AUGUST 10/2012, TORONTO - Braving heavy rain and high winds, strutting their stuff in colourful outfits, country western music fans cheered on their favourite stars at the weekend Boots & Hearts music festival in Bowmanville, Ontario located about 83 km (39 mi) east of Toronto.

Stars like Kevin Costner, Carrie Underwood, Kid Rock, Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow and Alabama enterained thousands of cheering fans with their favourite songs and new hits.  As the artists step on stage, all of them know that their furred, feathered and even finned  friends will be there for them -- no judgements, just unconditional love and support . The special bond between country western stars and their companion animals is best described by the deep commitment of superstar Carrie Underwood who has helped build an animal shelter in her hometown, rescued an injured dog by the side of the road and brings her two dogs, "Ace" and "Penny" to work with every day. At her wedding to Canadian hockey star, Mike Fisher, "Ace" was the ring bearer: "I'm mom to my dogs, "Ace" is a blessing to me.

When asked about what kind of mother she will be to their children, Fisher replied: "I always say that if she treats her kids half as good as she treats the dogs, they'll be in great shape."

You can find pictures of today’s country western stars with their animals right here. "As these wonderful entertainers bring music to their die hard fans, The Humane Society of Canada is launching a special edition of its program, Behind Every Great Star - There’s An Animal , which will profile country western stars and their pets and how they use their voices to speak for animals and the earth,” according to Michael O’Sullivan, Chairman & CEO of The Humane Society of Canada (HSC). Although there is no formal affiliation with Boots and Hearts www.bootsandhearts.com , O’Sullivan says it will be a great opportunity to showcase artists and their accomplishments, their BFF animal friends, and their star power to help bring hope to animals.

Follow your favourite country western stars in real time www.bootsandhearts.com and learn about their pets and why protecting animals and nature is so important to them”, asks O’Sullivan. Follow us on www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at:http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280 and at www.humanesociety.com

Like many other countries, Canadians are a nation of animal lovers , with 6 out of 10 homes sharing their families with animals that walk, swim and fly. Many others at this time in their lives cannot have an animal for one reason or another, however along with their fellow Canadians still care deeply about the protection of animals and nature from harm. If you have ever listened to a contented purr or felt the gentle nudge of a cold nose , then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Caring for animals encourages compassion and makes us better people , “ he says.

In the last century Gandhi said: “The greatest of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” His words and his wisdom still ring true today.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC ) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment. And it when it comes to fighting cruelty, we don’t give up. Ever.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan toll free at 1-800-641-KIND or on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com , via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at:http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here . Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.

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