There’s nothing better than seeing celebrities use their lives in the public eye as a platform to help animals. Whether it’s bringing awareness to millions of fans or opening a foundation to collect funds for a good cause these 5 people are more than just famous — they’re animal activists.
1. Ian Somerhalder
The Vampire Diaries star is the founder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, whose mission is "to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.” The foundation stands behind all things environmental, animal welfare causes—such as advocating against animal cruelty, overpopulation, and species extinction— and holds a special place in his heart.
2. Ricky Gervais
This funny guy co-wrote and starred in the original series The Office, among other hits, but is now also well recognized for his adamant animal advocacy. He was named PETA’s Person of the Year in 2013, spreading concise and cunning awareness to his millions of followers via social media, particularly on Twitter. Now with nearly 11 million followers, Gervais uses humor and heart to make an impact on the lives of animals everywhere.
3. Amy Poehler
This down-to-earth actress and comedian co-founded Smart Girls, an organization that helps empower girls to be themselves. With almost 1.3 million Facebook fans and over 134,000 YouTube subscribers, Poehler uses these social media platforms to promote self-esteem—and to help sweet shelter dogs find homes! Smart Girls partnered with the ASPCA to create the “Heavy Petting” video series where celebrities lend their voices to tell the stories of shelter pups. “It’s like Tinder, but for adoptable pets, because #SmartGirlsAdopt!” reads the site description.
4. Jon Stewart
After retiring from The Daily Show, Jon and his wife Tracy opened a 12-acre farm in Middletown, New Jersey, which provides a sanctuary for farm animals of all kinds. While the former host used his show to bring awareness to animal rights issues, his life now revolves around rescuing animals—talk about dedication! Partnered with Farm Sanctuary, who’s mission is to promote the humane treatment of farm animals, the Stewart’s Bufflehead Farm is the organization’s fourth location. The farm willl focus its efforts on rehabilitating cows, sheep, chicken, goats, turkeys, pigs who have been rescued from factory farm environments.
5. Kaley Cuoco
Anyone who follows this Big Bang Theory starlet on social media knows that she loves animals, often posting pictures of her rescue dogs and her horses. With 2.1 million followers on Instagram alone, Cuoco uses her hit-show fame to advocate for animal welfare organizations and efforts. She’s worked with the Humane Society of the United States to help stop animal cruelty, and hosted the All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration in 2015, an event that works to eliminate shelter overflow.