Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cesar Honored with 2010 “Shape Up America” Animal Health Advocate Award

On Sunday, March 14, Cesar Millan was honored as this year’s recipient of the Animal Health Advocate Achievement Award, as part of Operation Fitness’ first “Shape Up America” campaign. The campaign is a 30-city tour that aims to fight the obesity epidemic in this country.

As Cesar is currently touring the UK giving seminars, Dog Whisperer Co-Producer Christina Lublin accepted the award on his behalf.

“The first annual Operation Fitness “Shape Up America” campaign was a success,” Christina said. “It's great to know that people are really taking their dogs' health and fitness seriously. Cesar's message of having a balanced dog includes the mind and body, so this award was a real honor.”

The “Shape Up America” Campaign was created to help adults, children, and pets get healthy for their own benefit and for the lasting benefits that will strengthen the entire nation for generations to come. The goal is to show people how they can create fun, simple ways of working out, along with participating in stimulating activities at home, at the office, in a park, or in the wilderness. Each of the cities visited by the tour will offer free fitness events including health screenings, nutrition lectures, healthy cooking tips, athletic competitions and fitness classes, pet health seminars and fitness demonstrations, and dog obedience training.

“I believe that the pack is a family unit, and every pack leader naturally wants to ensure the vitality and longevity of his or her family members. We want the years we spend together with our packs to be happy and lively ones,” Cesar said in his acceptance speech, which Christina read to the audience.

An estimated 25 to 40% of dogs are overweight, yet many dog owners are unaware their dog has a weight problem. Dogs who suffer from obesity often develop health issues due to the added stress on their heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and joints. Such physical issues, combined with a lack of exercise, often result in behavioral problems, Cesar has said.

One of the big topics at the event was the diabetes epidemic among kids in the U.S., Christina said. It was a topic of particular interest to her as her toy cockapoo Zoey, who she brought with her to the awards ceremony, is a 7-year-old diabetic, diagnosed as a puppy.

“I am humbled every day to help people and their dogs live in a happy, balanced relationship,” Cesar said in his speech, “and I am pleased that "Shape Up America" is including pets in this important campaign.”

Christina Lublin, Co-Producer of Dog Whisperer
with Cesar Millan, accepts the 2010
Animal Health Advocate Achievement Award
on Cesar’s behalf; with Chris DeRose,
founder of Last Chance for Animals (LCA)

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