First came the influx of sea lions. Now, after the disastrous Springs fire, the kind folks at the California Wildlife Center are bound to have their hands full with displaced and injured animals from that event. Whatever happens to our furry, feathered, finned or four-legged friends, the center is always available to lend a helping hand.
Good deeds on behalf of our animal friends do not go ignored or unappreciated. The latest example was this year’s Genesis Awards. Every year, The Humane Society of the United States recognizes winners for raising awareness of animal protection issues. Media outlets that cover the people and organizations who make a difference were honored at the Genesis Awards Benefit Gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Among the winners were Drew Barrymore’s feature film, “Big Miracle,” late night host Stephen Colbert’s satirical “The Colbert Report,” David E. Kelley’s “Harry’s Law,” NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” Discovery Channel’s “Ivory Wars” and ABC’s “Nightline.”
Universal Pictures got high praise for its film “Big Miracle,” which captured the inspiring true story about international efforts to save a family of trapped whales. Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” picked up the Sid Caesar Comedy Award for a biting satire of a congressman’s defense of dog fighting and NBC’s “Harry’s Law” won the Dramatic Series Award for a thought-provoking storyline questioning the ethics of keeping primates in captivity. Best TV Documentary went to Discovery’s “Ivory Wars” for a penetrating look at the alarming escalation in the elephant ivory trade.
Best TV Newsmagazine Award was shared between NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” for in-depth reporting on endangered orangutans and rhinos and the issue of using chimps in research, and ABC’s “Nightline” for an investigation into the shocking abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses by one of the industry’s best-known trainers.
Locals like Erika Brunson and Alanna Tarkington opened their hearts and their wallets. Like everyone at this event, Brunson is a passionate animal advocate, who donates generously to local causes like the California Wildlife Center and even has her own successful foundation called “The Coalition for Pets and Public Safety.”
The event was hosted by popular “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
Genesis Executive Producer Beverly Kaskey expressed her profound appreciation for all the hard-working animal groups, who work tirelessly day-in and day-out, as well as her thanks to all the media who keep their cause in the spotlight. “The welfare of animals has universal audience appeal,” she said.
The evening was hailed as a roaring success.