Tommy Lee Speaks Up for Animal Adoption

'I would highly encourage people not to buy animals from a pet store'

April 9, 2012 2:50 PM ET
tommy lee
Tommy Lee and Bowie.
Mia Anelli

Before heading out on the road for Mötley Crüe and Kiss' joint tour, Crüe drummer Tommy Lee is enjoying some quiet time at home with his new puppy, Bowie. "He’s got these crazy gray-green eyes. I love David Bowie and it was either Bowie or Bam," Lee tells Rolling Stone. "We ended up going with Bowie just 'cause of his eyes. He looks like Bowie, dude."

When Lee and his girlfriend Sofia decided the time was right to bring a four-legged friend into the household, they decided to adopt. "We went to a couple of different shelters and we ended up over at East Valley in Van Nuys and there he was, just sitting there with three other dogs. And we were like, 'Oh my God, we gotta get this guy a home. Who could abandon this fucking thing? This is the cutest thing on the planet. I want to kill whoever let him go,'" Lee says.

Anyone who's ever rescued a dog can empathize with Lee's anger, which is why the drummer is speaking out on behalf of adoption. "The [shelter] is scary. It is loaded with beautiful dogs and I would highly encourage people not to buy animals from a pet store," he explains. "They’re bred for all the wrong reasons, for mostly money and it’s just kind of a bad scene. We ended up going [to the shelter] and I’m so glad we did."

Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA's No Pet Store Puppies campaign, hopes that Lee's fame will encourage others to consider adoption, too. "Having someone like Tommy Lee and other celebrities send this message out to their fans really raises the awareness on this issue. It’s such a huge boon," Menkin tells Rolling Stone. She also hopes that Lee's words will alert others to the prevalence of puppy mill dogs. "We did a survey and about 80 percent of people said they wouldn’t buy puppies from a puppy mill, but about 80 percent said they didn’t know pet stores' puppies come from puppy mills."

Lee isn't an official spokesman for either the cause or the ASPCA, but he is happy to speak up purely as a dog lover. "If you have any compassion at all, it doesn’t take a building to fall on me to go, 'Hey, man, look at all these amazing pets that have been abandoned or abused.' And they have literally seven or eight days in a lot of these shelters before they get euthanized and it’s like, 'Oh, man, you’re kidding me? No one’s come to get this dog? It’s got two days left and you’re sitting there going, ‘If I could, I would steal all of you guys.’” But I can’t," he says.

Lee and Bowie will get a lot of bonding time in future, as Lee will be taking the dog on tour. "The road gets pretty lonely, man, sometimes," he says. "It kind of gets repetitive sometimes, so having your little buddy with you is gonna be ripping, man. I can’t wait."

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