'Nick News' Spotlights Homeless Animals

Linda Ellerbee's award-winning Nick News has helped a lot of kids in the past, but the show is now going to the dogs... and cats. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Kids to the Rescue! Helping Homeless Animals will premiere December 20 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

Focusing on pets who've been abandoned as a result the economic downturn, the show will feature appearances by celebrity pet-adopters including Lance Bass, Sophia Bush, Tony Hawk, Bonnie Hunt, Twilight's Kellan Lutz, and Maria Menounos.

The episode will also -- and more importantly -- highlight un-famous young people who’ve made a difference in the lives of homeless animals. Their efforts include fostering animals, donating time to shelters, volunteering for organizations that help people afford their pets, creating fundraising drives to stop animal overpopulation, and forming awareness campaigns to end more than 10,000 puppy mills operating in America.

"It's a crisis that kids can help fix," says Ellerbee. "The good news is that so many kids and so many famous former kids have already begun doing so."

According to the U.S. Humane Society, which has separate Web sites for kids and teens, nearly half of the cats and dogs that enter U.S. shelters will be euthanized because of shelters' overcrowdedness.

As the owner of five rescued cats myself, I can tell you nothing widens kids’ eyes and hearts more than visiting an animal shelter, dropping off some needed supplies, and perhaps even saving a life.

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