Actress and producer known for her roles as Savannah 'Savi' Davis on the television series "Mistresses", Phoebe Halliwell on "Charmed" and her breakout role as Samantha Micelli on "Who's the Boss," as well as for most recently hosting "Project Runway: All-Stars", Alyssa Milano counts multiple dogs and horses among her pets. A Best Friends supporter for many years, Alyssa has attended our Fluffball and Lint Roller fundraising events, was featured in the September/October 2012 Best Friends magazine and regularly Tweets her support of Best Friends.Animals have always been important in Alyssa's life, "Best Friends Animal Society's vision of '...a better world through kindness to animals' resonates strongly with me. It is inclusive and active and recognizes that kindness, wherever it is directed, is never wasted and always adds measurably to the goodness in the world."
Former model turned-actress and producer, Amy Smart has supported Best Friends' efforts both in front of and behind the scenes for years. From washing and grooming animals for our earliest Pet Super Adoptions, to walking the red carpet at our events, she's been a dedicated champion for our cause. Amy attended the grand opening of the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center, numerous Lint Roller fundraising events and the aforementioned Pet Super Adoptions. She's also participated in our Pup My Ride program, which transports homeless dogs from municipal Los Angeles shelters to other communities where the demand for such dogs is high."I have been volunteering with Best Friends for many years now, and I am always so inspired by the passion and dedication they have for helping rescued animals," says Amy. "It's amazing how many loving animals are out there in need of a home, and by adopting, you are saving a life. We all need to come together to put a stop to puppy mills and advocate for the humane treatment of animals."
Described as one of the world's top trainers by Women's Health UK, Ashley Borden is a globally recognized trainer and fitness expert. With over 35,000 hours of personal training experience, she has worked with high-profile celebrities and professional athletes such as actor Ryan Gosling, singer Natasha Bedingfield, and NY Yankee Nick Swisher. Additionally, she has appeared on television programs such as the “Today” show, “Rachael Ray,” and “The Doctors,” co-authored the book, “Your Perfect Fit,” and advises forLivestrong.com. Ashley is currently launching her newest training DVD, "6 Weeks to Sculpted." Ashley is committed to using her voice to further animal welfare issues, with a special emphasis on advocating for pit bull terriers. When not working, the Best Friends Celebrity Ambassador looks after her own family – three dogs and a cat – all rescues.“I am in awe of the
important strides Best Friends has been able to accomplish across the country,
but especially here in Los Angeles,” says Ashley, who attended the No-Kill Los
Angeles (NKLA) Pet Adoption Center ribbon cutting
and hosted a post-walk stretch and cool down session following the 2013 Los
Angeles Strut Your Mutt.
Known for her roles in "The O.C.", "Entourage", "Necessary Roughness", and "Hawaii 5-0", actress and director Autumn Reeser uses her celebrity status to raise awareness for Best Friends across multiple platforms including attending our Lint Roller fundraising events and Pet Super Adoptions and utilizing Twitter to help fundraise for our Los Angeles efforts and promote our national programs. Autumn also took time away from her busy schedule to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah."Animals give us so much love, trust, and joy -- and it's up to us to stand up for their well-being," says Autumn. "Be a responsible pet owner and spay or neuter your dog/cat, and make sure those around you are caring for their pets too. Animals can't speak for themselves, so we need to speak up for them!"
Unabashed comedian, social commentator, television host, writer, producer, author, and animal-lover Bill Maher is equally straightforward about his support of Best Friends. He's attended our Lint Roller fundraising events and was featured in the March/April 2013 issue of Best Friends magazine. Previously he generously auctioned off a seat for the highest bidder to attend his break-through television show "Politically Incorrect" with funds going to support our work. It's no surprise that someone so politically outspoken, also provides a voice for animals."There's nothing that speaks of the better angels of human nature than the desire to protect the innocent, and there's nothing more innocent than the animals," says Bill.Keep up with Bill on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher or via his website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Fashion and celebrity photographer and filmmaker, Bruce Weber, has a soft spot for animals. A long-time supporter of Best Friends' efforts to end the killing and Save Them All, Bruce hopes his role as a Best Friends Ambassador will help focus widespread attention on the plight of homeless pets."As I look back on my life, one of the greatest things I have ever done is rescue my dog Billie Holiday," says Bruce. "By doing this, it made me so aware of the many animals that need good homes and I can't imagine my life without at least one rescue dog or rescue cat or rescue bird. When I think of all the animals who are out in the world and need a lifeguard, I can't help hearing the lyrics from the great Motown classic 'Ain't no mountain high enough' - so let's all start climbing."You can follow his work via his website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Carrie Ann Inaba
When she's not busy judging celebrity contestants on "Dancing With the Stars," dancer, choreographer, actress and producer Carrie Ann Inaba spends her time advocating on behalf of homeless pets. A Best Friends supporter for several years and founder of the Carrie Ann Inaba Animal Project, she appeared on the one-year anniversary of our monthly pet adoption segments on "Access Hollywood Live" to promote three adorable Best Friends dogs. Carrie Ann is also a supporter of our Guardian Angel Program, and has toured the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles - where she even adopted a dog from us."I love all animals and want them to be treated with respect and accorded the dignity that they deserve," says Carrie Ann. "The fact that millions of homeless pets are dying in our nation's shelters is distressing and unacceptable. We can and must do better and Best Friends leadership in this area is part of what gives me hope for a better world as we move into the next decade."
