December 15, 2010 07:00 PM

He may be busy grabbing snacks with Selena Gomez and perfecting his swooshy hairstyle, but Justin Bieber still has time to promote a cause close to his heart: animal rescue.

“It’s really important that people adopt,” Bieber tells peta2 – PETA’s youth animal rights organization – as part of the group’s Adopt, Don’t Buy campaign. “I really encourage going out to an animal shelter or a place where you can get a dog that has been abandoned or doesn’t have a home.”

The 16-year-old singer rescued his own dog, a Papillion named Sam, from a shelter last year. “We moved to a city where we didn’t really know anybody, so I kinda wanted a friend around. And Sam was kinda like that friend,” he says.

In a video for peta2 – which costars another Papillion, Bijoux – Bieber talks about growing up in a animal-centric household. “My dad and I used to go and hang out [at shelters] … just go and visit the different animals and stuff,” he says. “A lot of animals are getting abused in different homes, and in different situations. I think it’s really important that we just stay aware about these situations.”

Bieber encourages other pet lovers to visit and sign a pledge to support and practice animal birth control. After all, if his world includes compassion for animals, ours should, too.

See more PETA PSAs on
FIRST LOOK: Kellan Lutz & Dog Kola’s Pet Adoption Ad
FIRST LOOK: Audrina Patridge Plays a PETA Angel

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