7 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Nuts for Pets

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Anyone who has turned on a TV knows how Sarah McLachlan feels about pets (re: the most depressing ASPCA ads EVER), or the fact that Bob Barker wanted us to “help control the pet population; have your pets spayed or neutered.” However, not all celebrities wear their love of animals on their sleeve. Here are some celebs who love pets more than you ever imagined!

1. Ricky Gervais Hates Animal Testing, Loves His Pets

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The creator of BBC’s The Office, Ricky Gervais is known the world over as being totally unafraid to speak his mind. Turns out, one of the topics this comic genius is so outspoken about is the health and well-being of all animals, great and small. Working with loads of different charities (PETA, Cruelty Free International, TigerTime, Animal Defenders International, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Dr. Hadwen Trust, Hauser Bears, Humane Society International, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals) Gervais has made himself a crucial asset to the improvement of animal lives everywhere. Check out his video for Cruelty Free International.

2. Betty White is Working to Keep Your Pets Healthy

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Best known as Rose Nylund from the outrageously funny sitcom The Golden Girls, Betty White has been especially active as an advocate for pets’ rights, and the advancement of veterinary medicine. Longtime supporter of PAWS/LA and the spcaLA, White has done a great deal for the abandoned pets in the greater LA area. But that’s not all! An active partner with the Morris Animal Foundation, sitting on their Board of Trustees for over 40 years, White has been given the title of president emeritus of the organization.  She also wrote a book called Betty White’s Pet Love: About How Pets Help People. So, yeah, Betty White is pretty into pets.

3. Emmylou Harris Has the Perfect Rescue Dog for You

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Legendary country music star Emmylou Harris has worked with Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Gram Parsons, and also PETA, working tirelessly to provide animals everywhere with a higher quality of life. Not only that, but Harris has gone the extra mile, converting part of her Nashville estate into a shelter (Bonaparte’s Retreat) for dogs that would otherwise be euthanized, giving these lucky pups a second chance. More recently, Emmylou is working on a new project, known as Crossroads Campus, which hopes to pair shelter pets with at-risk individuals, helping both parties live a more fulfilling life.

4 & 5. Ellen DeGeneres & Portia De Rossi Team Up for Pet Health

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A couple’s twofer! Both of these ladies are hilarious on the stage, but take animal rights seriously. DeGeneres, aka Ellen, aka the voice of Dory (Finding Nemo), is also the co-founder of Halo, a pet food and supplies retailer that provides a holistic alternative to the mass produced fodder flooding the market. Also working with pet-centric organizations like Best Friends Animal Society, Farm Sanctuary, The Gentle Barn, and The Humane Society, Ellen DeGeneres gives back like it is going out of style. She’s also working with “Stamps to the Rescue,” a program coming out soon thanks to the U.S. Postal Service, issuing a series of dog and cat themed stamps, donating the proceeds to local shelters.

Not to be outdone by her partner, Portia De Rossi (Arrested Development, Better Off Ted) partnered with the Alley Cat Allies, which is a trap-neuter-return program designed to help manage populations of feral cats in urban areas. Because of their extensive efforts toward the betterment of animal lives everywhere, both DeGeneres and De Rossi are recipients of the Humane Society of the United States’ Wyler Award.

6. Ian Somerhalder Does Charity His Own Way

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The star of hit TV shows like Lost, The Vampire Diaries, and Smallville, Ian Somerhalder takes the charity game a step further, starting the aptly named Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which works toward ending animal cruelty, lends support to “no-kill” shelters, and helps retrain abandoned animals into service or therapy dogs, along with many other causes.

7. Pierce Brosnan is Helping Animals Die Another Day

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Last, but certainly not least, Pierce Brosnan, aka James freakin’ Bond, is one of the most dedicated environmentalists in Hollywood, especially when it comes to the subject closest to his heart — whales. Brosnan is wildly outspoken on the subject of whaling, donating money and resources to a number of organizations aimed at preserving our oceans, including those whale warriors, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He is also one of the most notable members of the new California Spay and Neuter License Plate Fund, promoting the new, statewide program that takes the proceeds from these vanity plates and gives it directly to shelters to spay and neuter. See that lovely picture on the plate, above Pierce’s right shoulder? He drew that!

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