Devoted animal lover and Oscar winner Charlize Theron has brought considerable media attention to Best Friends through her attendance at our Pet Super Adoption and Lint Roller fundraising events; and the actress/producer's advocacy doesn't stop there. She wrote the foreword for "Dog Tips from Dogtown: A Relationship Manual for You and Your Dog." Additionally, she took the time while filming in London, to call the chairperson of the Los Angeles City Council to ask for his support in contracting with Best Friends Animal Society to create the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center."The Best Friends Animal Society does incredible work by dedicating themselves to promoting kindness towards animals," says Charlize. "I think their compassion has made such a difference."Charlize stars in the comedy western "A Million Ways to Die in the West" coming out in the Summer of 2014. Learn more about Charlize on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
"I've always loved animals," says legendary comedic actress Cloris Leachman. "And being a Best Friends Ambassador is the best way I know how to show that love." And show it she does. The Academy Award, Emmy Award and Golden Globe-winning actress has been a Fluffball and Lint Roller fundraising event attendee and was interviewed in the March/April 2012 issue of Best Friends magazine. She also visited our Sanctuary in Kanab with her son in 2009."Best Friends is doing so much in so many ways to help homeless pets," says Cloris. "From helping community cats to helping dogs out of puppy mills, helping families keep their furry friends, stopping breed discrimination, educating the public about spay/neuter and adoption, and running the world's largest sanctuary for homeless pets with special needs, they're really making a difference. And I owe it to my animal friends to help out!"Cloris can currently be seen in the hit Fox comedy, "Raising Hope." Learn more about Cloris on Facebook and Twitter.
Danny Trejo is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable character actors, yet his road to success has been hard earned. He grew up on the streets of Los Angeles, and despite spending the latter part of his youth and early adulthood incarcerated, he has risen to become a great actor and better person. Upon his release from Salinas Valley State Prison, Danny became involved in programs aimed at helping those who, like him, battled or are battling drug and alcohol addictions. He is also a devoted animal lover and animal advocate with five adopted rescue dogs of his own.Danny is best known for his memorable roles in such films as “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Heat,” “Con Air,” “Spy Kids” and “Machete Kills,” as well as the popular television series “Breaking Bad” and “Sons of Anarchy.”Typically cast as a tough guy or hardened criminal, Danny is all heart when it comes to caring for his animals, promoting the vital importance of spay/neuter, and encouraging fans to adopt their pets from local shelters.A longtime Best Friends supporter, Danny attended the grand opening of the Best Friends Animal Society Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in 2012, and more recently, launched the Best Friends “I Saved My Best Friend” celebrity photo campaign with two of his adopted dogs Penny Lane and Cash.
David and Kelly Backes
It’s not just any couple that spends their five-year wedding anniversary celebrating at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. However, David and Kelly Backes aren't just any couple. David is the center, right winger, and captain of the St. Louis Blues NHL hockey team and member of the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics USA hockey team. In 2013 the couple founded Athletes for Animals, an organization of professional athletes who share a passion for helping homeless animals.With a Rottweiler and two pit bull terriers in their family, David and Kelly publicly speak out against breed discriminatory legislation including supporting Best Friends’ efforts to pass Winston’s Law in Missouri. Kelly was also a special guest at a Best Friends St. Louis screening of the documentary, “Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent”. The film is an eye-opening look at the negative impact of breed specific legislation.“Animals have always been an integral part of our lives,” says David. “It wasn’t until my career in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues that I realized the importance of advocacy and education when it comes to making a change in the lives of those we care so deeply about. Now with over 500 games in the NHL and two Olympic appearances, we have founded a charity to unite other athletes with a passion for rescuing and helping animals. My wife Kelly and I share our home with six rescued animal companions, four dogs and two cats, all with incredibly unique backgrounds but undeniably capable of giving and receiving unconditional love. For the past decade we have been able to join forces with many incredible animal organizations, and most recently visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab. We were amazed at the incredible work being done and are proud to be supporters of an organization that is paving the way to better the lives of humans and animals. We believe the difference we can make when we collaborate is limitless; we have the power to educate people everywhere and positively change the lives of animals.”
Actress Denise Richards is one of Best Friends' most devoted supporters. Best known for her turn as a Bond girl in "The World is Not Enough" and an unforgettable cameo in "Love Actually", her recent television roles include "Blue Mountain State" and ABC Family's "Twisted." Her continued efforts on behalf of Best Friends include appearing on "Access Hollywood Live" to promote homeless animals during their pet adoption segments, and attending Lint Roller fundraising events and Pet Super Adoptions. Behind the scenes Denise is a hands-on helper on many of our Pup My Ride program transports - often taking dogs home that are too sick to travel so that she and her two daughters could give them the extra TLC they need to send them safely on their way. Denise and her daughters even adopted one of the lucky pooches into their family."I believe in giving back," says Denise. "To me, the best part of success is that it gives me more to share with others, including the animals that so many of us love. My own pets have a great life. But what about all of the others out there, who are living - or dying - in homelessness? Being a Best Friends Ambassador on their behalf gives me the chance to give back."
Dr. Jane Goodall
Known around the world for her ground-breaking and tireless work with chimpanzees, Dr. Jane Goodall is equally committed to saving the lives of companion animals.The founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and United Nations Messenger of Peace has participated in Strut Your Mutt. And when she was honored as the Grand Marshall of the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade, she highlighted homeless pets by insisting on appearing with Chuck, who had been available for adoption from the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center."My childhood companion, my dog Rusty, was also my great teacher," recalls Jane. "He proved to me that animals have personalities, minds and emotions. My very favorite animal is a dog and I wish I could adopt many homeless dogs who so desperately need a loving home. Sadly my life on the road makes this impossible. It breaks my heart to think of all the dogs out there who need our help and all the people who would so benefit from the love of a dog."
