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Hollywood: Celebrity Pet Causes

Hollywood: Celebrity Pet Causes

By Tim Parks

Sometimes I like animals more than people, but not in a farmer/sheep kind of way. I live with four dogs, two birds and three chickens and enjoy the unconditional love that pets provide; even if the chickens prove to be more aloof than the rest of the menagerie. Here’s a ladder poultry, get over yourselves.

There are plenty of Tinsel Town denizens that put their literal celebrity to good use by highlighting the plights of many animals by supporting pet causes. Whether it’s by publicly pampering their pets  or raising awareness against cruelty to our mostly four-legged friends, stars shine in this capacity.


While there is nothing funny about animal rights and famous folks and their furry friends, I thought I’d take a less Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA commercial route. Seriously, if they don’t want people to change the channel, dispense with the sad music in favor of playing Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine,” seeing as the animals will be rescued.  Just sayin’.

Animal Planet  


Betty White has long been a staunch supporter of the Morris Animal Foundation, for over forty years to be exact. The foundation has raised over $70 million towards health studies of dogs, cats, horses and other wildlife critters, including White’s favorite the sea otter. My guess would have been the minx, since she roomed with the sassy Blanche on The Golden Girls.

Ellen DeGeneres  has used her afternoon gab fest to profile the rights of animals and was even named Woman of the Year by PETA in 2009. She advocates the importance of adopting pets from shelters and cruelty free living for animals. Thus far she has not opened a beaver sanctuary in her home.


Long after actress Tippi Hedren was terrorized by The Birds, and Alfred Hitchcock pawing at her on the set of the movie,  she founded the Shambla Preserve in 1983. The sanctuary is designed to help over 50 exotic big cats, including African lions, Siberian tigers, leopards and cougars, which makes sense since her daughter Melanie Griffith is older than hubby Antonio Banderas.

Ke$ha has gone on record for her distaste of the clubbing of baby seals in Eastern Canada, so don’t be expecting to see her headlining the event Bash at Club Seal anytime soon. Yeah, I’m pretty much going to hell for that one.

Nashville actress Hayden Panetierre has a strong resolve for ending the slaughter of whales and dolphins. She seems to be taking a page out of her acting past as Claire the indestructible cheerleader on Heroes – save the whales, save the world!

Hilary Swank not only the former spokesperson for Iams Home for the Holidays campaign and has also partnered up with the Romanian-based foundation Four Paws, which connects rescue dogs with disabled and institutionalized people; she has been involved in horse rescue. I’m surprised it wasn’t  horse dentistry given her big ‘ol choppers.


Kristen Bell, who will be headlining the upcoming Veronica Mars movie, advocates for better conditions for pregnant pigs. She got the idea to champion the cause after seeing the message in a spider web that said “Some Pigs Need Your Help!” Thanks Charlotte.  Image

Alec Baldwin is all about the plight of the penguins, which is why he is seen in public dressing like them in his always-at-the-ready tux.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a great catsby with his co-sponsoring work with Save The Tigers Now, which highlights opposition to keeping big cats as pets. I would think that would just fall under the category of common sense – can you imagine the litter box?

English actor Stephen Fry doesn’t want there to be a lonely pachyderm on the planet, as is clearly illustrated by his involvement with Elephant Dating, a service that pairs contributors with their very own Asian elephant to support or “date” for a year. Hopefully, they are not paired up online, if human behavior has taught us anything then the elephants may be inclined to lie about their weight.


When Sigourney Weaver starred in the movie Gorillas in the Mist, she became an activist for protecting gorillas and other primates and was named honorary chair of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. It’s a good thing that she didn’t find the same soft spot in her heart for her Alien co-stars, because on Earth everyone can hear you scream!


Vampire Diaries hottie Ian Somerhalder is not only pretty to look at – swoon – but, he helped to clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Somerhalder….oil, now where was I? He also started his own foundation to educate kids today about the importance of animals and the environment.

Former Price Is Right host Bob Barker always told audiences at the end of every show to have their animals spayed and neutered. In 1994, he spearheaded DJ&T Foundation, which puts its emphasis on further conveying that message to the masses. Man, that made my balls hurt just writing it.

Lucky Dogs


Speaking of canines, there are plenty of celebs that pamper their pooches. Take Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump, for instance. She has elevated her Pomeranian Giggy to star status. The pooch is not only featured on the Bravo hit series, but he also has upwards of 67,000 followers on Twitter. Can Lisa Vanderpump adopt me?

Mariah Carey had a nice romantic bubble bath with her dog Jill E. Beans on Valentine’s Day. She felt the dog deserved it after she made its ears bleed hitting all those high notes.

When you’re Oprah Winfrey’s Springer Spaniels Sunny and Lauren, you get introduced to the world on your famous mistress’ talk show, circa 2010. However, she almost didn’t get to keep the pups, as she chose one of her Oprah’s Favorite Things episode to do so.

Fur is redrum

A lot of stars are opposed to the wearing of fur and have even posed buck nekkid in ad campaigns for PETA.

Charlize Theron made the statement of “If you wouldn’t wear your dog, please don’t wear any fur” for the watchdog group. To show her support, she gave up fur after the movie Monster commenced filming in 2003.


Khloe Kardashian shed her clothes, and inhibitions, to showcase her desire to rather go naked than wear fur. It caused quite the scandal amongst the Armenian community, as they are known to wear fur, or body hair, as it were.

Sharon Osbourne didn’t doff her favorite frock in order to get her point across outside the trendy boutique Intermix, she held a sign stating that she will not shop at the establishment until they go fur-free. Her stance was going very well until Ozzy showed up and bit the head off of a bat.


So, hopefully by giving examples of the good that celebrities can do by using their name and stature to put the spotlight on animal activism, perhaps you may be so inclined to start your own campaign. Hmm, now what animal is most associated with our community? Yes, you can go ahead and start a Bear Aware Campaign today. Oh, and you’re welcome.

About timparksmediaho

I am a self professed Media Ho, which is the nicer version of being a Media Whore. My mother actually inspired me to come up with the term

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