Anyone who knows me knows that animals are not just my passion, they are my life. When I’m not on a set or a stage I’m traveling the country – sometimes the world even – rescuing, transporting, fostering, adopting, speaking, protesting, demonstrating, lobbying, educating, building habitats and providing care all on their behalf.
When I was a child I had 103 stuff animals and I could tell you each one of their names. I also had real animals: dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, turtles, fish and a rabbit. As a family we gave supplies to our local shelter every year at Christmas, and eventually I started to donate time and money on my own.
I’ve loved animals and nature my whole life. And like most people, I had no idea what was actually happening to them. Then I made what I call the “fortune mistake” of watching an undercover fur video [VIEWER WARNING]…and it changed my life forever.
Helping animals is REALLY easy! Here are some great starting points…
GET INVOLVED -- VOLUNTEER and/or DONATE time, money and resources. There’s no such thing as “too little” when it comes to animals. Animal organizations need all the help they can get.
ADOPT -- your next animal companion. Don’t buy. 4-6 million animals are killed every year in the US shelter system simply because they don’t have a home. Adopting and rescuing are the best way to go! Even if you want a pure breed - as many as 25% of animals in shelters are pure breeds and there is a rescue group for every breed imaginable. #AdoptDontShop
SPAY/NEUTER -- any animal companions you have now, even if you think you don’t need to. Accidents happen all the time, and the last thing the world needs is more homeless animals needing to find homes. And if you think it's important to share the "miracle of birth" with your kids, make sure you're also showing them the "miracle of death" by teaching them about euthanasia.
DON’T WEAR FUR -- EVER! I don’t even wear faux fur. The fur industry is one of the most evil in the world, and there’s no such thing as “humane” or “green” fur. Animals are anally electrocuted, drowned and worse, skinned-alive for fur products. It's barbarically frivolous and unnecessary. We don’t need fur to keep warm anymore.
BUY CRUELTY-FREE PRODUCTS -- Check on the labels of cleaning, beauty and general personal & household products that they say “no animal testing” or have the "leaping bunny" logo. There are some inexpensive, humane alternatives to virtually every product made. You get bonus points if the products are recycled and plant-based/vegan as well.
GO VEGAN/VEGGIE -- even if it’s one day a week, but adopting this lifestyle is the best thing for yourself, animals & the environment. Heart disease is the #1 killer in the US, and the #1 reason for heart disease is MEAT consumption. Animal agriculture is the #2 contributor of green house gases (energy production & use is #1) that is causing deadly climate change. Plus, animals are brutally tortured during the growth, storing and slaughter process. And if that's not reason enough, consider this: slaughter house workers are the #1 culprits of domestic abuse. It's a horrific business all the way around.
SUPPORT HUMANE ENTERTAINMENT -- This includes avoiding zoos, all animal circuses and animal themed parks like water parks. And if you travel abroad, don't take animal rides on camels, donkeys or elephants. Don't buy paintings by animals. Don't swim with animals. Let them be wild. This might sound extreme, but believe me – it’s nothing compared to the extreme conditions in which the animal are forced to live and work.
Above all – EDUCATE YOURSELF!
My mind is constantly blown finding out what happens to animals, the horrors beyond comprehension. Below are links to some of my favorite organizations where you can learn more and hopefully join the growing movement of compassion towards all living beings.
Proud board member of:
Stray Rescue of St. Louis
Organizations I love to save animals with:
Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)
Animal Investigation & Response (AIR)
Bailing Out Benji
Best Friends Animal Society
Carroll County Humane Society
Center for Great Apes
Dogs for Better Lives
Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM)
Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC)
Hope for Paws Rescue
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
International Hearing Dog, Inc
International Primate Protection League (IPPL)
Years ago I founded an organization of my own - a multimedia resource foundation to help pet parents at any stage of the journey with their pet. Please visit The Pet Matchmaker for our archived materials. You can even give it a listen with The Pet Matchmaker Podcast. Listen HERE.
National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS)
Olive and Friends Farm Sanctuary
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Pet Care Foundation
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
St. Martin's Animal Foundation
Toronto Pig Save Animal Save Movement