He may play a monster on The CW’s hit series The Vampire Diaries, but when it comes to real life, actor Ian Somerhalder has proven to be a passionate defender of animal life. And at the 26th Genesis Awards, which are given by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to news and entertainment media that spotlight animal protection issues, the HSUS will be bestowing one of its highest media honors on Somerhalder in recognition of his efforts.
Somerhalder will receive The Wyler Award at the Genesis Awards ceremony held on March 24. This award is given to a celebrity or public figure for raising awareness of animal issues via the media.
A committed and prodigious campaigner for animal and environmental issues, Somerhalder is being recognized for spreading the word through both traditional and social media about critical animal welfare issues, such as shark finning, the Canadian seal hunt, fur in fashion and endangered species. He is also the founder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.
“The tireless efforts of The Humane Society of the United States to protect animals around the world has always been an inspiration to me, and I’m honored to be recognized with this year’s Wyler Award,” said Somerhalder.
The Wyler Award is named after former Broadway actress, animal advocate and founder of The Genesis Awards, Gretchen Wyler. Past recipients have included Sir Paul McCartney, Hayden Panettiere, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and Kristin Davis.
Hosted by Carrie Ann Inaba, the 26th Genesis Awards ceremony will be taped for a broadcast on Animal Planet, May 5 at 4pm ET.