In 1985, Hanna-Barbera made an animated television special, which aired in syndication that October, paired with Star Fairies. Characters in the television special included the Fonzie-styled leader Cooler (voiced by Dan Gilvezan), the cheerleader Bright Eyes (voiced by Adrienne Alexander), and a dog with a very nasal like New York accent known only as "The Nose" (voiced byJo Anne Worley), and the goofy inventor aptly named Howler (voiced by Frank Welker), who can only howl.

A female dog from a wealthy aristocratic family named Violet Vanderfeller (voiced by Gail Matthius) is being pursued by dognappers when she is picked up and taken to the city pound. There, she meets the gang and discovers their mission to find homes for themselves. The film plot centers on Violet (whom Cooler insists on referring to as "Sam") attempting to reunite with her family, ultimately succeeding. Two other dogs appeared in the special. They were the upper-class snob Barkerville (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) and the garbage-can-digging Scrounger (voiced by Ron Palillo), who later appeared in the season 2 episode Garbage Night: The Musical. The three of them appeared briefly in a flashback in the episode Wagga Wagga. The Mayor (voiced by Sorrell Booke) made a cameo appearance in Bright Lights, Bright Eyes as one of the judges of the pet talent show, Mayor Fist.

This special was released on VHS in 1986 by Family Home Entertainment and is available on a DVD which comes with certain Pound Puppies toys.

The characters Bright Eyes (voiced by Adrienne Alexander), Howler (voiced by Frank Welker), and The Nose/Nose Marie (voiced by Jo Anne Worley) would be voiced by different actors in the regular series, although Adrienne Alexander and Frank Welker would return as Brattina and Catgut respectively.