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September 19, 2010

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Home » Feature » Animal Planet

Celebrities turn out to help animal rescue

WHAT do you do when a rescue needs rescuing?

When you're in Beverly Hills, you call an interior designer -- or several. Then call stars from "Glee," "NCIS," "The Dog Whisperer," and "True Blood." Add the leading man on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," dozens of dogs and have a sold-out fashion show.

Recently, stars walked with strays on the runway, trying to find homes for the animals. The well dressed wore doggy couture made from the latest fabrics created by the interior designers called Patterns for Paws, who hosted the show on behalf of a struggling animal rescue, The Amanda Foundation, in west Hollywood, California.

Jenna Ushkowitz, who stars in "Glee," ended the show at the Pacific Design Center with her signature "True Colors."

"My animals keep me sane. They are my life," NCIS's Pauley Perrette said, holding a puppy in need of adopting.

Perrette spent 10 years volunteering for The Amanda Foundation, a 34-year-old animal rescue that has seen private donations drop 70 percent this year. The night's profits will all go to the rescue, which saves dogs and cats in their last hours from the county's 28 shelters.

Her escort on the runway was a three-legged terrier mix named Astaire, who needs a home.

"Every single person on our show has animals and pretty much all of them are rescues," she said. "We are all animal fanatics."

Nigel Lythgoe, an "American Idol" pioneer and producer, executive producer and judge for "So You Think You Can Dance," was the emcee.

"Literally, in the last three weeks, I adopted two dogs," he said to hoots and barks from the crowd. "For the first time in my life, I am newly divorced and I was looking for companionship. My ex-wife Bonnie thought I was crazy to take on two dogs -- and one of the dogs was named Bonnie. So I've got another woman who doesn't listen to me now."

Stars who walked the runway included HBO comedian Bill Maher, Tina Sinatra and Kristin Bauer of HBO's "True Blood," whose runway companion, a terrier mix named Sinjin, wore a Los Angeles Lakers jacket signed by Luke Walton, a kerchief signed by Kobe Bryant and a leash signed by Lamar Odom.

Ticket sales brought in US$30,000, a design center spokeswoman said, and they hoped to raise as much as US$20,000 on the silent auction. It won't bail the rescue out of its hole, but it will make a good dent.


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