Basketball player Metta World Peace stars in PETA ad

NBA star Metta World Peace is encouraging people to speak up for animals in need in a new ad campaign for animal rights charity PETA.

The New York Knicks player features alongside his dogs Stella and Athena and asks people to realise that leaving dogs in hot cars during the hot summer weather is abuse.

He urges anyone who sees the abuse taking place to report it to the local authorities.

The new ad, which comes as summer temperatures around the country are skyrocketing, includes an appeal from Metta for everyone to recognize that leaving dogs in hot cars—even in the shade with the windows open a crack—is abuse. He also urges people who see a dog in a hot car never to leave the area until the animal is safe. “It’s a basic love that animals bring to your household,” he says in an exclusive video for PETA. “It’s something that only animals can do.”

The ad was shot by top celebrity photographer Robert Sebree and can also be seen as a larger-than-life billboard atop PETA’s Bob Barker Building on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Metta, whose first PETA campaign urged families always to spay and neuter their dogs and cats, is part of a long list of athletes and other celebrities—including Candace Parker, Robbie Rogers, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tony Gonzalez, Aaron Curry, Dennis Rodman, and Chase Utley—who have teamed up with PETA to fight animal abuse.

Metta World Peace was known as Ron Artest before legally changing his name in September 2011.

World Peace gained a reputation as one of the league’s premier defenders as he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2004. He was a participant in several controversial on-court incidents, most notably the Pacers–Pistons brawl and is known for his sometimes eccentric and outspoken behavior.

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