Multi-Olympic medal winner Simone Biles spent an hour in a dog kennel in her home state of Texas over the weekend to shed light on the plight of shelter animals and encourage adoptions.

The gymnast sat in a kennel with adoptable pup Lilly on Friday, Nov. 8 at Abandon Animal Rescue in Magnolia, Texas to raise funds for the organization and increase awareness. An avid dog lover, she has a rescue Frenchie named Lilo, and she wanted to use her platform to make a positive impact on the lives of these animals.

“I feel like we should be a voice for all animals, just because they can’t speak, and I feel like once we’re a voice, it helps them,” Biles told Click2Houston.

The Humane Society reports that 6 to 8 million animals enter shelters every year, and that around 3 million are put down. Many enter as strays, others were abandoned on the streets by their families, or some are relinquished directly to the shelter when their caregivers can no longer tend to them or sometimes simply because they are no longer wanted. At no-kill shelters, many wait years before finding their forever homes — if they ever do.

Shelter animals are so grateful to find loving homes and are often devoted companions as a result. Adopting from a shelter means that you will not only gain a friend, but you are saving a life and creating space in the shelter for another animal in need.

We applaud Biles for this gesture to advocate for the lives and well-being of these beautiful animals. If you are looking to add an animal companion to your family, please remember to always adopt, don’t shop.

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