment. She also keeps TODAY viewers informed about the latest health trends for pets. She developed a clothing line for Pendleton for women and pets, which benefited the Jack and Jill Fund for animal cancer.

Rappaport and TODAY have received the coveted Genesis Award, which is the Oscars of the animal world, for her reporting on animal issues. Rappaport is also the best-selling author of “People We Know, Horses they Love,” and has written three other books, including “Jack & Jill: The Miracle Dog with a Happy Tail To Tell,” about her beloved dog Jack, and “500 Cats.” She was named the first recipient of the “Voice for the Animals Award” for her work on and off the screen from the Humane Society of the United States, presented by Matt Lauer, and has received the coveted MSPCA-Angell Animal Hall of Fame Award in Boston.

Rappaport also received the New York City Parks Citizen award from the Mounted Auxiliary unit. She was honored for Outstanding Community Service from the LI Veterinary Medical Association, was just named the ASPCA Good Will Equine Welfare Ambassador, and ended 2011 with the coveted honor of ringing the NYSE Opening Bell for animal adoption. Ms. Rappaport lives on a farm with her four rescue dogs and six horses, whom she refers to as her “fur angels.”

“We truly believe that this award was crafted especially for someone just like Ms. Rappaport and that her promotion of responsible pet ownership is directly inline with APPA’s mission,” said Bob Vetere, president of APPA. “Her dedication to improving the lives of pets and helping resolve animal welfare issues is evident and we could not be more thrilled to honor her with this year’s award.”

The annual “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award” recognizes individuals in the media who have the power to influence millions of people and use this to positively promote the joys and benefits of pet ownership. Whether via print, broadcast or internet mediums, these distinguished members of the press produce stories that highlight responsible pet ownership and all the exciting services, products and activities that make spending time with our pets even more enjoyable. Past recipients include Victoria Stilwell, Rachael Ray, Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Marty Becker (Good Morning America/Vetstreet/Dr. Oz Show), Steve Dale (My Pet World/The Pet Minute), Gina Spadafori (author/Pet Connection) and Janice Brown (The Tails Pet Media Group).

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Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s largest annual trade show, is presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). The 2011 Show featured 835 exhibitors, 2,380 booths and more than 3,000 new product launches. 4,691 pet product buyers from around the world attended. Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified professionals. For more information, visit www.globalpetexpo.org.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes nearly1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA’s mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit www.americanpetproducts.org for more information.


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