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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hollywood Stars Who Shine for Animals

Entertainment celebrities are often tapped to endorse a product, event or even a political candidate. That's because when they talk, many people listen. And it could be powerful when they use their influence for the greater good, like promoting animal advocacy. Here are 10 Hollywood celebrities who promote the adoption of homeless animals and battle overpopulation of pets:

1. Ellen DeGeneres
Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been recognized for her promotion of animal rights issues by various animal advocacy groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Aside from supporting several animal rescue groups, DeGeneres never fails to talk about animal adoption on her highly-rated TV show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres is also a co-owner of all-natural pet food company, Halo.

2. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential women on the planet, has made “puppy mills” almost a household term. Thanks to her expose on the cruelty of puppy mills, many people have become aware of the realities behind dogs being sold in pet stores. In addition, her website,, also continues to promote animal welfare issues.

Oprah also walks the talk. Three of her dogs, a cocker spaniel and two springer spaniels, were adopted from PAWS, an animal shelter in Chicago.

Betty White 2011 Wall Calendar3. Betty White
Even with her very busy schedule, Betty White never stopped helping animals in need. And now with her new wave of popularity, the Golden Girls superstar is busier than ever doing charitable activities including posing as the pin up girl for her own Betty White 2011 calendar. Proceeds from the calendar sale will go to the Morris Animal Foundation where White serves as a trustee. Currently, White is helping promote feline health awareness through the Foundation’s “Happy, Healthy Cat Photo Contest.”

4. Linda Blair
She may be known as a young possessed girl in the movie “The Exorcist,” but Linda Blair is really possessed by her strong love for the animals.  Blair started the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, an organization that helps neglected and abused animals and save those that are in “death row.” Through the Foundation, she works with several rescue groups to find foster parents and eventually forever homes who will give these animals a second chance. Blair also educates communities about the horrors of dog fighting and the need for spay/neuter of pets to stop overpopulation of pets.

5. Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl, who is famous for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, is a certified animal advocate. She and her mother established The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation which assists in funding the transport of animals from high kill shelters in Los Angeles, free spay/neuter of pets, and promotion of humane education.

Angel6. Sarah Mclachlan
Who would not be touched by Sarah Mclachlan’s commercial for the ASPCA where sad abandoned pets are being shown while her song “Angel” is played in the background? It’s truly a tear jerker! Sarah’s support to the ASPCA commercial has helped the organization raise almost $30 million and brought nearly 200,000 new donors. Talk about an effective fundraising campaign!

7. Pamela Anderson
When the BP oil spill broke out, Pamela Anderson immediately thought of the animals that were affected by the crisis. When she learned about families leaving the areas hit by the oil spill and are abandoning their dogs, Anderson flew to New Orleans to save the canines. She teamed up with the People’s Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and rescued approximately 50 abandoned dogs. The dogs were then brought to the Virginia Beach SPCA for adoption.

8. Carrie Underwood
She may be an "American idol," but Carrie Underwood is also an idol to a lot of pet lovers. Carrie is truly an animal advocate and has helped a lot of lost and stray pets. She founded the C.A.T.S. Foundation in her hometown Oklahoma which helps with community issues including responsible pet ownership. Carrie was also tapped as a spokesperson for the Pedigree Adoption Drive.

9. Mary Tyler Moore
Combining her talent and love for animals with friend and fellow actress Bernadette Peters, Mary Tyler Moore decided to do something to help the animals by launching Broadway Barks in New York City. Broadway Barks is an annual dog and cat adopt-a-thon and fundraising event that benefits local animal shelters and rescue groups in the state. It involves Broadway stars and other celebrities presenting the adoptable dogs and cats.

10. Pierce Brosnan
Former Remington Steele and James Bond heartthrob Pierce Brosnan is a philanthropist supporting many causes including animal rights. In June this year, he donated his original artwork creation for the California Spay Neuter License Plate program that will help raise awareness and funds for subsidized spay and neuter for pets. His artwork featured his family’s dog Shilo and cat Coco.

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