Some of you will be shocked. It’s Howard Stern. Yes, you heard me. Controversial radio host Howard Stern and his wife, Beth, are active foster parents to homeless kittens and cats. It’s a sweet and surprising side of the shock jock that the general public doesn’t usually see.
“Oh, pshaw,” you’re saying. “His wife is doing it all.” Nope, not true. Howard is hip deep into kitty fostering and can’t get enough.
The Sterns have fostered 47 cats and kittens, plus a bulldog or two, since June 2013. They love doing it, and there’s no end in sight. Beth Stern works closely with the North Shore Animal League (NSAL) shelter on Long Island, N.Y. She brings home armfuls of kittens, as well as hard-to-adopt senior cats.
Some of them, five so far, end up as permanent members of the Stern household. Apple, Walter, Leon Bear, Charlie Boy and Bella — each with issues that made them hard to place — now live at Chez Stern. The other foster kitties are spayed, neutered and cared for by the Sterns until good forever homes can be found for them.
Howard uses his popular radio show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio to encourage listeners to adopt these kittens. He’s been extremely successful at it, and speaks of the kittens affectionately and often on the air. Beth and the North Shore Animal League vet all applicants to be sure the kittens only end up in appropriate homes.
When she first realized she wanted to foster homeless animals, Beth told Yahoo OMG! that Howard “was on board with me from the second I mentioned it to him. He’s been my partner in this and I could not have done this without him. He cuddles them, he kisses them, and he cries when we say goodbye. He’s truly incredible.”
The Sterns like to remain in touch with the adoptive families. They connect via the Bianca’s Furry Friends Facebook page, named in honor of their late, beloved bulldog, Bianca. Anyone can view this page, but only the adoptive families can join the Facebook group.
See a video of Howard and Beth discussing their love of fostering here:
Howard Stern, A Friend to Animals
Stern’s more hardcore fans are wondering if their hero has gone soft. Relax, guys. A real man is an animal lover. In recent years, Howard Stern has been increasingly vocal about animal issues. In January 2012, he and Beth decided to stop eating beef, pork, chicken and turkey. They didn’t do it just for the health reasons, either.
“I can’t eat pig. I don’t eat that,” Stern has said on his show. “Most educated people, I’m talking about…anybody who’s got something going on has gotten off pork and red meat.” About pigs, he added, “[T]hey’re smarter than dogs! You know they’re as smart as a three year old? How do you eat that?” Howard and Beth are now pescetarian. Can veganism be far behind?
“That is so cruel, come on, give me a break,” he asserted. “From what I’m reading whales are like, almost like people in terms of intelligence and family, and then they separate them out, and it’s, like, heartbreaking. F*****g leave them in the ocean! I don’t have to see a whale that bad at SeaWorld… What kind of idiot goes to SeaWorld anyway?”
“Michael Vick should never own a pet… There should have been something written where he could never own a dog… This f****g guy should not be around dogs. He’s got a hostility to dogs. I don’t know what happened in his life but he shouldn’t be allowed to be near a dog… It’s crazy! Why would he want to stir this up. It’s insane! This guy’s insane! That’s all. Of course he’s insane! Who could look at a little dog and kill it? You f****n’ maniac!”
“He‘s The Kitten Whisperer”
Another surprising side to Howard Stern is his talent as an amateur photographer. He’s spent the past two years taking countless photos of his foster kittens, which are often uploaded to his Twitter feed or Beth’s.
As a major fundraising effort for the North Shore Animal League, he photographed wife Beth with various shelter animals for NSAL’s annual calendar. Proceeds from the calendar will go toward the construction of a new state-of-the-art Feline Adoption & Wellness Center for NSAL, to be called Bianca‘s Furry Friends.
“With Bianca‘s Furry Friends, Animal League America will add a 14,000-square-foot second floor to our existing Adoption Headquarters that will feature a cage-free environment for hundreds of cats and kittens, so we’ll be able to save so many more lives,” according to Beth. “And we’ll be able to rescue more dogs, too, since the area downstairs where cats now stay will be available to expand our very successful canine adoption program.”
So, Howard haters, are your icy hearts melting a little toward Mr. Stern? He’s not all bad. In fact, he’s a pretty nice guy.
“He’s the kitten whisperer, Howard,” Beth told ABC News. “He photographs them, he names them…He’s just been very instrumental in the success we’ve been having. He loves them…he just doesn’t clean litter boxes, That’s my job,” she revealed to CBS News.
Yes, there are still the occasional strippers and porn stars on Stern’s radio show. That’s unlikely ever to change. What many don’t realize, however, is that there’s much more to Howard Stern than that silliness. He’s thoughtful, intelligent and a champion for animal causes, spending considerable time and money to do what he can to help them.
May Howard and Beth continue to save the lives of homeless shelter animals for many years to come. Their kind of animal activism saves countless lives.
Photo credit: Thinkstock