Dallas Cowboy Igor Olshansky partners with WSPA to tackle animal cruelty

Sep 8, 2010

Defensive End Joins WSPA’s “Animals Matter to Me” Community of More Than 2.2 Million Animal Advocates




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He has sacked some of the greatest quarterbacks in the entire National Football League (NFL), but now Igor Olshansky wants to tackle an even bigger challenge: global animal cruelty. In a video launched at AnimalsMatterToMe.org, the Dallas Cowboy defensive end pledged his support for the World Society for the Protection of Animals’ (WSPA) “Animals Matter to Me” campaign.

Olshansky, who is an animal lover and the owner of two miniature schnauzers, Nika and Cesare, honeymooned with his wife, Liya, in Aruba a few years ago. After witnessing the island’s devastating stray dog problem first-hand, the Olshanskys decided to join “Animals Matter to Me” – a community of more than 2.2 million people, governments and organizations that have signed a universal declaration to end worldwide animal cruelty and suffering.

“Take offense to animal abuse and make it your goal to defend animals, everywhere,” Olshansky says in his newly-released video. “Please join me in signing WSPA’s universal declaration for the protection of animals, a statement that tells the world that animal cruelty and neglect is not OK – not now, not ever.”

Several of Olshansky’s fellow teammates also signed the WSPA declaration, including: center Andre Gurode; defensive ends Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher; defensive tackle Junior Siavii; fullback Deon Anderson; guards Montrae Holland and Leonard Davis; left tackle Alex Barron; nose tackle Jay Ratliff; quarterback Jon Kitna; and tight ends Martellus Bennett and Jason Witten.

“Animal cruelty and neglect are shockingly prevalent around the world,” said Silia Smith, Interim U.S. Executive Director at WSPA. “We are excited that Igor and Liya have joined us in the fight to end animal suffering. Their support is invaluable to our effort in changing policies to improve animal welfare, across the globe.”

Olshansky joins a growing list of celebrities – including Simon Cowell, Leona Lewis, Tiffani Thiessen, Kristin Davis and Christina Applegate – who support the “Animals Matter to Me” movement. Government entities in Chile, Peru, India, Thailand and Indonesia have also declared support for the initiative, as have leading international organizations such as Heifer International.

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