On Saturday, the stars came out to celebrate rescue pets and the joy they bring to our lives. Fox’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular (previously titled the Great American Dog-a-Thon) taped at Santa Monica Airport, with the two-hour special scheduled to air on Thanksgiving at 8 p.m.
Dogster was on the red carpet to talk with the celebs about why they support rescue organizations — and we also asked them what breed they would be if they were a dog, because why not!
The goal of the special is to raise funds for rescue organizations throughout the U.S. and to help spread the message about the love adopting a shelter dog can give you. During the two hours viewers will be treated to inspiring and funny stories of rescue dogs, appearances from rescue pups who are now viral video stars, games featuring dogs and celebrity participants and more.
“Rescue pets love you so much. We have a bunch at home. We are always fostering them. My wife is pretty intense about this,” said O’Connell. “I come home, and there are more pets at home. I once left for a weekend — I went on a golf trip with my guy friends — and when I came back there were two cats in our house. I tried to claim I was allergic, but those cats are my best friends now. I love them. I sleep with them every night. I prefer to sleep with my cats more than my wife.”
The actor said he resembles a Labrador most.
“I’ve become a two-dog person, because when I got my first dog someone said two dogs are easier. I didn’t believe them, and I was wrong. So now I have two dogs. They keep each other company, and they lift your spirits,” said the comedian. “Rescue pets are voiceless, so we have to help them.”
“There are a lot of misconceptions about rescue dogs, and we know firsthand that rescue dogs are the most grateful,” said the co-producer of Cause for Paws, who brought his dog, Trooper. “We know you can find purebreds in the shelter. There is no need to go to breeders or to pet stores. We want people to become part of the solution by rescuing a dog instead of being part of the problem by going to breeders and pets stores that have puppy mill dogs.”
He picked Pit Bull as the breed he would be, because he said they are misunderstood and amazing.
“I think it is important to use your platform to get the word out there, and this is a great organization,” said the Glee star, who walked the red carpet with a Miniature Schnauzer named Ruby available for adoption. “I was really excited when they asked me to come down. I just want to talk to people about adopting pets rather than going to the store and buying pets. It’s important to get dogs off of the street. These dogs need homes.”
She sees herself as a Poodle, as they are “super clean but are still fun and extremely smart.”
“My father has been training dogs for about 46 years now. Dogs pretty much rescued his life. It is very emotional for us to be able to help raise awareness for such a selfless act,” said Nicholas Olate, part of the winning team of 2012’s America’s Got Talent. “My father was very poor, and he says he doesn’t know if he rescued them or if they rescued him. If it wasn’t for the dogs, he may never have made it out of poverty.”
The younger Olate said he sees himself as a Jack Russell Terrier, because they are hyperactive, always moving, and always everywhere. His dad, on the other hand, would be a Poodle, which he described as smart, very mellow, and very loving.
“I have two rescue dogs. I’m here to raise awareness to the cause. They asked me and I was honored — there are so many great people putting on this event,” said the actor, who sees himself as similar to the breed of Poppa Bear, a rescue who he escorted down the red carpet, as they are both lazy, enjoy food, and are a little impatient.
“Senior dogs also need an opportunity. Everybody wants a puppy, everybody wants a baby. But there is something wonderful when you can say, ‘I rescued a dog who is seven years old and nobody wanted her,'” said the actress, who walked the red carpet with a Dalmatian up for adoption named Nikki.
“I’m a big advocate of dog rescue. Growing up we always rescued dogs. I have four Chihuahuas, and three of them are rescues,” said the singer. “Rescuing is the greatest gift — they become family members, they become so close, no different from children. My dogs are my kids.”
“Dogs need homes, and everybody wants to be loved. Dogs don’t choose whether they are born or not; they should be loved unconditionally,” said Chenoweth, who added that she identifies most with the Maltese breed.
“This show is so cool, and it is amazing it is on network television,” the actress said. “People in this country have to know that there are way too many dogs we have to put down every year. There are dogs getting euthanized who are healthy. Every time you go to a pet store and think, ‘What a cute little dog,’ you don’t understand the cost of that dog and how many dogs are already out there looking for love and waiting for you to come and find them.”
Malick considers herself like a Shepherd mix.
The contestants of MasterChef Junior came by to show off Iris, a two-year-old Bichon up for adoption. Natalie Jawher, likely taking note of all the women’s heels on the red carpet, said she would be a Dalmatian because they are tall, Sean Le favors a Bulldog because they are nice and relaxed, and Mitchell Vasquez said he matches best with a Lab mixed with Golden Retriever.
“I have been a longtime advocate for dogs, and I have seen firsthand how dogs have changed my life,” said the co-host and co-producer of Cause for Paws. “I couldn’t imagine my life without a dog. My dogs have enriched my life in so many ways. When I got involved and heard the statistics — that eight million dogs are in shelters across the United States and four million sadly never make it out — I thought what a great platform FOX gave us to get that word out.”
She said she would be a mutt, “just like I am.”
Swank co-hosted the event with Jane Lynch. The show featured inspiring as well as funny stories about rescue dogs, appearances by rescues turned viral-video stars, and games with dog and celebrity participants alike. All donations made before and during the airing on Thanksgiving night will go to the Petfinder Foundation. You can donate $10 anytime by texting DONATE to 50555 or visiting Cause for Paws online.
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