Soap opera alum Ignacio Serricchio (ex-Alex Chavez, The Young and the Restless; ex-Diego Sanchez, General Hospital) is using his fame for a good cause, having starred in a recent Latino PETA advertisement that urges people to treat their dogs like family.
The new ad stresses the importance of properly caring for dogs, with the message: "Dogs are family. Never chain them or leave them outdoors. Let them live indoors, and give them love, respect, and lots of attention."
The message hits close to home for Serricchio, who adopted a formerly abused dog named Hero who he considers to be more than just a four-legged sidekick.
"I don't consider Hero to be just my pet -- he's my partner," says Serricchio. "Taking him with me everywhere I go makes the experiences ten times better. I saved his life when I rescued him from a man who abused him, and a year later, he saved mine after I lost my little brother. We need each other, and we share the same adventurous spirit and love for people."
As PETA points out, not every dog is as fortunate as Hero. Every year, more than six million dogs and cats in the United States end up in animal shelters, and about half of them have to be euthanized because there aren't enough good homes for them. Therefore, PETA encourages caring people to follow Serricchio's lead and adopt instead of buying from breeders or pet shops. And, as Serricchio's advertisement reminds, guardians should not chain or crate their dogs but rather allow them to live indoors with their human families, where they're safe from the elements, attacks by other animals, and people who would do them harm.
But the message isn't just for dog owners. PETA suggests that if there are chained or penned dogs in your neighborhood, there are things you can do to make their lives less lonely and uncomfortable. Examples include encouraging your neighbors to let them live inside, ask if you can take them for walks or give them treats and toys, and ensure that they have adequate food, water, and shelter. Many neglected dogs' lives have been changed completely because someone cared enough to get involved.
Says Serricchio: "I encourage everyone who has animal companions to take their time to train them with lots of praise and treats and give them all the love and attention that they deserve."
Serricchio starred on GH from 2006 to 2008 and on Y&R from 2012 to 2014 before going on to star in shows like Witches of East End, Zoe Ever After, Bones, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, and the Netflix series Lost in Space.
For more information on PETA and to check out Serricchio's ad, visit PETA's official website.
What do you think about Serricchio's PETA advertisement? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.