A Farewell to Fred

farewell-fred.jpgFred Bergendorff, whose idea for using television to find homes for adoptable shelter animals grew into “The Pet Place” TV show, has died.
After visiting the former animal shelter on Willow St. in 1989 and seeing first-hand the need to find homes for thousands of unwanted dogs and cats, Bergendorff began showcasing potential pets on Long Beach cable channel 3 a year later and expanded the format to KDOC-TV in Anaheim in 1991.
The show’s Web site states that “The Pet Place” has saved an estimated 160,000 animals from 45 shelters and rescue groups in Los Angeles, Orange and inland counties.
Bergendorff’s unassuming style ensured that the animals always remained the focus of the program, which featured close-ups of the pets after they’d been coiffed by local pet-grooming business Doggie in the Window.
The show has been honored by the U.S. Congress, the California Assembly and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Bergendorff personally received the California Veterinary Medical Association’s first-ever Meritorious Service Award for “promoting the special relationship between people and their pets and the benefits for the human-animal bond.”
“Fred’s goal was to find homes for all the adoptable animals,” said Gary Lycan, senior producer of the TV show and its radio counterpart. “It was Fred’s desire that it would be his legacy and our goal to continue his rewarding work to help shelters and rescue groups throughout Southern California. And that is our plan.”

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