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
A vocal advocate for all animals, actress, comedian, writer, Emmy-winner and beloved talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres has lent her support to Best Friends for over a decade. From filming a PSA from the Green Room of "The Tonight Show" back in 1994 to promote Best Friends dog sponsorships, to attending our Pet Super Adoption, and inviting Best Friends' Animal Caregiver John Garcia and Vicktory dog Georgia to appear on her Emmy-winning talk show, she continues her support by showcasing Best Friends' adoptable animals on The Ellen DeGeneres Show's website every week."We endeavor to live thoughtful, compassionate lives and we make choices in the way we live and the causes that we support that are consistent with that goal," says Ellen. "Best Friends Animal Society has always held a place close to our hearts because they believe, as we do, that loving, healthy animals should not be dying in our shelters for the simple lack of a home."
Emma currently stars as Debbie Gallagher on Showtime’s hit series “Shameless”. She was last on the silver screen, as a voice in the hit Disney movie, Epic. Born in Manhattan, Emma Kenney realized her passion for performing at age four and has worked in front of the camera, ever since. In addition to acting, Kenney also has enthusiasm for being behind the camera. Emma directed her first movie, The New Girl In Town, which was honored as a finalist at the 2009 New Jersey International Film Festival, making Emma the youngest filmmaker ever to receive that honor. When she is not acting or directing, she loves photography and playing with her animals (one day, she hopes to open an animal shelter of her own). “I am so proud to be a part of ‘Best Friends’. It is such an important organization with so many committed and inspirational people who work together to save all the animals!” Emma Kenney.
With diverse roles in nearly 100 different films and television shows including "Smallville", "One Tree Hill", "CSI: New York", "Covert Affairs" and "Two and a Half Men," Emmanuelle Vaugier's role as a Best Friends Ambassador is the one closest to her heart. She's visited the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary several times since her first trip in 2009 and on her last visit invited Entertainment Tonight: Canada to do a story on the Sanctuary. Emanuelle's love for animals inspired her to create the Fluffball fundraiser, which she started out of her own house. She's attended the Lint Roller events as well as our Pet Super Adoptions. She often lends her support to Best Friends via Twitter and was featured in the May/June 2012 issue of Best Friends magazine."I support Best Friends because they are working on issues that matter to me and to the animals I care about," says Emmanuelle. "Please, spay and neuter your pets. Help prevent innocent animals from losing their lives in shelters due to pet overpopulation. Every pet deserves a loving home. You can help make that happen by doing your part: adopt, spay/neuter, take good care of your pets."
Twelve-time Grammy winner and iconic singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris is an animal lover through and through. In addition to being a long-time Best Friends supporter, she founded Bonaparte's Retreat, a Nashville, Tennessee-based dog rescue organization and Crossroads Campus where people in need and animals in need help prepare each other for their next steps in life. In addition to Emmylou's local work in animal rescue, she's graced us with performances at our Lint Roller fundraising events as well as at the Sanctuary. She recently appeared in the I Believe - Acclaimed Ambassadors PSA, and was also featured on an episode of the National Geographic "DogTown" television series"I encourage people to rescue dogs and cats from their local shelters and encourage folks to spay and neuter their pets," says Emmylou. "There's a terrible tragedy going on with the millions of dogs and cats that are homeless and being put down every year, and it's something that's preventable. We're very blessed as public figures to have the financial means and the public access to bring in the money and bring in the people to also get involved and put in their sweat and tears. It's more than just writing a check. This really is my second career."
Actors Eric Roberts and wife Eliza have share a love for animals and Best Friends Animal Society. They've attended Lint Roller fundraiser events, as well as the grand opening of the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center, and have used social media to support Best Friends' work and campaigns. The Oscar-nominated actor and producer typically known for his tough-guy roles has a soft spot for homeless animals. "It's not complicated," Eric states, "Put yourself in the place of any animal, as hopefully you would any human, before making the choice to hurt them. They feel everything we do. Preventable suffering should be prevented. Join us. Please."Check Facebook, Twitter, and his website for more about Eric.
In his role as Cam (Cameron Tucker) on the award-winning comedy "Modern Family," actor/writer Eric Stonestreet has made strides in bringing greater awareness to the need for acceptance of all types of families. In his role as Best Friends Ambassador, Eric hopes to bring equal awareness to the dire number of animals being killed in our nation's shelters. The Emmy-winner provided his voice for our Fix at Four PSA, which targets people who delay getting their pets spayed or neutered, resulting in unexpected and undesired litters. Eric was also featured in the November/December 2012 issue of Best Friends magazine."Growing up around animals, I have always had a deep appreciation for those who work to help and protect man's best friends," says Eric. "I rescued my dog Coleman from a shelter and am so glad Best Friends Animal Society is there to help dogs like him find homes every day."
Shortly following her breakout performance in 1992's "Scent of a Woman" actress/producer Gabrielle Anwar became involved with Best Friends Animal Society and she's been an supporter ever since. More recently known for her role as Fiona on the USA hit action series "Burn Notice" Gabrielle attended several our very first benefits and she promotes our Pet Super Adoption events through social media."If dogs are man's best friend," jokes Gabrielle, "then we women get to have all the other four-legged, two-legged, milli-legged, winged, scaled, feathered, furry, fluffy friends that are left!"
Hawk and Molly Koch
Producer, director, President of the Producers Guild and former head of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Hawk Koch, is honored to also serve as a Best Friends Ambassador. Hawk's wife Molly holds a seat on Best Friends' Board of Directors --- both are devoted animal lovers. The couple has attended Lint Roller fundraising events, Strut Your Mutt, the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) launch party, Pet Super Adoptions, and are regular visitors to the Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. They adopted their two dogs, Poco and Willard, from Best Friends."Without Molly and I, this beautiful rescued dog would not have had a life, and our lives would not have been as rich as they've been for the last eleven years had it not been for him," says Hawk. "Anyone who has been privileged enough to have an animal to spend their days and nights with knows exactly what I mean."
