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April 3, 2024

20 Adorable Vintage Photos of Doris Day Posing With Her Dogs

Doris Day has been a life long animal lover and advocate. Recovering from her childhood auto accident that ended her dreams of becoming a professional dancer, her small dog Tiny helped her through that difficult time in her life. As Doris stated in her autobiography “He never left my side, understood my moods and gave me the kind of companionship that only a dog can bestow... It was during this time that I began a lifelong love affair with dogs, a sentiment known only to dog lovers – and cat lovers, too. Their affection and caring is a relief from tensions and anxiety.”

In 1956 while making The Man Who Knew Too Much on location in Africa, Doris refused to continue work unless conditions and treatment of the animals on the set were drastically improved. Of course by this stage of her career Doris had enough star power that the production company immediately complied with her requests. Doris, herself, oversaw the feeding and care of these animals.

In 1971, Doris co-founded Actors and Others for Animals along with Richard and Diana Basehart, Lucie Arnaz, Angie Dickinson and others. Doris’ own home became a place of refuge for many stray, abandoned pets. It was not unusual for people to drop dogs and cats over her property gate in the middle of the night. Doris never turned any of them away. She got them the veterinary care they needed and found loving homes for them. She inspected these homes herself to make sure the owners were up to the task of caring for their new baby.

However, this became an overwhelming pursuit for Doris. She felt that with her own organization she could provide better care and save more lives. In 1978 she founded the Doris Day Pet Foundation (now known as the Doris Day Animal Foundation) which focused on animal rescue and spay/neuter. Doris knew that more had to be done in terms of new legislation to protect all animals. So in 1987 the Doris Day Animal League was founded (co-existing alongside the DDAF). The Doris Day Animal League’s overriding mission is “to reduce the pain and suffering of non-human animals through legislative initiatives, education, and programs to enforce statutes and regulations which have already been enacted protecting animals.”

In 1995 Doris and the DDAL founded Spay Day USA now known as World Spay Day taking place in February each year. In 2007 the DDAL merged with the Humane Society of the United States for an even greater voice in Washington, while the Doris Day Animal Foundation remains an independent organization, personally overseen by Doris Day.

In recent years, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, whose straight-forward mission is “helping animals and the people who love them,” has evolved into a grant-giving charity, supporting other 501(c)3 organizations across the nation that directly rescue and care for animals.

In addition to her foundation work Doris shares her Carmel home with “4-leggers” that she cares for daily. She has often been quoted as saying “maybe I might make a movie just to take a rest!”

In 2011, the Humane Society of the United States opened the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center, on the grounds of Black Beauty Ranch, an animal sanctuary started by her late friend, author Cleveland Amory, in Murchison, Texas. The DDAF contributed $250,000 toward the founding of the center.


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