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Lassie is giving away one of her puppies to raise awareness about pet adoption.

Lassie Comes to Your Home

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She starred in her own show on TV beginning in 1954; she's won two Emmys and a Peabody Award. She lit the national Christmas tree at the White House one year, and TV Guide puts her near the summit in its list of the Top 50 All-time TV Stars.

Now she's giving away one of her children.

Hold on a second. Is this a story ripped from the pages of the National Enquirer? Well, no. And we're not talking about Vivian Vance or Eve Arden, either.

We're talking about Lassie.

Not the original Lassie, of course. His name was actually Pal and he starred in six feature films for MGM from 1943 to 1950. Nor are we talking about the first TV Lassie who debuted on CBS-TV on Sunday nights at 7 back in 1954 — and stayed there until 1971.

No, the Lassie who's giving away one of her puppies is the latest in a line of eight, all but one of whom lived to be at least 17 years old.

So what's this puppy giveaway all about? The Animal Planet cable network and the Humane Society of the United States are teaming up with Lassie to launch a national effort aimed at raising awareness about pet adoption. They point to the 8 to 12 million animals entering shelters each year.

If you want to give one of Lassie's puppies a good home, point your Web browser to www.animalplanet.com. Or you can pick up information and an adoption application at participating Nutra Science Naturals dog food retailers.

Just keep in mind that adopting an animal is a commitment for a lifetime — the animal's, that is. And Lassies, history has shown us, tend to stick around for a

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