Award-winning actress/producer Hilary Swank is an accomplished storyteller with more than 20 years in the entertainment business.Her breakout role as Brandon Teena in the 1999 drama “Boy’s Don’t Cry” earned her an Oscar® for Best Actress. Hilary was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a second time in 2005 when she took home the Oscar for her memorable role opposite Morgan Freeman in “Million Dollar Baby.” Hilary is also the recipient of awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press, the Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA, as well as multiple film critics societies.In addition to acting, Hilary has also produced films under the banner of her production company, 2S Films, which was formed in partnership with Molly Mickler Smith. Hilary’s producing credits include the 2011 romantic comedy “Something Borrowed.”Hilary’s recent films include "You’re Not You," in which she stars, as well as produces, through her 2S Films banner, and "The Homesman," in which she co-stars opposite Tommy Lee Jones, who also serves as director. Both films are due out in 2014.In addition to her busy film career, Hilary is a devoted animal lover and avid supporter of Best Friends. She served as host of the 2012 launch of our NKLA initiative at the House of Blues in Los Angeles and was among the celebrity attendees at the grand opening of our Best Friends Mission Hills Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles that same year. Hilary previously attended Best Friends’ Lint Roller events."As a lifelong animal advocate, finding organizations that share the same passion for animal welfare and rights is important to me,” says Hilary. “Best Friends Animal Society is truly making huge strides in the no-kill quest to ensure animals are adopted and none are euthanized in shelters. What I continually see is their genuine love and steadfast care for all animals. Every soul deserves a chance at life, and the work Best Friends Animal Society is doing ensures thousands of animals will have that liberty."
Star of the CW television show "The Vampire Diaries," and early episodes of the cult favorite "Lost," actor Ian Somerhalder plays another important role - animal advocate. In addition to supporting Best Friends' efforts, he created the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which inspires kids to get involved with environmental and animal issues. In 2012, Ian led a Strut Your Mutt team in Lafayette, Louisiana, and he's begun efforts to open an animal sanctuary through the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Ian also uses various social media platforms to promote Best Friends' campaigns and events."Like many people in the world, I understand that we are all animals," says Ian. "We are no better than any one species; we just have opposable thumbs, a written language and a large brain. We are all part of the same biological process and if we use our heads, our damn hearts, put stupidity aside, and tell greed to take a hike; we can truly live beautiful harmonious lives. Animals are not disposable and that's why I support Best Friends' campaign of to Save Them All."
Cat behaviorist by day and rock ’n’ roller by night, Jackson Galaxy challenges the stereotypical cat lover persona with his tattoo-clad arms and guitar case filled with cat toys.In addition to being the star and executive producer of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” Jackson also has deep roots in animal welfare. He worked in an animal shelter for almost 10 years and specializes in environmental and behavioral enrichment in a rescue setting.Jackson’s first book, “Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean,” tells the story of how his work with animals helped him overcome drug addiction and personal hardships. His second book, “Catification,” is due to publish in late 2014.Jackson is also the president of Spirit Essences, a line of holistic remedies for animals formulated by a holistic veterinarian and animal behaviorist.Dedicated to raising awareness and promoting adoption, Jackson generously shares his “cat mojo” with multiple animal welfare organizations, including Best Friends Animal Society, in an effort to Save Them All.Jackson’s primary goal is to help save the four million animals who die in shelters each year. His work with the Humane Society of Boulder Valley made him aware of the harsh reality of animal homelessness and simultaneously convinced him that the idea of a no-kill country could become a reality. He recently launched a ‘Team Cat Mojo’ campaign to attract those who want to build a community focused on making life better for all animals.To support this effort, Jackson is launching the Jackson Galaxy Foundation with the goal of cultivating a world where all animals are afforded more rights. "I resonate deeply with the Best Friends Animal Society mission and the way they go about achieving their goals. I take my position as ambassador very seriously, as I do the concept that we can Save Them All, one at a time.”
Jason Gray-Stanford and Jes Macallan
When it comes to supporting Best Friends, it seems like "Monk" star Jason Gray-Stanford and his wife Jes Macallan (ABC's "Mistresses) have done it all. They've attended Fluffball and Lint Roller events, Pet Super Adoptions, Strut Your Mutt, and the aCATemy Awards cat adoption promotion. Most recently they attended the grand opening of Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center, and with dogs Guinness, Woody and Baci in tow participated in Strut Your Mutt - Los Angeles in September 2013. Jason and Jes frequently promote Best Friends events and campaigns via social media and they've also adopted from Best Friends."It is truly an honor and a pleasure to be a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves," says Jason, "And let's face it, I have never met better judges of character than my pets, or any animal for that matter. They just know."
Legendary songwriter and actor J.D. Souther is a longtime friend of Best Friends Animal Society. He has always had a house full of mutts, most recently his two boys, Jake and Doc. John David was
critical to the early success of Best Friends in Los Angeles, bringing his industry contacts and circle of artist and actor friends to the cause.J.D. was an architect of the “Southern California sound” and has been a writer/co-writer of hit songs for four decades including: “Heartache Tonight”, “New Kid In Town”, “Best of My Love” by The Eagles, Ten songs recorded by Linda Ronstadt, including “Faithless Love”, and his own eight solo album releases which included “Faithless Love”, “Simple Man, Simple Dream”, “Prisoner of Love”, “When You’re Only Lonely” and “Her Town Too” with James Taylor. He has acted in film and on TV, most recently guest starring in ABC’s Nashville. In 2013, J.D. was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and is currently working on a new release scheduled for 2014.While J.D.’s songs can be heard on 150 million recordings worldwide by Bonnie Raitt; Glen Campbell; Crosby, Stills, & Nash; George Strait; Trisha Yearwood and Bernadette Peters in addition to those named above, to those who know him at Best Friends he always just been the head guy at Dog Ranch.
