Ron Perlman Honors Late Senior Dog in Pro-Adoption Campaign for PETA

For Immediate Release:
October 20, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los AngelesTransformers and Hellboy star Ron Perlman shows off his cuddly side in a new PETA campaign dedicated to his late elderly German shepherd Sassypants for Adopt a Dog Month (October): “If you can rescue a senior animal, do it, because what you’re going to give them is the best years of their lives.”

Ron Perlman holds Sassypants, a brown and white dogPhoto: © Shayan Asgharnia

In an accompanying video, shot just before her passing, Perlman snuggles up to the dog, wife Allison Dunbar, and Harrington, their “deliciously weird and delectably fun” adopted Labrador retriever, as he urges others to visit their local animal shelter and adopt a companion. “I grew up in New York City and … the minute I got out of the house, I got my first dog. I’ve never been without one since,” he says. “Serotonin just courses through me when I’m cuddling with my dogs because it’s pure love. The level of gratitude and heartwarmingness that has been infused into my life is irreplaceable. And so, don’t buy dogs. There’s no reason to. Adopt. Don’t shop.”

But not every dog finds a loving home. Around 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. Many animal shelters—under pressure to avoid euthanasia at all costs—are turning dogs away when they inevitably reach capacity and refusing to accept cats altogether, leaving the most vulnerable animals with nowhere to go. Many end up abandoned on the streets, where they may be hit by cars, infected with diseases, or hurt by cruel people—and leaving them to reproduce makes the homeless-animal crisis worse. That’s why PETA urges shelters to accept all animals in need, advises guardians to have their animal companions spayed or neutered, and asks everyone to adopt instead of buying from breeders or pet stores.

Perlman is part of a growing list of celebrities—including Tom Hardy, John Stamos, Ryan Eggold, Theo Rossi, and Cristin Milioti—who have teamed up with PETA to promote adoption.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind