As we say goodbye to 2019, let’s take a moment to remember some of the famous two- and four-legged animal advocates we said farewell to this year. Although they may no longer be with us, their spirit of compassion for dogs and cats in need lives on.
Her signature song “Que Sera, Sera” includes the line “the future’s not ours to see,” but thanks to the dedication of entertainment legend Doris Day countless animals in need have been able to see a bright future ahead.
The beloved star, who passed away in May, founded the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978 under the name of the Doris Day Pet Foundation. In 1987 The Doris Day Animal League, which launched what today is known as World Spay Day, was established. In 2007 DDAL joined with The Humane Society of the United States.
— DDAF (@DDAF_org) May 13, 2019
The late Peter Mayhew, who rocketed to stardom thanks to his portrayal of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, helped both the people and pets on this planet through The Peter Mayhew Foundation.
The Ridgeback Rescue in Texas was among the many non-profits that received assistance thanks to the actor.
In 2015 rocker Eddie Money belted out “Take Me Home Tonight” at the Hard Rock Rocksino in Cleveland to help dogs and cats who were waiting for the day when they would be taken to their forever home by a loving pet parent.
The crooner raised the roof for those who woof at Rock and Roll to the Rescue 2, a fundraiser for Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village.
A heartthrob with a heart of gold, in 2012 Beverly Hills 90210 and Riverdale star Luke Perry–who we lost far too soon on March 4th– filmed this PSA to promote the Hallmark Channel’s pet adoption initiative:
Emmy Award winner Arte Johnson, a star of the classic sketch comedy series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, was remembered for his compassion for caniens and cats through his family’s request of donations in his memory to Actors & Others for Animals and Best Friends Animal Society in lieu of flowers.
Comic star Kaye Ballard not only tickled our funny bones, she also touched out hearts over the years by showing her support for many animal welfare organizations, including the Doris Day Animal Foundation, which marked the performer’s passing 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.
All of us at DDAF were saddened to hear of Kaye Ballard’s passing on Monday. 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. pic.twitter.com/ywK0uRAJqC
— DDAF (@DDAF_org) January 23, 2019
Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February, but the love that the fashion icon’s cat has for her late human lives on.
Making her mourning have a higher meaning, Choupette unveiled her #RIPDaddy collection, which includes a hooded sweatshirt, t-shirts, iphone case, mug and diary, all featuring a sketch of the beautiful Burmese.
Knowing that compassion is always in fashion, a portion of the proceeds from the collection benefits the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
As an actress she she starred in Broadway productions of Les Miserables, Anna Karenina, Chess and Aspects of Love. Offstage Ann Crumb helped companion animals who wait in the wings for the chance to land a coveted role in the life of a forever pet parent.
The Tony Award-nominated thespian was the founder and president of The Rescue Express, a nonprofit which will continue the vital work of transporting an fostering dogs in need.
Carol Channing won Tony Awards, a Grammy and a Golden Glob over the course of her acting career, and won the admiration of animal lovers for helping our four-legged friends in need.
Devoted to several charities in the Pal Springs area, the star– who was honored for her dedication to paws causes by her fellow high-profile fans of dogs and cats at a 2009 Actors and Others event– was a supporter of Animal Samaritans.
Actress Verna Bloom, who starred in the iconic comedy Animal House, was remembered for her love of animals by family, friends and fans, who made memorial donations to multi-Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris’ dog rescue Bonaparte’s Retreat in her honor.
Co-founder of The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, opening act for Elvis Presley and father of comic artor Pauly Shore, Sammy Shore was not only a legendary stand-up comic, he was also a stand up guy.
A long time supporter of The Nevada SPCA, Shore presented several “Funny Bones” fundraisers to help the Vegas-based no-kill animal sanctuary.
In the early 80s he was the lead vocalist of Blotto, a band whose tongue in cheek video for the song “I Wanna Be A Lifeguard” was among the first ever shown on MTV.
Greg Haymes passed away on April 10th, and those who wished to honor the writer and musician’s memory sent donations to an organization that guards the lives of homeless dogs and cats, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
Dame June Whitfield
In the early days of 2019, 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 appearances in Absolutely Fabulous and Last of the Summer Wine,had 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.
A sourpuss who brought smiles to our faces for seven years, Grumpy Cat (aka Tartar Sauce) crossed Rainbow Bridge on May 14th.
The curmudgeonly kitty helped several paws causes during her days in the spotlight, such as helping adoptables find forever homes at events benefiting The https://berkeleyhumane.org/, The San Francisco SPCA and the Austin Animal Center.
On December 1st intergalactic internet sensation Lil Bub crossed Rainbow Bridge on her way back to her home planet of Bub Ub Bub. Duringher eight-year stay on Earth, the philanthropic feline and her “Dude” Mike Bridavsky raised people’s spirits as together they raised more than $700,000 to help animals in need thanks to Lil BUB’s Big Fund. As her Dude would say, “Good job, Bub.”
Boo the Pomeranian
Known as The World’s Cutest Dog, Boo the Pomeranian— who crossed Rainbow Bridge in mid-January– 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 high-profile 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 former stray who found a home in the hearts of both movie buffs and TV viewers, Sykes crossed Rainbow Bridge in June at the age of 15. The talented terrier’s acting resume includes Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Young Victoria and the popular British mystery series Midsomer Murders (where he shared his real name with his character).
However, dog lovers may remember him most fondly for his portrayal of a smart shelter dog determined to find his forever family in the ThinkBox ad, “Every Home Needs a Harvey.”
Leo, who starred in the recent remake of Stephen King’s Pet Semetary, passed away in May. One of five rescue cats who portrayed Church in the fright flick (with Leo getting the extra honor to appear on the movie’s poster), all five cats found forever homes once filming wrapped.
The bright lights of Broadway seem a little bit dimmer in the eyes of animal lovers after the March 11th passing of one of The Great White Way’s dog stars, Chico.
Once a shelter dog at the Associated Humane Society in Newark, New Jersey, the charming Chihuahua had suffered from abuse and was scheduled to be euthanized until the curtain rose on the second act in his life, thanks to celebrity animal trainer Bill Berloni. Chico gained fame with his portrayal of Bruiser Woods in Legally Blonde- The Musical on Broadway and on the production’s national tour.
Fans honored Chico’s memory with donations to The Sandy Fund, which aids The Humane Society of New York’s efforts to help animals in need.
Duke the Great Pyrenees
While a “donkey” or an “elephant” is traditionally named the winner when votes are counted in a political race, in Northern Minnesota’s Cormorant Township a real “party animal” served three one-year terms as honorary mayor.
Crossing Rainbow Bridge six months after retiring from his duties, Duke the Great Pyrenees had served the community well during his time in office, helping to raise funds for the Humane Society.