Personal Trainer, author, entrepreneur and Emmy-nominated television personality Jillian Michaels' take no prisoners, can-do attitude on the set of "The Biggest Loser" lends itself perfectly to Best Friends' Save Them All campaign. Jillian's love for animals is among the reasons she was invited to become an Ambassador."I have been a huge animal lover since as far back as I can remember," says Jillian. "Growing up most of life as an only child, things could get pretty lonely and my pets were always there to comfort me, protect me, play with me, and offer me unconditional love.""To this day I would be lost without my animals. I practically have my own zoo with four dogs, a horse, a fish tank, two tree frogs and a hermit crab. I can't imagine my life any other way."
By using her voice and celebrity status to speak up and stand up for animals, swimsuit designer, model and "Real Housewives of Miami," star Joanna Krupa has proven she is equally as beautiful on the inside. The former "Dancing With The Stars" contestant has attended multiple Best Friends events, and Pet Super Adoptions, and has worked hands-on with our Pup My Ride program"Animals are totally dependent on human beings and completely voiceless," says Joanna. "Especially during bad economic times they are the ones who suffer the most. The proof is the overflow in shelters that has led to a dog being killed every nine seconds. The laws against animal abuse are still not strong enough in most states, and often seem like a little slap on the wrist."It is no secret that the humane level of any society can be concluded based on the humane or inhumane treatment that a society gives to its animals. Respect for animals and respect for human beings go hand in hand which is why every single person should strive for living in a society that treats animals with respect and as humanely as possible."
Julie Marie Berman
Emmy-winning actress Julie Marie Berman, best known for her role on "General Hospital," has attended multiple Best Friends events, such as Pet Super Adoptions, Strut Your Mutt, the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) launch party, and the grand opening of the NKLA Pet Adoption Center. She also regularly promotes Best Friends via social media. However, it was after her trip to our Sanctuary in Utah that she and her husband, Michael, founded Better Buddies, an environmentally friendly dog bed company, which donates a portion of their profits to the Best Friends Guardian Angel program as part of their Project Paw. "Many things in my life have led me to realize the huge place I have in my heart for animals," says Julie, "but Best Friends gave me a niche to take action on their behalf."
For interior and fashion designer Kelly Wearstler, animal advocacy is always in style. Her support for Best Friends includes hosting a house party to spread the word about our work and attending the 2010 Pet Super Adoption, where she encouraged people to adopt a pet. Following her own advice, she too brought home a four-legged friend. Kelly recently opened up her Melrose Avenue boutique for an NKLA (No-Kill L.A.) fundraising event donating 25 percent of the evening's sales revenues to help Best Friends make Los Angeles a no-kill city."Animals are truly super sensitive and emotional," says Kelly. "All they want is to be loved, like us. I can't think of a better way to help these innocent, sweet and special animals. I am honored to be a supporter of Best Friends Animal Society. Our furry friends are our best friends … be one back!"
Film, television, and theater actor and director Kevin Conway lends his talents for animal advocacy. While in New York filming an episode of the television show "The Good Wife," Kevin filmed a public service announcement to promote Best Friends' cat initiatives. In fact, whenever Kevin is in New York, he takes time to support Best Friends and has attended events such as the Pet Super Adoption, Strut Your Mutt, and "Whiskers in Wonderland," a holiday cat and rabbit adoption promotion. "Animals, all animals, are the greatest gift ever bestowed on mankind," says Kevin. "We share our world with a myriad of beautiful and amazing creatures. And many of us share our lives with some of them -- mainly, canines and felines. We are considered the so-called 'dominant' species of life on earth. In many ways, but not all, this is true. But with this dominance comes responsibility - the obligation to make the moral choices necessary to protect and nourish our fellow inhabitants of this planet - every one of them be they tame or feral."I believe that inside all of us lives an innate sense of what constitutes right and wrong. But many times in our busy and complex existence, that 'innate sense' can become obscured and distant. When confronted with the hideous images of abuse and neglect from puppy mills, factory farms and dog-fighting rings, we are repelled, sickened, and angry. We are shocked to learn that 4 to 5 million adoptable dogs and cats are destroyed every year in various pounds and 'shelters' throughout our nation. Yet, the continued exploitation and abuse of animals in our 'entertainment industry,' (i.e., at rodeos, circuses, racetracks, and motion pictures) flies mainly under our radar. A lone case of animal abuse can produce headlines and outrage for a day. Then it fades away. Yet in every one of our cities and towns, thousands of dogs and cats roam our streets or sit in cages awaiting adoption or extinction."
Using humor is an excellent way to engage an audience and educate in an informative, yet lighthearted way. One expert in this method is Kevin Nealon, the actor and comedian best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” from 1986 to 1995 and his role on the Showtime Emmy Award–winning series “Weeds.”Kevin holds a soft spot in his heart for animals and has been supportive of Best Friends over the years. As far back as 2005, he worked on a public service announcement for “Desex in the City,” a month-long spay/neuter campaign in Los Angeles. More recently, he provided the voiceover for our No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) Manifesto and starred in a PSA to promote NKLA, using his comedic talents to poke fun at the plethora of questionable causes one can choose to support. He encouraged viewers to help solve the problem of homeless pets and make Los Angeles a no-kill city.“I love the work that Best Friends does for animals,” says Kevin. “There are too many dogs and cats being euthanized every day because they don't have a home and someone to care for them. I feel very strongly about having pets spayed or neutered, and Best Friends is a strong advocate of that as well. I love that Best Friends is also working very hard to find homes for our little friends.”
