Pets Add Life spokesperson, award-winning animal advocate and bestselling author Jill Rappaport, who is best-known as a correspondent on NBC, has launched the Pies 4 Paws challenge, inviting people across the US to take a pie in the face to raise funds and awareness for shelter and rescue pets.

Participants are encouraged to take a pie in the face, donate to a rescue or shelter or adopt a pet, and nominate four other people to do the same. Other celebrities are taking part in the challenge, including Robert Redford who has pledged to donate and Meredith Vieira who took a pie in the face and in turn challenged Betty White, Matt Lauer and Howard and Beth Stern.

“Take a pie, donate and adopt, it’s the perfect trifecta,” said Rappaport. “There are 8 million companion animals living in shelters and more needs to be done for them to find them forever homes. The first time I heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, I thought, I have to do this for pets in need.”

Rappaport’s Pies 4 Paws challenge was first launched with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and has since garnered participation from major national organizations including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Humane Association, Pilots N Paws and the nationwide pet insurance provider, PetPlan. It is now spreading through shelters, rescues and pet lovers across the country, including the Southampton Animal Shelter, Pet Haven Rescue (Florida), Mainline Animal Recue (Pennsylvania), Connecticut Humane Society and the Humane Society of Utah.

Pies 4 Paws encourages community based groups, schools and families to participate, joining Rappaport and many others to raise funds for animals in crisis. Take photos and upload them to social media with the hashtag #JillRappaportsPies4Paws and then make a donation to the shelter or rescue group of your choice. Then challenge your friends to do the same.