It's been said that every dog has his day, but one-of-a-kind canines with intriguing ancestries have two days devoted to them! In honor of National Mutt Day, which takes place annually on July 31st and December 2nd, here's a look at some of the famous stars of the big and small screen who have accepted the role of a lifetime-- that of a pet parent to mixed breed dogs.
The Greatest Showman's Zac Efron showed fans that he's a heartthrob with a heart of gold when he asked to foster a Pit Bull mix who had been moments away from facing her fate in a shelter's kill room. Soon deciding to act as a forever father to the fur baby, the actor adopted his barking buddy MACA:
"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings." Reminiscent of that famous line in the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life, every time a bell rang out at a NKLA pet adoption event in 2014 it meant that a fur angel's heart had wings, as they had found their forever pet parent and were embarking on the start of their wonderful life in a loving home. Among the lucky dogs adopted at that year's event was Pepper, a Lhasa Apso mix who moved from the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter into the home of Shameless star/Best Friends Animal Society supporter Emmy Rossum. Helping dogs and cats who are still looking to star in the life of a special someone, Pepper joined her mother for Best Friends Animal Society's "I Saved My Best Friend" campaign.
Back in 2015 Modern Family cast member Sarah Hyland welcomed a Lab/Shepherd mix dubbed Boo into her fur family. Adopted at Wylder's Holistic Pet Center, the pup found a sibling in the star's other canine companion, Barkley.
Actress Hilary Swank has four "goldens" at home-- two little gold men for her Oscar-winning performances in Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don't Cry, and Golden Retriever mixes Rumi and Sufi.
The famous fan of Fidos (whose non-profit The Hilaroo Foundation--named in part after her late rescue dog, Roo-- helps both people and pets in need) is also the proud pet parent to Kai, a Beagle/Terrier mix.
Since 2009 Australian Shepherd mix Finn has played a starring role in the life of his fur Mom, Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried. Having adopted her canine companion from Best Friends Animal Society, the film star and Finn have helped to shine a spotlight on the renowned non-profit organization by posing for the "I Saved My Best Friend" campaign, and by raising awareness of Best's Friends' annual Strut Your Mutt events.
Not only has Emmy Award-winning actress Katherine Heigl opened her heart and home to a number of rescue dog and cats (including sister Shepherd mixes Flora and Tamber, who were adopted from Coastal German Shepherd Rescue), the newest cast member of the USA series Suits has also helped countless companion animals in their search for a forever family as the co-founder of The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation. Since its start in 2008, the non-profit organization has saved dogs from high-kill shelters through its Heigl's Hounds of Hope internal rescue group; provided affordable spay/neuter, vaccination and microchipping services to pets from financially distressed areas throughout the country; and given grants to further the life-saving efforts of partner organizations.
The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco has made a big splash in the world of animal advocacy. A proud multi-pet parent to Pit Bull mixes Norman and Shirley and terrier mix Ruby, the star has illuminated the public about such topics as animal abuse by posing with Pittie Norman for Show Your Soft Side's campaign; the need to end Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) by showing support for the Stand Up for Pits Foundation; and pet adoption by helping Paw Works Animal Rescue. Even her wedding day helped animals in need embark on a new chapter in their lives. On Instagram the star stated: "In lieu of human wedding gifts, Norman asked that guests bring dog and cat donations for @pawworks which will be delivered this week. Wow did everyone come through!!! Unbelievable donations and gifts for our 4 legged friends."
Since 1998 Broadway Barks! has helped to put approximately 2,000 homeless dogs and cats center stage, with 85 percent of the animals who lapped up the limelight at the star-studded pet adoption event landing coveted roles in the lives of loving pet parents. These dogs and cats who were waiting in the wings at shelters in New York City got that one big break thanks in large part to the co-founder of Broadway Barks!, Bernadette Peters. The Tony- and Emmy-winning actress has also cast several shelter dogs in the roles of her fur babies over the years. The late Kramer, described as a Heinz 57 variety dog adopted from the ASPCA, lives on in the pages of the iconic entertainer's first children's book, aptly named Broadway Barks; Stella, a Pit Bull mix, also gained fame through her mother's second tale Stella is a Star, and again in the children's story Stella and Charlie: Friends Forever. Proceeds from all three books benefited Broadways Barks' continuing efforts to make every homeless dog and cat's personal story end with the words "...and they lived happily ever after."
A superhero on the big screen, Captain America star Chris Evans also holds that title in the eyes of his Boxer mix, Dodger. The actor met his canine sidekick while filming a scene at a shelter for the movie Gifted...a life-changing moment which he later shared with fans via Twitter.
This is the moment we met. He was trying so hard to stay seated even though he desperately wanted to get out. I knew right away that he was coming home with me, so I took this video to always remember our first hello. Rescue dogs are the best dogs!! #NationalPetDay pic.twitter.com/XjWxPWGDPu— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 11, 2018
She's shared the silver screen with such stars as Tobey Maguire, Mark Wahlberg, James McAvoy and Tom Hardy, but when she's not in front of the camera Charlize Theron's mixed breed dogs Johnny and Berkley are her co-stars, both in life and in a video promoting pet adoption! The two tail-wagging chums helped their movie star Mom as she filmed a video segment for the grand opening of The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, a two-story, 30,000-square-foot facility in Playa Vista, California which cares for homeless animals who have been pulled from L.A. area animal shelters.
Like Charlize Theron, Kristen Bell also stepped in front of the camera with her fur baby, Welsh Corgi/Chow Chow mix Lola, in order to show her support for the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace. The star of The Good Place has also helped homeless animals on the road to the good life with a forever pet parent by fostering pets in need and helping such animal welfare organizations as The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, The Onyx and Breezy Foundation and PetSmart Charities.
Animal lovers everywhere think that Star Trek Beyond's Chris Pine is out of this world for choosing the option of pet adoption! The actor's four-legged leading lady is Wednesday Weld, a Pit Bull mix adopted from the North Central Animal Shelter in Los Angeles.