• Share to Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Email
    • Print

The Wyler Award

Honoring celebrities for bringing animal protection into the public eye

  • Sir Paul McCartney, first recipient of The Wyler Award at the 21st Genesis Awards.

  • Hayden Panettiere at The 22nd Genesis Awards.  Tim Long/Long Photography

  • Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi at The 23rd Genesis Awards.  Tim Long/Long Photography

  • Wyler Awardee Kristin Davis at The 25th Anniversary Genesis Awards.  Tim Long/Long Photography

  • Ian Somerhalder accepting his Wyler Award at The 26th Genesis Awards.  Tim Long/Long Photography

  • Ke$ha at The 2013 Genesis Awards Benefit Gala.  Tim Long/Long Photography

  • Gretchen Wyler, founder of The Genesis Awards.

Named in memory of the late Genesis Awards founder, animal advocate, and Broadway headliner Gretchen Wyler, The Humane Society of the United States' prestigious Wyler Award is bestowed on a celebrity or public figure who has made news on behalf of animals.

Since its launch in 2007 at The HSUS's 21st Genesis Awards, The Wyler Award's illustrious honorees include:


Music superstar Ke$ha is known for being outspoken, and that deep passion extends to a long-standing love of animals. Named Humane Society International's first Global Ambassador for animals, Ke$ha became a street dog defender, calling for more protection of homeless dogs around the world. She has also spread the word to her millions of fans about countless other animal protection issues such as dogfighting, trophy hunting of endangered species, and cruelty-free cosmetics.

2012—Ian Somerhalder

Although he plays a bad boy on The CW's "The Vampire Diaries," Ian has a kind heart when it comes to animals. Ian galvanized his massive social media following for the cause, blogging for The Huffington Post and Tweeting about such varied issues as shark finning, the Canadian seal hunt, and puppy mills. In addition to his work helping revive habitats devastated by the Gulf oil spill, Ian also testified before Congress about species conservation and started his own eco-organization, The Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

2011—Kristin Davis

"Sex and the City" star Kristin's life-long passion for elephants took on a whole new meaning when she helped rescue an abandoned baby elephant while on wildlife safari in Africa. Her experiences exposed her to the plight of orphaned baby elephants impacted by the increase in elephant poaching for ivory, and she has since worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the issue in the U.S., generating major media coverage in a variety of popular media, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Access Hollywood."

2009—Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

Always vocal in their support of animal protection issues, Ellen and Portia were honored with The Wyler Award for their significant and high profile media role in helping to pass California’s Proposition 2. By speaking out on behalf of Prop 2’s call for more humane living conditions for animals raised for food, Ellen and Portia helped this important ballot initiative pass with the largest majority in California history.

2008—Hayden Panettiere

Star of the hit NBC drama series "Heroes," Hayden proved her personal courage and eligibility for The Wyler Award when she joined other peaceful protesters as they risked their lives in the hostile waters off Taiji, Japan, in an attempt to disrupt the brutal annual dolphin slaughter. Hayden’s participation garnered international media coverage of what was then a little known hunt, which later became the subject of the documentaries "Minds in the Water" and the Academy Award-winning "The Cove."

2007—Sir Paul McCartney

Probably the world’s most famous vegetarian, Sir Paul was recognized for his 30-year commitment to a compassionate lifestyle, pioneering the cause of vegetarianism and taking action on behalf of many animal protections issues, including a visit to the Canadian ice floes, which drew world wide attention to the inhumane annual seal hunt.

  • Sign Up

    Sign up to receive Los Angeles Office newsletters and alerts.

  • Take Action
  • Shop
Button reading donate now