Kate Mara Is Funding the Adoption Fees of 10 Georgia Pups Who Need Homes
The dogs are graduates of Canine CellMates’ alternative sentencing program, which pairs dogs with people charged with felonies in Fulton County, Georgia.
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Some lucky pups in Georgia are all on the path to starting new lives with adoptive families — thanks to actress Kate Mara. Through a partnership with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Mara funded the adoption fees of 10 dogs, who were part of Canine CellMates’ alternative sentencing program, Beyond the Bars.
Canine CellMates took the pups from a Fulton County Animal Service open-intake shelter, where they were at risk for euthanasia. Per an Animal Legal Defense Fund press release, Canine CellMates is “an alternative disposition program that operates outside of the Fulton County Jail, pairing rescue dogs with individuals charged with felonies and released from custody contingent upon participation in the program.”
The release continues: “During the year-long course, the men develop the tools they need to break the cycle of criminal behavior while the dogs learn the skills they need to succeed in their forever homes. The men with open cases, once facing lengthy prison sentences, have their cases closed at the end of the program.”
Unfortunately, People reported, Canine CellMates’s lease for their headquarters recently ended, which meant the dogs, whose names include Luna, Jazzy, and Bronco, needed a place to stay after they completed their time in the program. Thankfully, the dogs are in foster homes but are up for adoption now, their fees having already been covered by Mara.
The Fantastic Four and House of Cards star got involved with ALDF and Canine CellMates after shooting a show and living in Atlanta.
“My family and I spent several months living in Atlanta as I was filming FX’s upcoming Class of ’09,” Mara said in a statement, per People. “Its humane community is one of the best in the country, constantly seeking innovative ways to create opportunities for people to experience the unconditional love of an animal.”
This is not the first time Mara has worked with the ALDF to support a cause that helps animals. Last year, she, along with Hilary Swank, Bella Hadid, Billie Eilish, Joaquin Phoenix, and several other celebrities joined ALDF to write an open letter to the New York City Council calling for a ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City. The letter followed a viral video of an elderly horse named Ryder collapsing on the street in the summer heat in August 2022.
The letter reads, in part: “The world bore witness as the carriage driver tried to force Ryder to his feet, while he could barely lift his head. The video is hard to watch for good reason — this is not the way animals should be treated.”
Mara, along with her sister, actress Rooney Mara, is a decade-long vegan and committed animal-rights activist.
“I could see how horrific it seemed as an animal to live that life just because we [humans] feel like feeding ourselves in a certain way,” Mara told VegNews of her switch to veganism in 2013. “I was disgusted and saddened by it and thought, ‘Shame on me for not knowing of that or being aware of it sooner.’”
Her passion for animals has also translated to her career onscreen: In 2017, she starred in Megan Leavey, a film about a young Marine corporal who bonds with a military combat dog named Rex while deployed in Iraq. The dog, whose real name was Varco, became incredibly special to Mara.
“He and I trained together, so by the time we started shooting we were very comfortable with each other,” Mara told The Associated Press in an interview at the time. “I loved working with a dog. They’re unexpected and constantly doing things that you’re not expecting them to do. If you want them to just sort of sit there during a scene they will, but then they’ll do some genius little movement or sound or whatever that will make the scene that much better.”
If you would like to support Canine CellMates, please visit their website here.
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Hilary Weaver is the senior editor at The Wildest. She has previously been an editor at The Spruce Pets, ELLE, and The Cut. She was a staff writer at Vanity Fair from 2016 to 2019, and her work has been featured in Esquire, Refinery 29, BuzzFeed, Parade, and more. She lives with her herding pups, Georgie and Charlie.