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Doris Day, Animal Activist, Remembered

By The Bark Editors, May 2019, Updated June 2021

With the passing of Doris Day, the world has lost not only a legendary actress and singer but also a pioneering animal activist. Day, 97, who died on May 13 at her Carmel Valley, Calif., home, was a lifelong dog-lover whose dedication to the cause of abandoned pets led to important changes in the fight for animal rights.

Co-founder of Actors and Others for Animals, she later established the Doris Day Pet Foundation, now the Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF), with the mission “to help animals and the people who love them.” Day was an outspoken advocate whose efforts included establishing what would evolve into World Spay Day and supporting legislation to end puppy mills and animal testing. As anyone who knew her would say, she was not simply a celebrity figurehead; she rolled up her sleeves and did the heavy lifting as well. Over the years, Day personally rescued and fostered hundreds of animals in her own home.

While the world mourns the loss of an iconic singer and actress, The Bark wishes to recognize Doris Day’s important contributions to animal welfare. In 2008, The Bark and singer Nellie McKay were privileged to interview Ms. Day. Read the interview below to learn more about her protests on behalf of animals to director Alfred Hitchcock and her involvement with post-Katrina adoptions.

Read our previous interview with Doris Day.


Spread from The Bark featuring an interview with Doris Day, 2006.