Richard Linklater's That Animal Rescue Show looks into the prison program that matches harder-to-adopt-dogs with inmates for training

By Kelli Bender
October 27, 2020 12:42 PM
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That Animal Rescue Show, a new docuseries arriving on CBS All Access on Oct. 29, may sound like a program that focuses on how humans help animals — and that's part of it — but the secret heart of the show lies in the amazing ways rescue animals save humans.

Executive produced by five-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater (BoyhoodSchool of Rock) and two-time Oscar winner and documentarian Bill Guttentag, That Animal Rescue Show follows those involved in animal rescue work around Austin, Texas, where Linklater lives. The new series promises to introduce pet lovers to a handful of the people involved in animal rescue and to focus on how this life-saving work affects them.

Audiences will be taken to a ranch where humans heal alongside goats, a pioneering no-kill shelter that has saved the lives of 80,000 dogs and cats, and an arena where disabled children learn to walk with the help of horses.  Danny Pintauro from Who’s the Boss?, now a vet tech and cat care attendant at Austin Pets Alive, even appears in an episode.

One unexpected place That Animal Rescue Show transports viewers is inside of a prison. Episode four of the upcoming show focuses on Paws in Prison, a program that takes harder to adopt shelter dogs and pairs them with female prisoners at the Lockhart, Texas Correctional Facility. The inmates train their canine partners in basic obedience and help with socialization, making the hardworking dogs more enticing to potential adopters.

Credit: CBS All Access

And while the shelter dogs certainly get a lot out of this arrangement, That Animal Rescue Show explores how the prisoners, experiencing the companionship and trust of the pups, benefit from this program as well.

"I haven't been trusted in a long time with anything, so it's pretty cool," Lexi Isaacks, who is at the Lockart prison for theft and drug possession, says about being matched with Charlie the dog in the above sneak peek of the episode.

To see how Charlie and Isaacks help each other transforms, and to catch even more moving animal stories, tune-in to That Animal Rescue Show on CBS All Access on Oct. 29. All 10 episodes of the new docuseries will be released on the streaming service at the same time, so there is something for animal lovers to binge this weekend.