As we get ready to say farewell to 2018, let’s take a moment to remember some of the famous two- and four-legged animal advocates we said good-bye to this year. While they may no longer be with us, their spirit of compassion for dogs and cats in need will live on.
She may have portrayed the Man of Steel’s gal pal Lois Lane in a series of Superman movies, but off-screen actress Margot Kidder was a super hero for our four-legged friends in need. Known to provide food for the wolves near her home, the star’s compassion for domestic animals led her to lend a helping hand to the Stafford Animal Shelter in Livingston, Wyoming. Upon her passing, family and friends remembered the actress with donations to the charitable organization.
A style icon who understood that trends may come and go, but compassion will always be in fashion, Kate Spade (whose brand is fur-free) was a long-time supporter of Wayside Waifs and the ASPCA, and on her passing in June 2018 the designer’s family requested donations to her two favorite charities to honor her memory in lieu of flowers.
She made us laugh as a star of the 70s-80s sitcom Laverne & Shirley and as the director of silver screen hits like Big, and Penny Marshall also had the ability to tap into our emotions through her role as an animal advocate. A champion of the underdog, the star once penned a letter to Wayne State, urging the university to end he use of dogs in research experiments.
The creator of such iconic superheroes as Spider-Man, The Hulk and Black Panther, Stan Lee helped Kitt Crusaders‘ efforts to create a better tomorrow for cats in need when Stan The Man presented the non-profit with a signed photo to raffle for the paws cause.
Just a few months before her untimely passing, British model/2009 Miss Great Britain and Love Island season two contestant Sophie Gradon showed the world her love for companion animals in need when she used her star wattage to shine a spotlight on adoptables at the Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter.
Actor Verne Troyer, who tickled out collective funny bone as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies, touched our hearts when he took a stand against dog fighting in a PSA for Last Chance for Animals.
When actress Pamela Gidley, who starred in CSI and the Twin Peaks prequel Fire Walk with Me, passed away in April her loved ones helped homeless dogs and cats who long to star in the lives of a pet parent when they requested that anyone who wished to make donation in her memory could send a contribution to the New Hampshire SPCA.
Debbie Lee Carrington, who starred as Thumbelina in Total Recall, as an Ewok in Return of the Jedi, and worked as a stuntwoman on the sets of Titanic and Child’s Play, passed away in March. A friend to our pals with paws, she worked with the SPCA and walked dogs when her schedule allowed.
Friends and fans of Road Rules season seven star Brian Lancaster paid tribute to the reality personality after his passing by making memorial contributions to the Brandywine Valley SPCA. The MTV star had found his barking buddy Reagan at the oldest no-kill, open admission shelter in Pennsylvania, and his obituary stated that Reagan was a “dear and ever-faithful canine sidekick/companion/and psychologist…with whom he became whole when he rescued her.”
Beverly McClellan may have placed third during the first season of The Voice, but the crooner, who passed away in late October, held the top spot in the hearts of animal lovers for using her voice to help those who cannot speak for themselves. The singer was a celebrity spokesperson for Rescue Me, Inc. in Woodland Hills, California.
British icon Katie Boyle may be known by entertainment buffs for her years as an actress, radio announcer and TV personality, but to fans of our four-legged friends she will be fondly remembered for her role as an animal rights advocate. For a quarter of a century, the star as a committee member of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Famous Pets and Friends of Pets In Need Who Passed Away in 2018
A charismatic canine who made the leap from shelter to stardom, Kuma was almost 17 years old when he crossed Rainbow Bridge in November. A star of the Disney Channel series Dog with a Blog and Nick Jr.’s Mutt & Stuff, Kuma– who was rescued from the South Los Angeles animal shelter– often acted as a champion of the underdog, and in 2014 filmed a PSA for the Shelter Pet Project to promote the option of pet adoption. Sarah Clifford, Kuma’s trainer and favorite human, requested that fans who wished to honor Kuma’s memory make a donation to the animal shelter of their choice.
A feline who gained fame from tickling the ivories, Keyboard Cat trumpeted a paws cause as he marched to the beat of his own drum. The orange tabby, known by his doting Dad as Bento, found his forever human with help from the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services (SCRAPS), and in the hope that his story would strike a chord with potential pet parents the ditty-performing kitty promoted the option of pet adoption in a PSA for The Shelter Pet Project.
An English Bulldog with a beautiful soul, Zsa Zsa— crowned top dog in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog competition– crossed Rainbow Bridge just weeks after winning the title. Rescued after years in a puppy mill, the nine-year-old’s canine’s $1,500 cash prize was donated to further the work of Underdog Rescue, the non-profit which had put her on the road to a new life with a forever pet parent.
Photo Credit: Last Chance for Animals; Sophie Gradon/Twitter; Shelter Pet Project