RICKY GERVAIS has made a heartrending appeal to help a tragic dog that was chained up outdoors for 15 years.
The award-winning comedian turned a television appearance to promote his new David Brent film into a tearful plea for the shackled pet to spend his twilight years surrounded by love.
Millions of viewers to Good Morning America saw the British comic and well-known animal welfare campaigner turn his eight-minute slot into a poignant call for the dog to be given a forever home.
The Express last week showed lump-in-the-throat scenes of the moment Bear the Labrador-cross was finally cut free from his chains after years of being shackled outdoors.
The video of Bear being told “you are free” by members of the Guardians of Rescue went viral as he took his first steps without a heavy chain around his neck.
Bear had spent most of his life as a guard dog living outdoors on New York’s Long Island.
After his owners agreed to hand him over to the Guardians of Rescue, he has been living life to the full with visits to the beach and enjoying puppuccino coffees.
Now the race is on to find him a forever home – and Ricky Gervais has joined the clamour by using his appearance on the popular American breakfast show to help the cute, black rescue animal.
As Ricky sits down in front of cameras, he tells interviewers:
“I have just discovered that a dog needs adopting so I am using my segment to get him adopted.”
Then, as Bear is being lead out in front of the cameras; Ricky goes into raptures, stroking the dog’s head gently.
He said: “I am not leaving until we get a phone call that this guy is adopted. He was chained up for 15 years… Give him a life.
“He’s so loving but he’s had no life. Give him two years’ bucket list. Give him love.”
Lifelong animal lover Ricky has become one of Britain’s most outspoken critics of cruelty; regularly speaking out against hunting, animal testing and blood sports.
He explained to GMA viewers: “I have always loved animals. I have never understood animal cruelty.
“For me, every animal is unconditionally beautiful. They have got a right to be here as much as us…”
Turning to stroke Bear’s ear, Ricky adds: “This thing is Man’s best friend. Look at him. He was abused for 15 years and he’s forgiven us. Give him a home…”
The story of Bear was revealed by the Guardians of Rescue founder and president Robert Misseri last week.
Mr Misseri said: “We received a call about a dog in need of a doghouse; but when we got there, it was even worse than that.
“That’s when we discovered the poor dog had spent his whole life attached to a heavy chain. We knew then and there that we had to do something to make a difference in that dog’s life, and so we did.”
Mr Misseri explained after after dropping off a new doghouse, the owners agreed to surrender Bear; he’s now waiting to be rehome at a save-a-pet rescue centre.
Describing Bear’s owners as “not bad people”, he said: “They had indoor pets and when they got Bear as a puppy they made him an outside dog, protecting the property. He was a pretty much a guard dog.
“But they did the right thing surrendering Bear and now he’s being shown things he’s never seen before and the time he has left can be a special treat.”