Joan Rivers' Dogs Set to Walk Green Carpet at the New York Dog Film Festival

The late comedian's dogs, Teegan and Samantha, are under the care of Joan Rivers' assistant

While human celebrities are making their way to The Big Apple for the New York Film Festival, canine stars have their own moment to celebrate. This is the first year of the New York Dog Film Festival, and the inaugural event has attracted some important guests.

Joan Rivers‘ dogs, Teegan and Samantha, will be making their social debut on the festival’s green carpet to honor the late animal lover. In Sept 2014, Rivers died following complications during a surgical procedure on her vocal chords. She was 81. In her will, Rivers left her beloved pups, Teegan the rescued Japanese chin and Samantha the Havanese, to her executive assistant Jocelyn Pickett, who has been caring for the pets since the comedian’s death.

Helping the dogs with their big debut is the New York Dog Film Festival founder and Rivers’ goddaughter Tracie Hotchner. Hotchner is also a dedicated pet wellness advocate who is the author of The Dog Bible and host of the NPR radio show “Dog Talk.” For her, the festival is a chance to expand her commitment to animal happiness.

“It’s been a year since we lost Joan,” Hotchner told PEOPLE. “It makes me sad anytime there is something I would have wanted to share with her, but the film festival is something she really would have wanted to attend.”

The two-day festival starts on Oct. 2 with an opening night “Pooch Party,” where Teegan and Samantha will be walking the green carpet with Pickett, and will also be joined by Rivers’ escort and assitant, Graham Reed, as well as the entertainer’s personal house call veterinarian Dr. Amy Attas of City Pet Vets. Obviously, the doggie duo will be in good paws.

By purchasing a Founding Member ticket, humans can join Teegan and Samantha at the pooch party, where they will be treated to craft beer, tasty treats, a doggy swag bag and VIP “all-access dog” tags to the festival program the following day. All attendees are invited to bring along their pet pup as well. For those who can’t make the party, but want to attend the festival, there are tickets available to see the two and a half hour film program at noon or 4 pm on Oct. 3.

The program includes 40 different film entries from around the world that celebrate the remarkable bond between dogs and their people. Attendees can expect to laugh, aww and maybe shed a few tears over these entries, which include animated, narrative and documentary short films.

Related Articles