Although Jennie Garth has long been involved with animal causes, the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star stops just short of calling herself a sign-carrying activist. "I don't really use the activist word when describing myself," she tells TV Guide Online. "I feel that I have a definite position on how I feel about things, but I'm not going out there picketing and getting arrested. I definitely try to contribute though."
Garth's latest act of compassion involves the organization Stars in the Wild, which aims to bring awareness to endangered or at-risk species around the globe. The company has released via its website a line of eight hugable stuffed animals that are part educational tool, part interactive experience, and, well, part too gosh darn cute for words.
The dolls each one "adopted" by such animal-friendly celebs as Garth, 'N Sync, Cindy Crawford and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen feature audio of that creature's unique call mixed with the sounds of their habitat. But the product's wildest feature, notes Garth honorary "parent" to the gorilla is "every time one these animals are purchased, the money goes straight to saving that specific animal."
Garth's onetime 90210 co-star, Thiessen, who "adopted" the black leopard, wasn't aware that one of the perks of the job would be getting a chance to meet one of the creatures in the flesh. "I just recently went to Vegas and did a huge photo shoot with a real live leopard, which was pretty amazing," says the actress, who stars in the Saturday Night Live skit-turned film, The Ladies Man, opening Oct. 13. "Those pictures are going to be used on all the new tags for the stuffed animals."
However, Thiessen who has two cats and one dog concedes that the toy's lifelike quality has caused some problems at home. "Its green eyes light up when you press the paw and my dog actually starts to freak out when I do it because it's so real," she marvels. "It's hysterical."