Tom Holland Pays Tribute to His Dog Tessa, Who Died This Spring · The Wildest

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Tom Holland Pays Tribute to His “Lady”—His Late Dog, Tessa

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was a beloved member of the actor’s family for 10 years.

by Hilary Weaver
April 23, 2024
Tom Holland's dog, Tessa, has passed away.
Photo Courtesy of @tomholland2013

Tom Holland is missing his “lady,” and his lady (Zendaya, in case you need a refresher) is missing her, too. The primary “lady” in question is Holland’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tessa, who died this spring. On Sunday, the Spiderman star posted a photo of Tessa, writing, “Missing my lady ❤️.”

On March 29, Zendaya wrote a tribute to Tessa on her dog Noon’s Instagram account. The dog-lover wrote: “Rest in power, my dear and sweet friend Tessa. It is a blessing to have known you and I’ll forever cherish the moments we spent together as we played. May you enjoy the boundless array of doggy treats and toys as you run for eternity by the ocean side in that sweet place called Heaven. The whole world will miss you. Fly high, Sweet Girl. 💔🕊️❤️🐾.”

Tessa’s special place in the Holland family

Holland’s family adopted Tessa in 2014, and his dad, Dominic, posted on Instagram that they’ve planted a tree in their yard in her memory. “It made sense to plant Tessa's tree in our front garden for all the world to see, share, and enjoy,” Dominic wrote . On April 5, Dominic announced Tessa’s death on his Patreon account in a post where he said Tessa “was the only Holland who everyone loved all of the time.”

Ten years ago, Holland announced his family had adopted Tessa with an Instagram post featuring the sweet puppy. “I would like to introduce to everyone little Tess. The newest member of the family. #staffs,” he wrote then.

As we wrote in 2021, Holland loved to bring Tessa to work with him. During an interview with The One Show , the actor said his pup joined him on the set of his 2017 movie The Current War, where she interrupted Benedict Cumberbatch in the middle of a big on-screen moment.

“Benedict was supposed to be giving this massive speech. Tessa is so well-behaved — I can have her on set — she doesn’t bark, she doesn’t make a noise. But, she must have had some hay intolerance, and she was just sneezing and sneezing.” 

Holland’s advocacy for dog rescue

Holland has also been a huge advocate for Pit Bull-type dogs in the past, using Tessa as the poster child for why people should love Pitties. “I love her, she is an angel. She’s called Tessa, she’s a Blue Staffy,” he said at the time.

Inspired by Tessa, Holland has long been dedicated to his advocacy of rescue dogs. In 2019, he teamed up with Stephen Colbert for The Late Show segment “Rescue Dog Rescue” to help dogs from   North Shore Animal League America find homes. All the dogs had names that were spin-offs of Marvel Comics characters, including Peter Barker, Spider-Pup, Nicky Furry, and Captain Americuddles.

In a 2018 BuzzFeed interview , Holland referenced the U.K.’s prejudice against Pit Bulls and advocated for the breed type when he said, “You can’t have pit bulls in England." He added, “They’re considered ‘dangerous dogs,’” he said, using air quotes. He went on, as he held up the Pit Bull puppy he was playing with: “Which is just nonsense. Look at this thing. How could you say that this is dangerous?”

On the red carpet

“Staffies are considered to be very dangerous dogs, which is not true, is not the case,” he told Time in a red carpet interview for Spiderman: Homecoming in 2017. “They are not aggressive. She is the sweetest, most angelic thing you’ll ever meet.”

“And yeah, I brought her along because I’ve always wanted to bring her to a press event,” he said, adding that Tessa “got super scared of the cameras at first and just ran away.” But after her initial fear, the little star soon returned to get her deserved time in the spotlight at the Spiderman event.

May doggie heaven be full of red carpet moments and photographers at the ready with treats for Tessa.

Hilary Weaver

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.

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