Rescue Dog Rescue With Tom Holland

Spider-man actor with adoptable superhero puppies
By Karen B. London PhD, July 2019, Updated December 2021

Spider-Man: No Way Home hit theatres this month but nothing will stop Tom Holland from getting back home to his pup, Tessa.

In 2019, Tom Holland helped Stephen Colbert find homes for puppies when he appeared in “Rescue Dog Rescue.” Mixing superheroes and puppies is a winning combination, and your friendly neighborhood dog adoption promoter did a good job.

Holland was not the first to partner with Colbert to find homes for dogs from North Shore Animal League America. Emma Stone, Nick Jonas, Bryan Cranston, and Jim Parsons are among those who have participated, though Holland’s segment was the first Superhero Edition.

All of the puppies featured were up for adoption and each one was given a marvel-ous name, inspired by Marvel Comics. There was Peter Barker and Spider-Pup, Nicky Furry and Captain Americuddles. Many people thought Tom Holland was even cuter than the puppies, but I never find anything cuter than puppies, so I am not an objective judge.


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I will say that Holland was charmingly smitten with the puppies and treated them in the most genuinely loving way.

This isn’t the first time Holland has spent time hanging out with puppies. In a 2018 interview with Buzzfeed, Holland answered fan questions while playing with adorable Pit Bull puppies.

In the interview, Holland shares his frustration with the breed discrimination laws in England. “Do you know what’s crazy? You cannot have Pit Bulls in England. They’re considered ‘dangerous dogs,’ which is just nonsense. Look at this [puppy]—how could you say that this is dangerous?”

Holland is quite in love with his dog Tessa, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who he adopted in 2014. For the past seven years, he’s shared adorable pictures of his pup on his Instagram. Tessa even comes to interviews and premieres with Holland. When Holland can’t get back home, he’ll often facetime with Tessa too.

Much like Patrick Stewart and Justin Theroux, Pit Bulls, are an important part of Holland’s life and he’s become a vocal advocate for the breed.


When Tom Holland was asked what he’d do as a career if he hadn’t become an actor, he answered: a puppy wrangler. An outstanding choice and I completely agree!

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life