It was a furry affair on the red carpet for Fox's Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular as each celebrity was accompanied by an up-for-adoption canine companion as they made their way into the appropriately named Barker Hanger, where the show took place.
Hosted by rescue-dog owners Hilary Swank and Jane Lynch, Cause for Paws, airing on Thanksgiving evening, will celebrate everything that Americans love about their four-legged friends, but will also make it possible for the 70 dogs on the show — as well as many more around the country — to find their forever homes.
"I have two rescues myself, and the truth is they are rescuing me," says Kathy Griffin, who jokingly told Bio that she wanted to scoop up all the dogs and make a run for it! "This is an important issue. I travel, and all over the world, there are dogs that are left on the street. They are voiceless and we have to help them. I became 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. Get two dogs. They lift your spirits."
According to Hilary Swank, the statistics are depressing. There are eight million animals in shelters every year in the United States alone and, sadly, four million never make it out. Swank has done her part by taking in Rumi, a Golden Retriever mix, whom she rescued from the East Valley Animal Shelter in Van Nuys, Calif., and Kai, a Dachshund/Jack Rusell mix, who came from the Change of Heart Rescue.
"It's simply a pure love," Swank says of the affection she gets from her pets. "Dogs see you and they see you for who you really are."
When Lynch agreed to co-host the show, she thought she might rescue a second dog from among those that were part of the TV special. But it turned out that four days before Fox's Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular took place, she adopted Benjamin, a 10-year-old Belgian Shepherd.
"You can't plan how these guys come to you," the Glee star says. "He is mellow and wonderful and the sweetest thing ever. He is just a really good dog. There are no bad dogs, but I got really lucky. Benjamin is a really well-behaved dog. I am thrilled with him."
Roslyn Sanchez, who owns four senior-aged dogs — 18, 15, 13 and 9 years old — encourages others to adopt older dogs as well. She says, "Everybody wants a puppy, but senior dogs need an opportunity, too. There is something wonderful when you say, 'I rescued a dog who is 7 years old and nobody wanted him.' They deserve to be loved. And you know what? They are more mature and it is more likely they will be trained, so it is a wonderful thing."
Want to hear more about the four-legged friends of the celebs who walked the Cause for Paws red carpet and why it was important for them to participate in the FOX special? Check it out below:
Paula Abdul: "I am a big advocate of rescue. Growing up, my family has always rescued dogs. I have four Chihuahuas and it is the greatest gift. They become family members. I don't have children — I used to say I had three: Randy [Jackson], Simon [Cowell] and Ryan [Seacrest] — but my dogs are my kids. When you think how these unbelievably wonderful creatures are treated in a harmful way, or not fed, it is unconscionable."
Amber Riley: "I have two dogs. One is a Maltipoo. His name is Milo. The other one is a Poodle mix and he is a rescue. His name is Chuy. Chuy is three. His birthday is actually the same day as my niece's. And Milo is two. I think it is important to get the word out about spaying and neutering pets, and also about adopting pets rather than going into the store and buying them."
David Arquette: "I have two Bassett Hound rescues. I have two other dogs that are King Charles Spaniels. I have learned that even if you want a pure-bred dog, there are rescues for all different breeds. I was honored to be asked to be a part of this amazing event. I have never been a part of anything on this level to bring attention to rescues. It is bringing a lot of people together who love their animals."
Max Greenfield: "My family and I adopted a dog over the summer and we think it is really important to find dogs a home. My daughter is getting to an age where she is not that into to me. That's a shift and my dog seems to always be into me, which is really good for my self-esteem [he jokes]."
Wendie Malick: "We have several animals: two rescue dogs — a shepherd-cattle dog mix, the other is a black lab mix — Miles and Zoey, a miniature donkey, and five horses. You will never find a better friend than a rescue dog. They are so grateful. The fact that we put down millions of healthy dogs a year in this country breaks my heart. I would like to stop all this breeding and do more spaying and neutering and find wonderful homes for them."
Jerry O'Connell: "There is no better thing to do than rescue. They love you; you love them. With kids, it makes an amazing household. You are not going to find a being that loves you more. Our rescues love me more than my children do [he jokes]."
Rebecca Romijn: "There are so many that need homes. We also like to foster. We might have more by the end of tonight!"
Fox's Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular airs Thursday, Nov. 27 from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.