20 celebrities who have adopted rescue animals

Whoopi Goldberg

  • The first full week in November is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, which recognizes shelters' work providing care and finding new homes for animals.
  • Numerous celebrities have decided to rescue instead of buy animals.  
  • Zac Efron rescued his pup, MACA, who would have been euthanized if the actor hadn't adopted her. 
  • Whoopi Goldberg adopted her rescue kitten, Vinny, after he appeared on "The View" in 2011. 
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Celebrities have been known to buy some pretty extravagant pets. From Nicholas Cage's $150,000 octopus to Mike Tyson's three Bengal tigers (which reportedly cost about $4,000 a month), lavish celebrity pets often come with a hefty price tag and cost a lot of money to care for. 

But other celebrities opt to adopt instead of buying pets. This National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week — which takes place between November 1 and 7 — here are 20 celebs who adopted rescue animals. 

In 2011, Whoopi Goldberg adopted a rescue kitten that made a guest appearance on "The View."

For Whoopi Goldberg and Verrazano the kitten, it was love at first sight. After he made his national TV debut on "The View," Goldberg just couldn't help but give the kitty a better life. 

In a Facebook post, Goldberg wrote, "For all of you who remember me on 'The View' meeting Verrazano, the kitten who was thrown out the window of a moving car on the Verrazano Bridge. I adopted him and I was finally able to take him home. His nickname is 'Vinny.'"

Liev Schreiber has a long history of adopting rescue dogs.

On July 1, Liev Schreiber announced the adoption of his most recent rescue dog, Scout, through Tobie's Small Dog Rescue in Los Angeles. He adopted Scout following the death of his other rescue dog, Woody. 

Schreiber adopted Woody and a second rescue dog after meeting the two pups backstage before a 2017 appearance on "Live with Kelly and Ryan." According to People, Schreiber told the hosts, "My sons want a dog and I found the perfect dog, but one of your producers already wants my dog," to which Seacrest responded, "I think this is going to work out for you." 

Schreiber FaceTimed his sons and decided on two 3-month-old pups. They were part of a larger group of dogs, all of which were uprooted by Hurricane Harvey and were on the show to raise awareness for animals in need following the storm. 

Jennifer Aniston adopted a new rescue pup during the coronavirus pandemic.

Aniston announced the adoption of her insanely cute rescue pup, Lord Chesterfield, on Instagram on October 11, writing, "Hi! I'd like to introduce to you the newest member of our family….this is (a very tired) Lord Chesterfield. He stole my heart immediately. A HUGE thank you to @wagmorpets for the incredible work you do. Grateful you take such great care of these rescues and find them their forever homes."

Ariana Grande has adopted 10 — that's right, 10 — rescue dogs.

Grande, a vegan, is vocal about her love of animals and has participated in multiple philanthropic initiatives, including partnering with BarkBox to bring adoptable dogs to shows on her Honeymoon Tour and paying the adoption fees, according to Billboard. As well as her dogs, she has adopted one emotional support pig, Piggy Smalls. 

In 2015 she told Billboard, "I got involved with dog rescues by simply loving animals. Dogs are the most harmless, sweetest babes in the world. They show nothing but unconditional love, so they deserve that in return … The thought of a sweet, loving angel going without a home or being killed simply because there's no one who will come and claim him is heartbreaking. I want to help spread the word as much as I can." 

Tom Hardy's rescue dog, Woody, made an appearance on the red carpet.

Tom Hardy's dog, Woodstock ("Woody"), has shared the limelight with his dad on more than one occasion. In 2015 the rescue pup starred with Hardy, an avid dog lover, in an adoption campaign for Peta and appeared on the red carpet for the UK premiere of the film "Legend."

David Arquette's dog, Dallas, would have been euthanized had the actor not rescued him.

Actor David Arquette rescued Dallas in 2015 through the Last Day Dog Rescue in Michigan, according to WOUB. The outlet reports that Dallas, a basset hound, would have been put down had the actor not rescued him. Dallas was found as a stray living on an elderly couple's porch before being taken in by a local shelter took and then adopted by Arquette. 

Jon and Tracey Stewart have found homes for numerous rescue animals on their farm in New Jersey.

Jon Stewart and his wife, Tracey, operate the 45-acre Hockhockson Farm Foundation, where they re-home rescued farm animals with the hopes of preventing animal abuse, among other initiatives. 

The duo has taken in numerous farm animals, most notably a pair of goats spotted on the N Line subway tracks in Brooklyn, New York, in 2018, and Lily, a horse who was abandoned in its auction stable in 2016. (She has since passed.) 

"Nashville" star Clare Bowen fell in love with her rescue cat Lumière while volunteering at an adoption fair.


While volunteering at the Mars Petcare Adoption Fair in 2014, Australian actress and singer Clare Bowen formed an attachment with one rescue kitten in particular and ended up adopting the fur baby from the Nashville Cat Rescue. 

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas adopted their third dog, a rescue, during the pandemic.

Priyanka announced her and Nick's latest canine child to the world in an August 8 Instagram post reading, "Our new family portrait! Welcome to the family, Panda! We adopted this little rescue (soon he won't be so little) just a few weeks ago. We can't be sure but he seems to be a Husky Australian Shepard mix…. and those eyes… and the ears!!!" 

Panda the puppy joins his siblings Diana and Gino — if you need a distraction from everything happening in the world, you can keep up with all three on their Instagram pages. 

