Celebrity Pet Adoption

Today's stars continue a famous tradition of providing homes to pups and kittens.

Back when most people were superstitiously shunning black cats as harbingers of ill fortune, actors embraced the dark-hued feline as good luck. Theaters kept a black cat backstage, and the performers would treat him with the highest respect. Flash-forward to modern times, and many actors and other celebrities remain outspoken animal activists who help the neediest of our furry friends by adopting their pets from shelters. In the pages of the tabloids and magazines, many young Hollywood actors can be seen walking pooches found at the pound.

Some go even further to support pet adoption. In New York City, Broadway Barks, founded by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, presents an annual event on Broadway to find homes for animals.

But notable celebrity adopters are not limited to actors. NBC newscaster Brian Williams has a 13-year old rescue dog, Lucy. And Sean Elliot of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs adopted animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina and filmed a public service announcement to help the cause.

And it was a wandering stray cat who inspired baseball manager Tony La Russa and his wife Elaine to found a no-kill shelter in California. After the terrified animal ended up on the field during a major-league game, La Russa managed to catch him and found him a home.

On the other hand, sometimes the celebrities themselves came from humble beginnings in an animal shelter. Both Benji and Morris the Cat were famous adoptees. Other notable dog performers discovered in shelters include Fang in Harry Potter, Sam in I Am Legend, Max in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Murray in Mad About You.

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