Real Men Cuddle Pets

It’s always sweet when big, burly men let their guard down. And nothing captures that sensitive moment more perfectly than this Baltimore pet adoption campaign, “Show Your Soft Side,” featuring well-known athletes and other tough men cuddling up with irresistibly cute cats and dogs. Sande Riesett got the idea for the campaign, founded in 2011, by watching her husband with their rescue cat, Little Man. “This kitty showed up at our door 9 years ago weighing four pounds, starving and gashed from head to tail,” Riesett told “He has become the center of our lives and I swear, my husband’s tone changes when he talks to the cat.” His behavior made Riesett wonder if other men had the same reaction, and as the hugely successful adoption ads have proved—they do. The campaign’s slogan says it all: “Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog.”

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