Kristin Bauer van Straten
Unlike the cold-hearted vampire she plays on the award-winning HBO series "True Blood," actress Kristen Bauer van Straten has a warm and loving heart, especially for animals. She's been extremely active advocating for Best Friends, serving as our celebrity spokesperson at the John Paul Pet Gala, and attending Best Friends events including the aCATemy Awards feline adoption event and Fluffball fundraiser. She even adopted Asher who was the last dog left at the end of a Pet Super Adoption. Kristin has also appeared on "Access Hollywood Live," and she joined us to celebrate the grand opening of the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles. Last summer she was featured in the July/August 2013 edition of Best Friends magazine.One of our biggest No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) supporters, Kristin attending the launch party and grand opening of the NKLA Pet Adoption Center, as well as filming a public service announcement promoting adoptable pets for NKLA."Animals have given selflessly to me my entire life," shares Kristin. "Given so much more than I could ever give back - they are the ambassadors of unconditional love. I am happy to help the real heroes that protect their right to choose, every day. Best Friends are pioneers of true kindness. They have done what has never been done on this scale and with such success. We are so lucky to have them."
Lassie has been saving the day for 75 years. Known as one of the world’s most famous dogs, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for having starred in 11 feature films, alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and Peter O’Toole. Lassie also had a radio show and starred in an Emmy Award–winning TV series (one of the longest-running scripted TV series of all time), both of which were named after her.Today, Lassie is bounding into the public eye to celebrate the hero in every dog and the humans who love them. Lassie is known for always coming to the rescue. In film and television, she swam raging rivers, climbed mountains and led search parties to find the lost and guide them home. She is always willing to protect others from danger, including saving victims from avalanches and floods, and single-handedly putting out a forest fire and facing dangerous foes head on. Lassie represents the very best a dog can be, inspires heroes great and small, is a protector, and a loyal companion. Lassie reminds us that every dog is a hero.
Actress, producer and writer Laura Dern has been a long-time Best Friends supporter. She filmed a public service announcement in the mid-1990s, attended benefits including Lint Roller fundraising events, and visited our Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Additionally, she was interviewed in Best Friends magazine in the May/June 2013 edition, where she discussed her love of pets."One person can¹t save the lives of every homeless pet," Laura says, "but together, we can and will. That's why I'm proud to be an Ambassador for Best Friends Animal Society, spreading the word and gathering like-minded people. Because we spread the message, the more mindful we can all become to work together toward a time when there are no more homeless pets."Laura was most recently seen in the award-winning HBO series "Enlightened" and her latest film "The Fault in Our Stars" is due in theaters in Summer 2014.
Though unable to attend the grand opening of the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles, Linda Hunt sent the following statement, "Since work keeps me from being able to celebrate the opening of Best Friends Adoption Center here in Los Angeles in person, I want everyone to know how happy I am that we have them to take up our cause, yet again, for No More Homeless Pets, in the unique way Best Friends accomplishes so much. I have been a member for many years, have visited their Sanctuary many times and have seen firsthand how they lead by example. Instead of competing for resources, they share. How lucky we are."The Academy Award winning actress is known for the many roles she's played in the movies and on television; however, she lends her acting talent to the animals as well. Linda did a public service announcement for Best Friends in the mid-1990s and more recently provided the voiceover for two Fix at Four public service announcements: "Afternoon Stroll" and "Afraid of That" which targets people who are waiting to spay or neuter their cats and dogs. Additionally she has attended our Lint Roller fundraising events and Pet Super Adoptions.A supporter of our puppy mill initiatives, Linda notes the following, "The horror of the puppy stores that sell dogs from puppy mills (no matter what they say!) was brought home to us many years ago when we spied a sick puppy in a shop window. Though we rescued that one (who went straight to a breed rescue group), Best Friends taught us to focus on the bigger problem to save thousands. Please. Don't buy from those stores. Educate your friends. If you want a certain breed, there are breed rescue groups."
"House, MD" star Lisa Edelstein, has been a long-time Best Friends supporter. She joined the Honorary Committee for our Los Angeles Lint Roller Party in 2000 and was involved with the event for years. She also visited our Sanctuary in Utah in 2006, and was our keynote speaker at the 2008 No More Homeless Pets Conference.Lisa was featured in the January/February 2011 issue of Best Friends magazine with an article and cover photo and was a spokesperson on Access Hollywood Live, promoting an adoptable dog named Rusty for the monthly pet adoption segment. In promotion of her Ambassador duties, she was featured in our "I Believe" public service announcement and most recently attended the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) launch party and grand opening of the NKLA Pet Adoption Center. In the Fall of 2013, Lisa starred in our fundraising television spot featuring Alfie, one of our former special needs Dogtown residents now doing wonderfully and living in his forever home."Animals will change your life in ways that are so unexpected and so wonderful," says Lisa.Lisa was recently seen several episodes of "Castle" and in 2014 her new scripted Bravo series "The Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce".
Los Angeles-based broadcast journalist and former Miss USA from South Carolina, Lu Parker is well known for her animal advocacy, having founded the Lu Parker Project, an NKLA Coalition partner whose mission is to improve the lives of homeless pets and at-risk youth. She has supported Best Friends at our Lint Roller events, Strut Your Mutt and Pet Super Adoptions.Additionally, she won a Genesis Award for Outstanding News Feature for her undercover news investigation of puppy mills in which she featured the work of our puppy mill initiatives."As a television journalist, I was introduced to the horrors of puppy mills," says Lu. "I had some knowledge of what goes on at these establishments, but had no idea of the extent. After an in-depth investigation with the help of Best Friends Animal Society and others, I was shocked to find out how much needs to change. These animals deserve better. The Lu Parker Project's volunteers and I now spread the message: Don't Buy. Adopt."
Actress Maggie Lawson (USA's "Psyche") was among the many celebrities celebrating the launch of No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), a coalition of over 70 organizations dedicated to end the killing of healthy and treatable pets in L.A. animal shelters. Maggie has also supported Best Friends through our Lint Roller fundraising events and Pet Super Adoptions."Our animals are our best friends," says Maggie. "They are our soul mates. Best Friends Animal Society is one of the best organizations in helping prevent the mistreatment of animals and homelessness. Please support rescue groups wherever you are and join me in the fight to protect and find homes for these precious beings."
