While we applaud celebrities who do their part to help animal rescue organizations, the real heroes are the ones who take the orphaned pets home with them. And although they may be some of Hollywood's hottest actors and actresses, they are humans, too, and have soft spots for adorable adoptable animals in need of a forever home. See the celebs who have rescued pets -- or perhaps, were rescued by them!
In an article for Esquire, Clooney shared that he met his dream dog on the Internet. "I was looking for a dog because I hadn't had one for a while -- and I wanted one that was house-trained. So, I go online and see Einstein. They had a whole film about him. It was actually really sweet. So I called and said, 'I like Einstein!'" But even to an award-winning actor, the shelter wouldn't just give up Einstein that easily. They had to make sure the Cocker Spaniel mix liked Clooney, so they arranged a date. Clooney came up with a brilliant idea to ensure that the dog would like him. "I start to panic that Einstein isn't going to like me. So, I run into the kitchen, where I have these turkey meatballs, and I rub them all over my shoes." Sure enough, it worked, and now they are living happily ever after in LA.
It's no secret that Ian Somerhalder is a huge animal advocate. Last year, he received the Wyler Award from the Humane Society for raising awareness about animal welfare issues. His private life is no different than his professional work for the animals -- Somerhalder has not one, not two, but three shelter cats! In 2010, he told PEOPLEpets.com, "I literally wake up and there's fur everywhere. It's so awesome. One is a feral cat from Hawaii who grew up in the jungle, another one is a rescue from a dungeon in New York and the other one's from Canada." As if he hadn't done enough for his feline friends, Somerhalder decided to work with St. Tammany Humane Society in Lousiana to help control feral cat overpopulation. What a man!
You may have heard about Selena Gomez adopting a dog with her beau Justin Bieber last year, but what you may not have known was that she was already a proud mom to five rescue dogs! Baylor, the lucky pup, joins his new family of five, including Willie, a 5-year-old Labrador/Retriever mix and 7-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback mix, Fina. Although Gomez is always on the go, she makes sure to spend as much time as she can with her dogs, visiting them when she comes home or bringing them on the road with her.
Charlize Theron is a huge advocate of adopting pets. In total, she has adopted 10 dogs in her lifetime. Eight of them, however, died within a span of two and a half years. After going a year without having a furry friend, Theron decided she had to adopt again. She welcomed two Pit Bull Terriers into her life. She told Ellen Degeneres that they help her raise her youngest human child! "People keep saying, 'Oh, you’re a single mom.' I’m like, 'Actually, I’m not. I’ve got two boys helping.'"
When Jennifer Aniston's best friend Norman, a Welsh Corgi Terrier, passed away after fifteen years of life, the actress was devastated. To pay tribute to her dog son, Aniston got a tattoo of his name on her foot and bought her N.Y. penthouse home under the title "Norman's Nest Trust." Shortly after she and her husband-to-be Justin Theroux began dating, the couple adopted a white shepherd named Dolly. As much as she loves Dolly, Norman will never be replaced. His ashes sit on top of her mantel, along with two of Theroux's dogs' ashes.
Jesse Eisenburg welcomes the title of "crazy cat man" openly. When he appeared on Conan last year, he confessed to his cat obsession. "I have two [cats] now, but I'm on a list where they can deliver them to the house. To be a foster parent for cats is basically to have tenants coming in and out. I have a lot of cats, a lot of cat food, a lot of litter -- and nothing else in the apartment." He also starred in a PSA for the Washington Animal Rescue League, encouraging people to foster cats just like he does.
Sandra Bullock isn't America's sweetheart for no reason. She is one of the loveliest ladies in Hollywood! In 2005, the Oscar-winning star adopted Poppy, a three-legged dog. She later adopted Ruby, a two-legged dog. Bullock is often seen walking them around, carrying Ruby while Poppy hops alongside her.
Nina Dobrev and boyfriend Ian Somerhalder are a match made in kitty heaven. Dobrev not only helps Somerhalder look after his feline fur babies, she also has one to look out after herself, named Jama-Lynx. She told NYLON magazine all about her passion for pussycats: “I’m gonna say [I am a] 'cat woman,’ because ‘cat lady’ makes me sound 500 years old. But I love my furry friends. I even made a calendar for 2012. It’s called 'My Pussies: A Hairy Love Story.' [Cats] just migrate to me. I’m pretty sure I was a cat in a past life.” She also tried to help find a forever home for two kittens she encountered while vacationing in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Jane Lynch is well-known in the animal advocacy world, and isn't afraid to voice her grievances when it comes to raising awareness about them. At home, Lynch is proud mom to an multi-named Australian Shepherd mix puppy and a 12-year-old Lhasa. Her beloved cat, Greta, passed away last year. In addition, the "Glee" star is a PETA spokesperson, speaking on behalf of their efforts to promote spaying and neutering all dogs and cats.
ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.
Robert Downey, Jr., never thought he was the type of person to welcome rescue pets into his home. "Eighteen months ago, I'm saying, 'I don't want any rescue pets within 100 yards of either of my residences, I'm sorry. I don't want some, like, tripod, abused animal,'" he told Men's Fitness. But when the "Iron Man" star stumbled upon two kittens in a bush in West Hollywood, he had a change of heart. "Now, I couldn't imagine living without them. I've become one of those people where the missus is like, 'They don't want to see iPhone pictures of our kittens right now. Stop it.'"
If you are ever invited to Kelly Clarkson's 14-acre Texas house, you might think you stepped foot into an animal rescue organization. Clarkson's Texas residence is home to fifty different rescue animals, including horses, pigs and dogs that have been abandoned. "It's like a rescue ranch now. We have 30 dogs, 14 horses. We still only have three ponies and four minis, but we have goats now. Two pigs, [also] rescued, are called Miss Daisy and Boss Hog," said Clarkson to NME magazine. We hope she has some people to help her tend to her farm!
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In 2010, a little gray and white cat entered Nicole Richie's life. She posted the following on her website, detailing how she fell in love with Tabitha the cat: "One dark and lonely night, I heard a little puss puss cry from outside. At first, I thought it was Joel. But to my surprise, there she was. A sad, and very hungry, kitten. She looked groomed, and was a little chubby, so I assumed she was a neighbors' cat and ignored it. But she came back a week later and she was so skinny and I could tell she was starving. I couldn't resist…So here she is, the wonderful, the glorious Tabitha Jones Madden." This is not Nicole's first cat, however. She is a proud mom to Gypsy, an Abyssinian.