Cesar Millan, otherwise known in the TV world as "The Dog Whisperer," is set to launch one of the first celebrity branding campaigns in China, an effort he hopes grows his empire and helps educate millions of Chinese dog owners how best to treat their four-legged companions.
“This is the time for China,” Millan told the N.Y. Times, adding that his campaign will teach the Chinese “how not to make mistakes other countries have made” with their dogs. There has recently been a groundswell of demand for protection of dogs against cruelty from within China. Some estimates peg the number of canines slaughtered for meat and fur in the country at over 10 million annually. While the exact cause of the shift to embrace dogs as family members is unclear, many believe China's rapidly growing middle class is likely a factor — a demographic Millan is hoping to influence.
“If he never made a nickel, Cesar would still want to do this,” Millan’s partner in the venture, Rob Cain, told the Times. However, he added, “he’s not opposed to making money.”
Indeed, the 43-year-old plans a media blitz that will include a national tour sometime next year, as well as translations of his books, television series, and branded products from leashes to treats.
Millan's new series "Leader of the Pack," (Nat Geo Wild Channel; Saturday, 10 p.m.) which addresses the global rise in dog abandonment, will also premiere in China this week. It features families competing to adopt a shelter dog with behavioral issues that have prevented the animals from finding new homes. Millan hopes the program can "save abandoned dogs from incarceration and euthanasia and raise awareness of the desperate situation these dogs live in around the world."
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