Celebrity Dog Rescue News: January Edition

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January 2019 brought the joy of pet adoption to dogs who now star in the lives celebrity pet parents, the sorrow of saying farewell to several animal-loving luminaries, and new of celebrities using their star wattage to shine a spotlight on paws causes. There’s a look back at the news we’ve fetched for the first month of the year:

Rescue Dogs Find Famous Families to Love!

Congratulations to new pet parent Natalie Morales! Always willing to tackle the topic of pet homelessness (the TODAY Show anchor filmed a PSA for The Shelter Pet Project with her rescue dog Zara), Morales and her family have made a pup who was helping to promote Animal Planet’s upcoming Puppy Bowl XV their MVP– Most Valuable Pet! Already a celebrity ambassador for Paw Works, now the TV journalist is also a doting Mom to Obi (as in Obi-Wan Kenobi), a cuddly canine from the Ventura County, California-based rescue.

Obi wasn’t the only lucky dog from Paw Works to find a forever home this past January with a famous fan of Fidos! This is Us star Chris Sullivan, who portrays Toby on the hit NBC series, has announced that he has taken on the real life role of a proud pet parent to a pup he’s dubbed Harrison– Harry for short! The cute barking bundle of joy already has his own fans thanks to his Instagram account, @harryspils!


Soon to welcome a two-legged family member into the royal family, The Duchess of Sussex recently paid a visit to an organization that helps our four-legged friends find forever family’s to love! Meghan Markle has taken on the title of royal patron of The Mayhew Animal Home, a London-based animal welfare charity which has helped dogs and cats in need since opening its doors in 1886.

A super hero on the big screen, Spider-Man star Tom Holland recently paid a visit to the London branch of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, a renowned UK animal welfare charity that has made heroic efforts to help companion animals in need since its start back in 1860.

Malcolm McDowell recently stepped into the role of emcee at a fundraiser for the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center. Speaking about the event with the VC Star, the famous fan of Fidos and felines, who acted as co-host of Bernadette Peters’ annual star-studded pet adoption event Broadway Barks in 2017, stated: “You know that they’re totally non-kill, and I really support them, so that’s why I’m coming out to do this and give them my full support; and of course, everyone involved with the concert believes in it, so we’ll put aside a little bit of our time for this and the animals and hopefully make a difference…”

Held at the Ventura Theatre, the benefit included a concert by country music star/multi-pet parent Lacy J. Dalton.

Putting a song in the hearts of their doggedly devoted fans, Grammy Award winner Bruce Hornsby, Robb Flynn of Machinehead, and Christian McBride stepped on stage for the annual Stars to the Rescue event, which raised funds for baseball great Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation.

Ryan Logan of the Tennessee Titans continued to tackle the topic of pet homelessness through his Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation:

In Memoriam

As The World’s Cutest Dog he put smiles on the faces of his fans, but Boo the Pomeranian, who crossed Rainbow Bridge in mid-January, also touched their hearts when he used his star wattage as a social media star to shine a light on dogs in need of forever homes. At one time the Official Pet Liaison for Virgin America, in 2013 the popular pup hosted a send-off for shelter dogs from the City of San Francisco Animal Care and Control who were collectively on Cloud Nine as they boarded the plane for homes on the East Coast thanks to the ASPCA and Operation Chihuahua Airlift.

A high-profile pal to those with paws, over the years actress Kaye Ballard helped many animal welfare organizations, including the Doris Day Animal Foundation, which remembered the iconic star’s friend on Twitter, stating: “Kaye and Doris shared a deep love for animals, and she never hesitated to sign or donate items and participate in projects such as our “”Celebrating Doris” DVD to help raise money for the four-leggers.” Ballard’s concern for canines, cats and people in need continued after her passing, and the star requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to a Coachella Valley veterans’ group, the Coachella Homeless Shelter, or the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.

In January we said goodbye to Hello, Dolly star Carol Channing. In 2009 the entertainment legend was honored by Actors and Others for Animals for her dedication to our four-legged friends.

When actress Verna Bloom, who starred in the iconic comedy Animal House, passed away, family, friends and fans honored the star’s memory and her love for animals by making donations to Bonaparte’s Retreat, multi-Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris’ dog rescue.

In early January, family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of Dame June Whitfield, who passed away at the end of 2018 at the age of 93. The British actress who had made generations laugh through her roles in such iconic sitcoms as Absolutely Fabulous and Last of the Summer Wine also entertained and informed her Fido-loving fans through her book Dogs’ Tales. The tribute to our tail-wagging chums, which offers tips for caring for a four-legged family member, also includes stories of courageous canines in times of war and antidotes about the antics of dogs at home and work.

Looking Ahead

Talented tail-waggers will show off their skill in the spotlight on World’s Most Amazing Dog, an interactive competition series premiering February 7th on Facebook Watch! Hosted by comedian/actor Preacher Lawson (America’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent: The Champions), Lisa Vanderpump and George Lopez will be among the judges who, along with the voting public, will crown one clever canine from a pack of pups from 35 countries who have assent in auditions for the chance to win the $100,000 (USD) grand prize!

Facebook users still have time to enter their four-legged friend by using their mobile device to upload an ‘audition’ of their dog. A happening with heart, Facebook is donating $1 (up to $1 million) to the ASPCA and other international animal welfare charities for each audition submitted.

In her role as Major Margaret Houlihan she helped to heal injured soldiers, and in her real life role as an animal advocate M*A*S*H star Loretta Swit helps to heal the lives of animal in need. On February 2nd the two-time Emmy Award winner will act as host at Rollin’ Down the Matanzas Casino Night, an annual Loretta Swit and Friends Gala to raise funds for the St. Augustine, Florida-based no-kill animal rescue Ayla’s Acres. According to the St. Augustin Record, sales of the actress’s book SWITHEART: The Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit at the fundraiser will benefit The SwitHeart Foundation. Rollin’ Down the Matanzas Casino Night will take place at River House in St. Augustine. Tickets for the event are available on the Ayla’s Acres website.

Banding together for a paws cause, TOTO’s original lead singer Bobby Kimball, The Guess Who’s bassist Rudy Sarzo, Average White Band frontman Brent Carter and Frankie Banali, who put the heartbeat in songs by Quiet Riot, will be among the stars who will perform at the Rock n Woof fundraiser. Taking place February 2nd at the Santa Monica Women’s Club in Santa Monica, California, the event benefits Bobby Kimball’s organization, Saving K9 Lives Plus.

While a person’s birthday may traditionally be a time for them to receive gifts, each year Doris Day’s birthday celebration offers the four-leggers she loves the present of a better tomorrow. Benefiting The Doris Day Animal Foundation, general admission tickets are still available for an event marking the star’s 97th year that will be hosted by Rich Little and Jackie Joseph on March 29th.

Photo Credit: PRNewsFoto/Virgin America; Natalie Morales/Instagram; Chris Sullivan/Instagram; Battersea Dogs and Cats Home/Twitter; Doris Day Animal Foundation/Twitter; Amazon

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