MEDIA RELEASE: Peter Egan Supports FreeWill for Responsible Animal Guardian Month

MEDIA RELEASE: Peter Egan Supports FreeWill for Responsible Animal Guardian Month

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (May 23, 2022) — This May, In Defense of Animals has partnered with FreeWill for Responsible Animal Guardian Month to encourage more people to plan ahead for their companion animals, and consider charitable giving in their wills.

Responsible Animal Guardian Month is celebrated each May as part of In Defense of Animals’ Guardians campaign, which was created by the organization’s late founder Dr. Elliot Katz. This campaign continues to aim to change the way we think and speak about animals; they are not here for us to exploit and are not our property. We are not animal owners, but their guardians.

British actor and animal advocate Peter Egan is urging people to protect animals in their legacy. 

“As someone who values animals and wants to protect the environment, I love the idea of including a charitable bequest in my will. This is a great way to ensure that your estate will go on to support animal rescue and advocacy for many years to come! I stand with In Defense of Animals against exploitation and cruelty, and hope others will consider helping animals through legacy giving,” said Egan.

To date, people have used FreeWill to commit nearly $5B to more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations. This free online estate planning tool makes the process of writing a will and creating a legacy gift fast and simple. 

Throughout May, In Defense of Animals is also encouraging people to take steps to promote responsible guardianship of companion animals, and stewardship of wildlife.

The organization is also encouraging members of the public and media to update the way they talk and write about animals to reflect the fact that they are sentient beings by using proper pronouns. When their sex is known, she, he, or the non-binary they should be used, and when their sex is unknown the gender-neutral they should be used, and who should be used instead of that or which. Animals should never be referred to as “it.”

In Defense of Animals and Animals and Media have been joined by leaders of more than 80 organizations, including Dr. Jane Goodall, in urging the Associated Press to make this update to the AP Stylebook. More than 11,000 citizens have written letters supporting respectful and accurate language. A decision is tentatively expected in the coming weeks.  

“There are so many ways we can act as responsible guardians of the animals we share our homes and the Earth with,” said Fleur Dawes, Communications Director for In Defense of Animals. “The generosity of our supporters is critical when it comes to our ability to save and protect the lives of countless animals and advocate for them through our campaigns and directly through our partner sanctuaries in Mississippi, South Korea, and India. We encourage people to learn more about responsible guardianship this month, use guardian language, and take 20 minutes to write a FreeWill that protects your own animals and leaves a legacy for those who need help in the future.”

Members of the media and public can learn more and take action by: 



Fleur Dawes, 415-879-6879,

Nicole Otoupalik, 480-474-4783,


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of defending animals, people, and the environment through education, campaigns as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.

FreeWill is a social-good enterprise offering online tools that empower Americans to address commonly faced estate planning needs and make charitable donations in tax-advantaged ways, all for free. FreeWill also features a charitable giving platform that makes it easier for nonprofit fundraising teams to unlock transformational non-cash gifts. Through its partnerships with 1,000+ nonprofits who understand that major gifts often are part of estate plans, the company is also able to provide a comprehensive suite of estate planning and related tools to consumers free of cost. To date, FreeWill has generated nearly $5 billion in planned and real-time gifts for more than 10,000 nonprofits while helping more than 460,000 consumers create wills and plan their estates.


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