Maggie Q's passion for animals helped to launch the monthly pet adoption segment on "Access Hollywood Live." The star of the CW television show "Nikita" and the upcoming film "Divergent", Maggie has attended our Lint Roller fundraiser and Pet Super Adoptions, was interviewed in the January/February 2013 issue of Best Friends magazine, and visited our Sanctuary in Utah. She also played big part in the retail cat and dog sales ban in Los Angeles, having been an early supporter of the A Puppy-Store-Free L.A. campaign in 2008. In November 2013, Maggie attended the NKLA (No-Kill L.A.) Adoption Weekend and helped Best Friends find homes for nearly 400 dogs and cats by bringing several of them up on stage with her.Maggie lends her voice to the voiceless by appearing in a PSA to promote animal adoption and video to support House Bill 14 in Ohio, which helped to fight against breed discriminatory legislation."Pit bulls have a heart and a soul, too," says Maggie Q. "If you've ever really known a pit bull terrier, then you know what I'm talking about. It saddens me to see how many of these dogs lose their homes and even their lives because of an unfair reputation. It's important to speak for those who can't speak for themselves, and I'm proud to be doing just that."
Since he was nine years old, Moby has been making music, and the singer/songwriter/DJ/photographer has now sold over 20,000,000 records worldwide and produced and remixed many other artists, including David Bowie, Metallica, Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy. Despite recording 11 albums since 1992 and a grueling tour schedule, he still makes time for philanthropic work, which includes being an advocate for animals.“I love animals, and I want to do whatever I can to help improve the length and quality of life for all animals,” says Moby.Now, as a Best Friends Celebrity Ambassador, he strives to Save Them All. Not only was he a part of the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) launch celebration, he directed and starred in a lyric video for his song “Almost Home.” The video features adoptable cats and dogs from the Best Friends Animal Society Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center, and he promoted it on social media as “the best music video ever made. Ever. In the history of ever. Ever.” He hopes people like the video and urges viewers to adopt from animal shelters.
When Neko Case was presented with a DVD set of the first season of "DogTown," the National Geographic Channel television series featuring Best Friends' work with dogs, she kissed it. Such a response demonstrates the singer/songwriter's support of Best Friends. She represented Best Friends at Oprah's Live Your Best Life Walk in New York, and has visited our Sanctuary in Utah, where she filmed this promotional video.Neko has also donated her talents to benefit the animals. During Best Friends' 25th anniversary, she contributed a song to our compilation CD, had a donation promotion with her record label, and has promoted Best Friends while on tour. In association with Best Friends' work to end the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters, Neko is featured in a public service announcement urging people to take a pledge to Save Them All. To help spread the word, her record label Anti- is donating $5 to Best Friends for every time the video is shared up to $10,000. "It's all about the big picture," says Neko. "To save one animal, you only have to adopt. But to save them all, you need to get at the very root of the problem of animal homelessness, and that's exactly what Best Friends is doing, and why I feel so strongly about supporting this cause."
Nils and Amy Lofgren
Solo artist and guitarist with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, musician and songwriter Nils Lofgren also sings the praises of animals. "Amy and I live with six wonderful dogs here in our Arizona home," says Nils. "We have always been animal lovers and can't say enough about the love and companionship our dogs bring to our lives and home every day. As a traveling musician who leaves home more than I'd like, our dogs are family and a great source of comfort to Amy and I, when home or away. We are so grateful to have them in our lives."Nils not only loves animals, but abhors their abuse, writing an open letter condemning ESPN for their praise of Michael Vick following his return to football. His disgust of dogfighting allows him to appreciate the rehabilitation efforts done on behalf of the Vicktory dogs all the more. "Thanks to the "DogTown" show on the Vick dogs, we remain huge fans and supporters of the great work Best Friends Animal Sanctuary does," says Nils. "What a blessing and beautiful example of service and kindness they are to animals, animal owners, admirers and supporters everywhere. Keep up the great work and thanks!"
Many animals can thank actor and director Patrick Fabian for their loving homes. As a frequent emcee at our Pet Super Adoptions, Patrick has promoted countless homeless dogs and cats, encouraging adoptions through shelters and rescues. He has further supported Best Friends at Fluffball fundraiser and Strut Your Mutt events."The longest relationship I've ever had has been with my rescued shepherd/Lab mix, Ruby (12 years and counting)," says Patrick. "To think that she was a day away from being euthanized and that we would've missed out on our wonderful times together is unfathomable. Animals bring out the best that humans have to offer. That's why Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets mission is so important, because I believe that every loving home deserves an animal, and every loving animal deserves a home."
Known for her roles in numerous television and film projects and most recently seen in the CBS summer hit series "Under the Dome," Rachelle Lefevre graced the cover of our January/February 2010 issue of Best Friends magazine. Rachelle also promoted our Puppies Aren't Products Campaign to raise awareness about our puppy mill initiatives. She continued to spread the word through billboards, radio advertisements, and a public service announcement, which was shown in Times Square in New York City.Her work on behalf of Best Friends does not end there. She has attended many events, including the Fluffball and Lint Roller events, Pet Super Adoptions, Strut Your Mutt, the grand opening of the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center, and the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) launch party. Not surprisingly, she has visited our Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, and has even adopted from Best Friends."With the privilege of unconditional love comes responsibility," says Rachelle. "We owe it to the animals who are loyal to us and depend on us to be worthy of their love."
