Every self-respecting Hollywood celebrity likes to be seen from time to time in the company of cute, furry animals. However, some celebrities own one or more pets not because they want to attract attention on the streets or fill column inches in the tabloid press, but because they genuinely love animals. Of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, even these celebrities may take things to extremes and end up owning a whole menagerie.
Megan Fox, perhaps best known for her portrayal of Mikaela Banes in “Transformers” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” apparently began her love affair with animals at a very early age. When she was a youngster, her parents were reluctant to allow her anything more than a cat, but it would be fair to say that Ms. Fox has made up for lost time in the interim. In recent years, she has owned several dogs, including a Boston terrier named China, a Cairn terrier named Sullivan, a French bulldog named Curtis and a Pomeranian named Sid Vicious after the late Sex Pistols’ bass guitarist. She has also owned two cats, an Abyssinian named Luna and a Bengal named Rosh, two parrots named Bowie and Roxy and a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig called Piggy Smalls.
Hollywood veteran Mickey Rourke, who won the Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Randy “The Ram” Robinson in “The Wrestler” in 2009, has often spoken of his love for animals, especially dogs. Mr. Rourke claims that when he was suffering from depression and unable to leave his house for months at a time, his dogs helped to lift his spirits. He actually paid tribute to his dogs, past and present, in his acceptance speech for the Golden Globe award. One of his long-term companions was a Chihuahua named Loki, who died in 2009 at the age of 18 years.
More recently, during filming of his latest movie “Dead in Tombstone” in Romania, Mr. Rourke adopted a stray dog, now named Foxy, which he came across on the set. Romania has a huge population of stray dogs, and Mr. Rourke has personally donated $250,000 towards the building of a much needed animal shelter. The intention is to raise a total of €1.5 million, or nearly $2 million, to build an animal shelter that is the size of a football field and capable of helping thousands of stray dogs at a time. Mr. Rourke plans to travel back and forth to Romania to make sure that the project is progressing according to plan. He has stated that no one will make a profit from the project.
Another Hollywood celebrity who has been an animal lover almost since infancy is actress and former fashion model Denise Richards. Ms. Richards’ love of animals was documented in the reality TV show, “Denise Richards: It’s Complicated” in 2009. She says that she first sought to adopt a dog following the death of her mother’s dog, Sheena, and ended up adopting a blind dog named Preston. Ms. Richards has since adopted a series of elderly, injured or ill dogs, which were difficult to place and would otherwise have been euthanized. By her own admission, Ms. Richards home is something of a menagerie, housing many dogs and a few cats – not all of which necessarily belong to Ms. Richards – and, from time to time, litters of pups waiting for homes.
When she is not working elsewhere, Ms. Richards is an active member of the Best Friends Animal Society. The Society was formed by a group of friends in 1984 and now operates an animal sanctuary covering 3,800 acres near the Golden Circle of National Parks in Utah. Ms. Richards regularly visits the Society’s animal shelters to help out in any way possible. She also participates in the so-called Pup My Ride program, also run by the Society, which transports rescued animals, which would otherwise be euthanized, to new homes across the country. Since the Best Friends Animal Society came into existence, the number of animals euthanized in the United States has dropped from 17 million to 5 million, according to Access Hollywood Live.
According to Ms. Richards’ own website, in March 2012 she adopted two dogs named Caramel and Oreo who were due for transportation as part of the Pup My Ride program because she could not bear to see them separated. Ms. Richards’ website features many animals in need of homes, and Ms. Richards actively encourages anyone looking for a dog or cat to adopt one from their local animal shelter rather than buying one from a breeder or pet store.