Ricky Gervais is an outspoken animal lover. In the past, he has taken up campaigns against the dog meat trade, trophy hunters and in support of animals in general. “Animals don’t have a voice. But I do. A loud one. I’m a f***ing big mouth. My voice is for them. And I’ll never shut up while they suffer.” he has said about defending the rights of our animal friends.

So, when the actor heard about an animal shelter in Odai, Romania that was getting overrun with 650 sick dogs, he knew that had to use his highly public voice to help.

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Many of the dogs were emaciated, with skin problems and internal parasites.

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With 650 dogs to feed, the shelter did not have enough food, water bowls or bedding to go around.

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With no other hope for funding, the shelter reached out to the UK based group K-9 Angels for help. Together they were able to raise a few thousand dollars, but nowhere near the 30,000 they needed to get the dog the food and medical attention that they needed. When the actor heard about their terrible plight, he spoke out about it to raise awareness, tweeting “OK. That’s The Emmys done. Now back to important stuff. Emergency food & aid for dogs at Odai public shelter, https://www.youcaring.com/the-dogs-of-odai-434412#.VgAqpKXS5_4.twitter … pls RT”  Within hours, the donations started pouring in, bring the group total just shy of the $30,000 goal!

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K-9 Angels founder Victoria Eisermann explained in an e-mail, “To say the fundraising was successful is an understatement. We have so far raised £18,909. Before Ricky retweeted, we had only raised £4,000 so it just goes to show the power that animal-loving celebs have. We are very grateful. We have now spent over £6,000 on aid including food, beds as they where all sleeping on cold, wet stone floors, bowls as where eating from the floor and sanitizer to clean the shelter. We have also set up a regular food order and [are] looking into funding a worker at the shelter as they are very short staffed.”

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Thanks to the help of one concerned actor, these dogs will now be able to get the help and attention that they need.

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And, certainly, this one victory for animals is hardly where Gervais plans to end his crusade to protect animals. After this amazing success with one single tweet – in addition to many other kind acts – Gervais was presented with the Daily Mirror’s Animal Hero Award.

In response to this amazing honor, Ricky said, “There are people that really do stuff and go out there and risk their lives and stuff. I do feel this is a tweeting award. But it must have taken months and years to get 100 signatures before [Twitter], standing outside Tesco. But now it can take a few hours. It’s easily the best thing about social media. That .. and pictures of me in the bath.”

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The fact is that no matter how Gervais spreads the message about his passion for protecting animals (although we must say, we appreciate and enjoy the hilarious pics), he is an incredible place to bring awareness to many issues and dire situations that would otherwise be overlooked. A Tweet can go a long way in making the world a better place for animals, and we look forward to many, many more from @RickyGervais.