Media Centre

'I'm Uggie, and I Was Adopted': 'The Artist' Dog Stars In New PETA Advert

For Immediate Release:
27 April 2012

Contact:
Ben Williamson +44 (0)7525 411 733; BenW@peta.org.uk

London - Ten years before garnering international accolades for his performance in The Artist, canine film star Uggie was a rambunctious puppy who was passed off by two different guardians who were unprepared for the Jack Russell terrier's energy. But dog trainer Omar Von Muller stepped in to prevent Uggie from ending up in an animal shelter and soon fell in love with his fearless, playful attitude - and his star quality. And now, to help other dogs achieve their own rags-to-riches stories, the award-winning pooch is starring in a brand-new PETA UK campaign that proclaims, "I'm Uggie, and I Was Adopted. Millions of Dogs Are Waiting in Animal Shelters for a Loving Home. Adopt, Don't Buy".

"Animal shelters are full to the brim with dogs and cats who are waiting for the opportunity to become the star of a loving family", says PETA UK Manager Mimi Bekhechi. "PETA encourages everyone who is considering bringing a canine companion into their lives to save a life by adopting from an animal shelter - and never patronising breeders or pet shops."

A staggering number of dogs are picked up off UK streets by local authorities - more than 120,000 between 2010 and 2011 - and that doesn't include those abandoned at animal shelters. According to a recent study of 300 UK rescue centres, more than 35 per cent of dogs abandoned in 2011 are still waiting to be adopted. Thousands of lonely, adoptable dogs end up being euthanised because of a lack of good homes, while breeders continue to produce more puppies for profit. The Kennel Club alone registers more than 270,000 dogs a year. In addition to adopting, people can help minimise the number of homeless cats and dogs by ensuring that their animals are spayed or neutered.

Uggie received the Palm Dog Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and a special mention at the Prix Lumière Awards in France.

He joins a long list of celebrities - including Justin Bieber, Booboo Stewart, Kellan Lutz, Joanna Krupa, Audrina Patridge, Patricia Arquette and Kimora Lee Simmons - who have teamed up with PETA UK to promote animal adoption.