Amanda Seyfried is hopelessly in love with her 7-year-old rescue dog, Finn.
They do pretty much everything together: take hikes, cuddle, nap. Whenever Seyfried is feeling scatterbrained, she scratches him behind the ears and looks into his eyes, she tells PEOPLE.
“Finn has made me more present,” she says. “He’s always so sensitive and in-the-moment — it’s all he has. He feels deeply. I love just randomly going upstairs and falling asleep next to him. It’s my favorite thing in the world.”
Seyfried, a lifelong animal lover, has teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society, a no-kill animal welfare organization, to help inspire thousands of animal lovers to participate in Strut Your Mutt. The event encourages pet parents and friends to strut 9,000 steps to raise money and awareness for the more than 9,000 dogs and cats killed every day in America’s shelters. Each year, 4 million pets in shelters are killed.
“It doesn’t need to be this way,” she says. “We don’t need commercial breeding — we just don’t.”
The actress recognizes that many misconceptions about rescue animals stand in the way of more people adopting.
“People think that behaviorally, it won’t be easy to train them, or that they’re emotionally unstable, but that can be true for any animal,” she says. “’People also say, ‘But I want a puppy!’ You can still rescue puppies. And there’s nothing wrong with an adult dog, either — often you don’t even have to train them.”
To Seyfried, having a dog in her life is a no-brainer, despite the large responsibility (and having to put shoes on in the morning to run out and walk him.)
“It’s so worth it in the grand scheme,” she says. “You have this incredible connection to this beautiful bundle of love. There’s nothing like it.”