LINCOLN PARK — Jim O'Heir of "Parks and Recreation," who has described his concern for animals as "an obsession," recently indulged in that passion, visiting a no-kill shelter here.
While in Chicago to promote his new film, "Middle Man" — the story of an aspiring, not-so-funny stand-up comedian in search of fame who becomes an on-the-run murder accomplice — the Chicago native stopped by PAWS Chicago.
The no-kill shelter at 1997 N. Clybourn Ave. places over 5,000 pets in homes annually. O'Heir, who plays Jerry on the long-running sitcom, visited PAWS as part of a video project by The AV Club, an entertainment website that publishes interviews, reviews, features and all entertainment-related news.
The project serves to showcase pets waiting for adoption in animal shelters.
"We thought, 'You know what, we should do something nice for him,' because Jerry on 'Parks' was so often the butt of jokes. So, that's what we did," Marah Eakin said, senior editor and head of video and podcasts at The AV Club. "And, of course, if we can help get some animals adopted, it's a win-win."
The AV Club has collaborated with PAWS for other projects like the promotion of the TV show Downward Dog.
PAWS gave O'Heir a tour of their adoption center and introduced him to several homeless pets, said Sarah McDonald, spokeswoman for PAWS.
O'Heir, a supporter of animal rescue and owner of two rescue dogs, spoke to volunteers and asked questions about PAWS and the work they do.
"Getting to stop in PAWS Chicago was such a treat," the actor said on Facebook. "Everyone knows I'm animal obsessed so to get to play with lots of puppies and kittens was above and beyond. :)"
"Jim is a big supporter of animal shelters, so he was a happy participant," Eakin said. "He just hung out and played with puppies and kittens, and we all oohed and ahhed."
Up in Kitten City, O'Heir played with the kittens and later with some puppies on their rooftop deck.
"It was truly a pleasure and we are very thankful to Jim and The AV Club for showcasing the wonderful pets waiting for adoption in animal shelters," McDonald said.