Mazda has been promoting animal shelter adoptions on its race cars and websites since 2007, running adoption education and promotional programs everywhere from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Portland International Raceway, Road Atlanta and New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Most recently, the Irvine-based car company teamed up with Playboy to bring a little centerfold power to the SPCA’s Monterey Animal Shelter to urge folks to bring a pet home with them after watching some of the world’s best drivers race at American Le Mans.
While race cars roared just across the street, Playmates Pilar Latra (Miss August 2004) and Deanna Brooks (Miss May 1998) visited the shelter.
At this point, I have to apologize in advance because it’s almost impossible to write this story without juvenile references. Actually, if I’m honest, it’s impossible just for me. But, the result is the same. I digress...
Thanks to Mazda’s and Playboy’s creative thinking, the models served up endless photo opportunities of themselves fondling the animals – but in a completely legal and adorable manner. Any Monterey or Salinas resident lucky to stop by in hope of adopting a kitten had the chance to see Bunnies petting bunnies, or puppies nuzzling up against...You get the idea.
To salute their special guests, the shelter offered spayed and neutered rabbits with microchip identification for only a $10 adoption fee.
Fortunately, both ladies are genuinely intelligent and classy representatives of both Playboy and Mazda. And it was clear from their willingness to spend the afternoon with the would-be pets that both genuinely care about animals.
“We love being here,” Latra said. “I don’t know if I’ll get out of here without adopting one of these little guys.”
“It’s great to be here to support the racing events,” Brooks added. “But this is a special bonus for both of us. We hope we can get some of these animals into good homes.”
Once members of the press (i.e. me) decided to grow up and pay attention to the genuine good the ladies were doing for the areas abandoned animals, Mazda brought in some of its race team members to express their support for the shelter.
Elliott Skeer (2011 Mazda Club Racing Shootout Winner), Michael Cooper (2011 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion) and Ara Malkasian (MX-5 Cup racer with ALARA Motorsports) joined the centerfolds to play with some of the shelter’s friendlier guests.