There are few feelings that parallel the joy of fostering or adopting an animal in need. Anyone who’s adopted knows that you always receive so much more than you give when you choose to open your home to a shelter pet. Whether they’ve been adopting for years or just started fostering a rescue pet in quarantine, many celebrities are doing their part to reduce the number of pets sitting in shelters by bringing one home.
1. Selena Gomez
Gomez has a long history of adopting rescue pets from shelters, which is why it’s no surprise that her latest effort to simply foster a dog “failed” miserably. The singer ended up making her foster, Daisy, a permanent member of the family. On her IG Story, Gomez announced the adoption by telling her followers: “I couldn’t help it, I have to keep her.”
2. Kaley Cuoco
There’s almost no rescue pet Kaley Cuoco won’t find room for, from elderly shelter dogs to rabbits, or even piglets! Most recently, Kaley and her husband Karl Cook adopted an elder pit bull named Petunia after she couldn’t find a forever home. The Big Bang Theory star doesn’t just help animals via adopting and fostering; she also regularly shares the stories of dogs up for adoption on her Instagram page using the hashtag #muttmondays.
3. Denise Richards
Denise Richards hosts all sorts of animals on her Malibu property, whether it’s 10-day-old foster puppies, a potbellied pig named Rosie or a horse named Marvin. Richards has several rescue dogs as well, all of whom make regular appearances on her social media. A golden retriever named Tucker, a black mutt named Lily, a French bulldog named Leo, a poodle mix named Luke, a beagle mix named Henry, a pug named Baby, a black lab named Betty and a chihuahua named George make up her adopted fur family.
4. Sharon Osbourne
My lovely cohost Mrs. O is famously an animal lover; her rescue pets are so important that her website has a page devoted to them. Mrs. O’s “pack” includes two cats and several Pomeranians, Pomskies, a Shih-Tzu, a Yorkie mix, and a Maltese mix, and that’s not including regular visits from the pets she “babysits” for friends and family!
3. Pauley Perrette
My awesome home groomer came today! My TOTALLY SPOILED ROTTEN #RescueDogs SMELL SO GOOD and got an anti itch bath. They love him!!! (And his flowers!!!) #K9GlamSqad YAAAAY!!! pic.twitter.com/5JRr37ZWLO— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) July 23, 2020
NCIS’ Pauley Perrette has been active in supporting the American Humane Association, making animal rights and wellness a lifetime pursuit. She’s also involved with the Amanda Foundation in Los Angeles, having adopted all of her rescue pets there. In 2012, she made it official with her two dogs Bug and Grace after first fostering them, tweeting: “We have failed at fostering. Of course we are keeping #RescueDogs Bug & Grace forever!” In 2017 she added a third member to her little family, a Papillon Chihuahua mix named Rosie.
4. Dr. Evan Antin
Dr. Evan Antin isn’t just an animal expert, he’s a rescue dad himself. His “fur babies” include a Chihuahua mix named Henry and two cats named Willy and Blue as well as a menagerie of smaller animals like a tortoise, a snake and some fish. He told Pet Central that Henry and Willy are both huge “cuddle bugs,” and that he may have sustained an injury or two when his tortoise mistook his toe for a carrot. All in all, though, he wouldn’t have it any other way and calls his pets “a sweet little crew.”
5. Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds warmed Instagram’s heart last month when he made a tribute post for Baxter, his rescue dog of ten years. The day Reynolds met his future best friend, the actor wasn’t even expecting to adopt. He was just at a Houston animal shelter looking for a rescue pet for his friend when the big golden retriever caught his attention. “I just fell in love with him,” he told PEOPLE . “I didn’t mean to, I just picked him up along the way.”
6. Nicole Kidman
In September, Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban announced that they’d adopted the newest member of their “fur-family,” a black and white cat named Louis. Kidman and Urban have two other cats, Ginger and Snow, as well as Kidman’s “first puppy,” a red poodle named Jules. Kidman treasures her cats and has even figured out how to take them on hikes with a special windowed backpack. “[It’s] a cat carrier that’s a backpack and it has a window that they can peek out of and it’s got air and everything and they love it,” she said in an interview with PEOPLE. “It is really cute. They hop in. They can’t wait to get in.”
7. Zac Efron
Zac Efron met his furry best friend MACA after Bark N’ Bitches, a LA-based dog shelter, rescued her from being euthanized. Efron stepped in to foster her before realizing he just couldn’t give her back and they’ve been inseparable ever since.
