Big Cats and Dolphins win Humane Society Media Awards


Winner Tippi Hedron with daughter Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas at Genesis Awards. Photos by Long Photography

Every year the Humane Society toasts Hollywood for good deeds at the Genesis Awards, a fundraiser that recognizes ethical animal-friendly stories on television, in film and print. It also pays tribute to celebrities who take up the cause. At this year's 24th annual ceremony, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to long-time animal advocate Tippi Hedren. The honor was presented by her daughter, actress Melanie Griffith last weekend. Watch the winners in the other categories accept the trophy on Animal Planet or read on.
Some may know 80-year-old Hedren as Hitchcock's heroine from The Birds and Marnie, but for the last 40 years, the former actress has been active in the protection of animals, crusading against the exotic pet trade, working for federal legislation to ban breeding and selling of exotic animals. Fittingly in this Year of the Tiger, her Shambala Preserve, a sanctuary for discarded exotic felines in California, cares for 63 discarded big cats, including two of Michael Jackson's tigers. ABC's 20/20 did a report last Friday about, stating there are more pet tigers in the US than tigers in the wild.


The Cove director Louie Psihoyos (right) and Ric O'Barry with text-to-end-dolphin-slaughter sign.
Oscar contenders topped the 49 Genesis nominees, including Up, The Cove and Food, Inc. for efforts in raising awareness of animal protection issues. "The news and entertainment media covered a wide range of animal issues in 2009, including dog rescue, factory farming, and chimps in research, but Oscar winner, "The Cove...is proof that even a tough animal issue like Japan's dolphin slaughter can resonate with audiences when it's the basis of thrilling, cinematic storytelling," said Beverly Kaskey, senior director of the Hollywood office of The Humane Society of the U.S.

If you'll watch it on Animal Planet in April, don't let the list of winners be a spoiler:

• A tie for best feature went to Up and Hotel for Dogs
• The Cove won best film documentary. HBO's Death on a Factory Farm won TV doc
• The comedy prize went to Family Guy episode, "Dog Gone"
Bones, "The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken" won TV series
• Nickelodeon's Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, "Kids to the Rescue! Helping Homeless Animals" won the childrens category
The Ellen Degeneres Show took talk show for the segment "Eating Animals with author Jonathan Safran Foer
Whale Wars, "The Stuff of Nightmares" on Animal Planet won for Reality TV. Animal Planet Europe also got the Brigitte Bardot International award for "Bear Sanctuary"

Magazines and newspapers recipients included:

O, the Oprah Magazine "What Are They Thinking?" by Eugene Linden, "Wild Things" by Rick Bass, and "Operation Rescue" by Barry Yeoman
• TIME for "The New Age of Extinction" and "The Real Cost of Cheap Food" by Bryan Walsh, and "Abused No More" by David Von Drehle
The Independent (UK), multiple articles by Martin Hickman

National news programs, local TV shows and publications also received awards, such as articles by Bill Lueders in Isthmus, an alternative weekly in Wisconsin.


Presenter Pierce Brosnan with his wife Keely Shaye Smith, environmental activists.

The Genesis Awards event is part of the Hollywood office of the HSUS and will air on Animal Planet April 24 and 25. Comedian Jon Lovitz (SNL/Simpsons), Pierce Brosnan, Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives), and Emily Deshanel (Bones) were among the presenters.

More on tigers:
Sundarbans' Tigers Further Pushed Towards Extinction by Rising Sea Level
Tiger Conference Ends with Mixed Results
Tiger Tops WWF's List of Ten Critically Endangered Species
All World's Tigers Extinct in 15-20 Years Without Better Conservation Efforts

Tags: Animal Planet | Animals | Awards | Celebrities | Charities | Endangered Species

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