In EW’s column Act With Me, stars share their personal stories about giving back. This week, Amanda Seyfried speaks about Best Friends Animal Society, which partners with shelters around the country to help end killing and work towards a goal of no more homeless pets.
WHY I TOOK ACTION
“I’m a bleeding heart for animals,” says Seyfried, who has a dog, Finn, and a whole menagerie of pets on her farm. “I never had a dog because my mom and dad made it seem like it was a lot of work and I just never imagined that I could have a dog until I moved out and met Finn, and I’m finally living the dream.” After discovering Best Friends in 2012, Seyfried signed on to be an advocate and promote awareness of its causes. “Why wouldn’t you want to spend every hour hanging out with pure souls?” she says. “It’s amazing when I meet someone who doesn’t connect or relate to animals in the same way. They’re so innocent and beautiful and present. They’re animals. They can’t destroy our earth. They’re not humans…It just blows my mind that not everybody sees animals the way I do.”
WHAT THE ORGANIZATION DOES
Through partnering with local shelters and a variety of awareness campaigns, the Best Friends Animal Society is working to end killing in America’s animal shelters and reach a goal of no more homeless pets. “They are giving voice to animals who don’t have one and they support all local shelters,” says Seyfried. “They’re kind of an umbrella for bringing local shelters together and bringing awareness to people that don’t know we have an overpopulation problem and that thousands and thousands of dogs and cats are being euthanized because of it.”
The organization leads numerous campaigns throughout the year, many of which Seyfried and her dog Finn are the face of, including the Strut Your Mutt walkathon. “Last year it was 9,000 steps for the 9,000 animals that are euthanized across the country,” explains Seyfried. The latest campaign is called “Pledge Your Love” and launched with a video (above) of Seyfried and other celebs singing “L-O-V-E” to their pets. “You just pledge your love to your pets,” she says.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
Seyfried said Best Friends aims to stop the killing of all dogs and cats in shelters by 2025. “Their whole motto is Save Them All,” she says. “By 2025 Best Friends wants to go no-kill across the country, and I think that’s possible because they have made so much headway from when they started the Save Them All campaign to now.” Los Angeles will be the largest no-kill city in the country, she noted. Campaigns like this month’s Pledge Your Love asks animal lovers to promise to care for homeless pets. “It’s bringing animals and humans together, and that kind of love that exists is unlike anything else,” she says. “We can actually make this country no-kill. I believe it, I truly believe it.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Donate or get involved with campaigns at local shelters, such as the annual Strut Your Mutt walkathon. Or adopt a pet in need — Seyfried notes that pets in disaster areas, such as Houston following Hurricane Harvey, are in particular need. “I see accounts of people every day finding their best friends,” she says. “So many people have gone to Best Friends to find their cat or their dog, and that’s always the biggest thrill when you see that happen.”