8. Amanda Seyfried
Last year Amanda Seyfried adopted her Australian Shepherd Finn after meeting him on the set of Big Love. In an interview with PEOPLE, Seyfried shared that Finn has been huge in helping the actress manage her anxiety. “As soon as he was mine, like 24 hours after I got him, I realized something about me needed him. He completely changed my life and helped me find my solitude and my independence.” Now, Seyfried makes sure all of her film contracts allow her to bring Finn along whenever possible.
9. Chris Evans
Captain America met his now Internet-famous dog Dodger while filming the movie Gifted. When he realized the doggy actors on set were available for adoption, he fell for Dodger right away. On National Pet Day two years ago, Evans shared a heartwarming video of the first time they met, writing, “I knew right away that he was coming home with me, so I took this video to always remember our first hello.”
10. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde was happy to introduce her newest “heartbreaker,” Elvis Sudeikis-Wilde, to her Instagram followers a few years ago. “He’s lived a pretty harrowing life so far, and we are so lucky he adopted us as his new family, so we can treat him like the king he was born to be,” she wrote in her post, thanking Barc Shelter for helping them find “the missing member of our brood.” Wilde hopes that others will give rescue pets a chance at a better life, adding, “Please consider saving a dog today.”
11. Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler has always outspoken about the importance of animal rescue; she recently adopted two chows named Beret and Bernice after the passing of her longtime companions Chunk and Tammy last year. Chelsea saved Chunk from a kill shelter at 9 years old and he quickly became a favorite of fans all over the world and even had his own Facebook and Twitter accounts. In April, Handler took to Twitter to ask people to support the shelter she adopted her new rescue pets from, writing, “If you are able to help, please join me in supporting them.”
12. Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell has a passion for adopting senior dogs, including her beloved girl Barbara who passed away earlier this month. She was intentional about sharing her experience with Barbara in the hopes that it would encourage others to see the merit in adopting and fostering older rescue pets.
In an Instagram story after Barbara’s passing, Bell urged followers to love on older shelter dogs, saying: “I had and I continue to have such a good experience with adopting senior dogs, and I hope by seeing some of Barbara’s antics, it inspires other people to open their hearts to older dogs. I know they’re not like the ideal thing to take on and obviously it’s sad when they die, but it’s no comparison to the feeling you have knowing that you spoiled someone in their twilight years.”
Kristen Bell isn’t the only one in her family with a soft spot for rescues. Bell and her husband Dax Shepherd decided to start fostering their other dog, Frank, as a way to settle an argument. “I didn’t get an apology, but I got a dog! This is so much better than an apology,” she told Justin Long while sharing the story on his podcast.
13. Charlize Theron
Last December Charlize Theron added two new dogs, Leo and Cleo, to her adopted family. She told Stephen Colbert that she adopted them off the street for her two children. Theron’s son and daughter were jealous because the family’s older two dogs were clearly their mom’s, and the actress couldn’t disagree. Theron said she couldn’t be prouder of her two older rescues, and that even though they came with their own issues like any rescue pet, “they’re such good boys.”
14. Kellan Lutz
Kellan Lutz has been an adoptee dad for ten years ever since he adopted his rescue dog, Kola, after breaking up with his first girlfriend. His most recent rescue dog, Koda, was just featured in an “Adopt, Don’t Buy” campaign for Peta and recently celebrated her fourth birthday.
15. Jennifer Anniston
Jennifer Aniston joined the masses who have stepped in to rescue shelter pets over quarantine, welcoming a puppy named Lord Chesterfield into her family earlier this month. She gave a shoutout on Instagram to the Wagmor for connecting her to her new family member, writing: “A HUGE thank you for the incredible work you do. Grateful you take such great care of these rescues and find them their forever homes.”
16. Carrie Ann Inaba
Last but not least, there’s me! My lifelong passion for animals has always drawn me to rescues, particularly ones with special needs. I’ve always found that a home feels empty until there’s some love from an animal companion to fill it. I currently have three dogs named Lola, Buddy and Peanut, and two cats named Reb and Sophie.
Adopting an animal can be a great way to show kindness both inward and outward. The love that rescue animals have to give is so pure and uncomplicated; making space for a rescue will change your life in ways you can’t imagine. If the stories above have made you curious about adopting or fostering a pet, Petfinder.com or your local shelter’s site are great places to start researching. Your new best friend could be a simple search away.
If you’re unable to foster or adopt an animal, there are still plenty of ways to make a difference in the life of a rescue pet in need. Click here for 9 easy ways to “virtually” adopt an animal today.