Unable to part ways with his fostered rescue puppy, Zac Efron made things official and adopted his dog, MACA.

Zac Efron adopted his rescue dog, MACA, in 2018 through a Los Angeles-based humane pet shop. The shop wrote on Instagram that MACA would have been euthanized had Efron not stepped in to foster her. Unable to give her back, Efron adopted MACA and now the two look like BFFs.  

Jason Mraz adopted a pair of rescue kitten sisters.

Jason Mraz adopted his first kitties Blitzen and Prancer through the San Diego Humane Society. The organization posted a picture of the singer thanking him for being the last adoption of 2013 and the first adoption of 2014.

Dua Lipa and boyfriend Anwar Hadid introduced the world to their new rescue pup in August.


The "Don't Start Now" singer and her model boyfriend announced the newest addition to their family on July 31, a rescue pup adopted through the Labelle Foundation in Los Angeles. Dua Lipa shared a pic on Instagram with the caption, "our tiny bestfriend Dexter!!! thank you @thelabellefoundation HE'S PERFECT."

Ed Sheeran rescued a 1-month-old kitten from being put down.

In 2014 Ed Sheeran introduced the world to his adorable kitten, Graham, on Twitter, writing "So basically this one-month-old kitten was gonna get put down so I adopted him and called him Graham. Just bought Graham a bed and snacks," according to the Mirror. Graham had a brief stint as a social media star after Ed made his fur baby a Twitter account — despite no new Tweets since 2014, it still has over 52,000 followers.

Florence + the Machine singer Florence Welch rescued a cat to keep her company while recording her third album.

The singer and songwriter adopted her feline friend from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home animal shelter in London to keep her company while working on new music for Florence + the Machine, according to the Evening Standard. 

She told the publication, "I decided to rehome a rescue cat because I'm at home quite a lot working on my third album and it will be lovely to have a cat around the house again … I chose Missus because she was extremely friendly and, straight away, came to sit on my lap where she seemed to make herself very comfortable." 

Missus has her own hilarious Twitter account where she posts hot takes about her mom and observations of the world from her perspective.  

Miley Cyrus has rescued over a dozen animals.

Miley Cyrus has owned numerous dogs and cats (and even a pig) throughout the years, many of which have been adopted rescues, including her most recent pup, Barbie.

According to Peta, Miley and her ex, Liam Hemsworth, adopted Barbie the beagle from the Beagle Freedom Project, preventing her from being a laboratory test subject.  

Chris Evans adopted a rescue dog he met on the set of "Gifted."

While filming the movie "Gifted" in 2017, Chris Evans had to film a scene in a dog pound. It led to him adopting his rescue dog, Dodger.

He told People, "I foolishly walked in and I thought, 'Are these actor dogs or are these real up for adoption dogs?' And sure enough they were, so I was walking up and down the aisles and saw this one dude and he didn't belong there. I snagged him and he's such a good dog. They aged him at about one, he acts like a puppy, he's got the energy of a puppy, he's just such a sweetheart, he's such a good boy. He loves dogs, he loves kids, he's full of love."

Evans later tweeted a video of when he met Dodger the first time, writing, "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."

"Glee" star Lea Michele once found six stray cats in the Paramount Studios lot, so she adopted two and found homes for the others.

After finding the kittens, Michele gave three to one of "Glee's" directors, one to co-star Heather Morris, and kept the other two, Claude and Sheila, according to People. 

"They probably would have been eaten, so I rescued them," Michele told People. She added that she's a big animal lover and that "My mother always said, 'Stand for something, or [you'll] fall for everything.' I feel like [animals] don't have a voice." 

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis have a history of rescuing dogs.

In 2017, Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis added a second rescue pup to their litter when they brought home the tiny but mighty Elvis. He joined fellow rescue dog, Paco, who has since passed.

Wilde first announced the news in an Instagram post, in which she wrote: "Ladies and gentlemen, meet the heartbreaker formerly known as Maxamillion, now christened by his new human brother as Elvis Sudeikis-Wilde. 3 years young and 8 lbs of pure goodness. He's lived a pretty harrowing life so far, and we are so lucky he adopted us as his new family, so we can treat him like the king he was born to be. Thanks to @barcshelter we found the missing member of our brood. This is our second adopted furry son and we cannot recommend it enough. There are so many animals looking for homes. This little guy was next on the kill list at a shelter in Texas not too long ago! Please consider saving a dog today."

Ian Somerhalder of "Lost" and "The Vampire Diaries" fame has rescued a feline friend.

In 2014, Somerhalder and his now wife Nikki Reed adopted a cat named Sohalia that would have been put down had they not adopted her.

In an Instagram post, the actor wrote, "Unfortunately this little kid was wildly mislabeled as 'feral/not friendly', and had Nikki not gone in and opened her cage regardless, we would have never found out that she is the most loving kitty on the planet and she may have been put down."

Actress Sarah Paulson showed off her new rescue dog in May on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

While admiring her new dog, Winnie, with Ellen, Paulson admitted that the rescue pup, which she adopted from Paw Works animal rescue shelter, is desperate to socialize.

"Before I left, the guy Chad who is the organizer there, he said to me, 'You know you should really try to socialize her, you should try to do 100 people in 100 days.' And I was like 'Wow, now that's not really possible. Can't do 100 people in 100 days.' Not that I'd want to do 100 people in 100 days anyway, that just seems really overwhelming." 

Paulson added that when she takes Winnie on walks she desperately screams with joy whenever she gets to interact with other dogs. 

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