Richard and Lauren Donner
Actor, producer, and director Richard Donner whose credits include such classics as "The Omen" "Superman," the "Lethal Weapon" franchise, "The Lost Boys", "Free Willy", the "X-Men" franchise along with countless others has been supportive of Best Friends' efforts for many years including attending our Lint Roller events.In reference to Richard's connection with animals, he quotes Irving Townsend, "We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Yet, we still would live no other way."Richards wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, a producer whose credits include "St. Elmo's Fire," "Pretty in Pink," "You've Got Mail", "Any Given Sunday," the "X-Men" franchise and "The Secret Life of Bees," Lauren shares a love of animals with her husband and is equally supportive of Best Friends.
Seamus and Juliana Dever
Seamus and Juliana Dever have been proud supporters of Best Friends Animal Society since 2008. They are thrilled to watch the organization continue to grow and save so many lives, a highlight being the two no-kill shelters now open in Los Angeles. For the last six seasons, Seamus has played Detective Kevin Ryan on ABC's “Castle,” with Juliana playing his TV wife, Jenny Ryan. Seamus holds master’s degrees in acting from Carnegie Mellon University and the Moscow Art Theatre, and is a member of the Actor's Studio. Seamus has appeared in over 200 episodes of television and more than 60 plays. Juliana has also appeared on stage, in film, as a TV host, and on other television shows, including “Criminal Minds” and “Scandal.” She is an avid world traveler and sometimes finds it hard to stay in the U.S. for more than a few months. Together, they have two rescue pups, Maizy and Sophie. After rescuing their second beagle, they also both became supporters of Beagle Freedom Project’s efforts to free beagles used in harsh and unnecessary testing of beauty products. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Juliana also supports Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Seamus is originally from Flint, Michigan.
Though Tim Omundson is known as an actor (USA's "Psyche") and director, he also advocates for animals as a Best Friends Ambassador. His support of Best Friends includes attending Lint Roller events and the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) launch party. However, attending one event literally changed his life. By donating his time and talents at a Pet Super Adoption, he met his beloved canine companion, Lucy."This is Lucy," says Tim. "She is my dog. She is also my traveling companion, fishing buddy, nap partner and K-9 heating blanket. I adopted this sweet, loyal, smart, beautiful, four-legged bucket of unquestioning love almost two years ago at an event sponsored by Best Friends. But if I had waited just five more days, she would have been gone. Lucy was just one the thousands and thousands of L.A. County's death row dogs - dogs that can be put to sleep after less than a week in order to make room for the next one."Please help Best Friends Animal Society and I work towards creating a world where there are No More Homeless Pets. It starts at your neighborhood animal shelter. Don't buy a pet. Adopt. Your Lucy is waiting for you."
Travis Clark of We The Kings
Rock band singer and guitarist for We The Kings, Travis Clark, encourages the adoption of pets through animal shelters and rescues. He is featured in Best Friends' "I Believe" PSA, which helped launch the Ambassador program and our invisible dogs PSA, which promotes the thousands of overlooked shelter dogs who are just waiting to be adopted."My dog, Elvis, is the one who will never let me down," says Travis. "I've had friends and relationships and family where every once in a while, you just get bummed out. He's never once bummed me out. He's more than a dog. He's a best friend. He's like a son to me."
"Animals have the purest sense of love," says actress and former model Tricia Helfer ("Battlestar Gallactica", "Burn Notice"), who helps return that love through her advocacy. Her support of Best Friends includes participation in our Fluffball fundraiser, Strut Your Mutt, Pet Super Adoptions and the grand opening of the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) Pet Adoption Center."My cats teach me and calm me every day," says Tricia. "As a society we tend to think more of household pets, but we need to think of all animals. The biggest to the smallest, they are all just innocence and love."Tricia's newest series "Killer Women" makes its debut on ABC in early 2014.
Film and television actress Valery Ortiz counts serving as a Best Friends Ambassador among many of her philanthropic endeavors. She has supported Best Friends by attending the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) launch party, Strut Your Mutt, and our Pet Super Adoptions."Four years ago I could honestly say I didn't truly know pure unconditional love," says Valery. "Ever since my dog Myli came into my life I have been able to understand why they say 'man's best friend'. I've never looked at an animal without knowing my life felt more purposeful because they were in it. She needs me and I need her equally. We're family."
Music legend Willie Nelson has always championed the underdog - human and animal - and is an advocate for Best Friends' life-saving issues. Co-founder Francis Battista refers to him as Saint Willie for his work on behalf of animals.Willie filmed a public service announcement in support of legislation to close loopholes in Georgia's dogfighting laws, campaigned for passage of Ohio House Bill 14, which ended the 24-year-old breed discriminatory legislation declaring pit bull terriers as vicious, and supported Texas House Bill which would have required government-run animal shelters in counties with greater than 75,000 populations to work with qualified rescue organizations. He also sent a letter to each of Austin's City Council members in support of No More Homeless Pets Network partner Austin Pets Alive! and their request to operate out of the city's former animal shelter location.Although unable to attend the grand opening of the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles, he issued this statement of support. "Thanks to Best Friends Animal Society for taking over the Northeast animal shelter and providing Los Angeles the opportunity to begin the transformation into a 'no-kill' city. This will set a much-needed new standard of care for shelter animals everywhere. Hurray for Best Friends. Keep up the great work."
For the last two decades, Emmy winning actress and producer Yeardley Smith has provided the voice for Lisa Simpson on the beloved animated television series "The Simpsons". As a Best Friends Ambassador, Yeardley has supported our Fluffball and Lint Roller events. She also promotes the adoption of pets and has this message to share with the public."Dear Pet Lover,You hear it all the time: Adopt a pet from a shelter or a rescue organization instead of the pet store. I'm such a fan of this practice. I believe the animals know you've saved them, and that creates an extra-special bond. I've always gotten my pets this way and I'd have to say the only problem is, it makes me wish I could adopt ALL the animals who need homes!Yours, Yeardley Smith"