Funnyman Ricky Gervais is urging his army of fans to take to social networking websites to help publicise a campaign to eradicate rabies.
The Office creator, a well-known supporter of animal rights causes, has spoken out to back the World Society for the Protection of Animals' Red Collar Campaign, which advocates mass vaccination of dogs.
In a special video uploaded to YouTube.com and posted on his Twitter.com page, Gervais is seen playing 'fetch' with his dog Barney in the garden of his London home before sitting down in his living room to recount two horrifying stories of human rabies deaths.
After describing the terrifying symptoms suffered by the victims, identified only as Sanjay and Anneka, Gervais urges his fans to help publicise the Wspa's campaign on Twitter and Facebook.com.
He says, "Sanjay died an absolutely horrific death from rabies. Anneka died an absolutely horrific death from poisoning, because of our fear of rabies. Both deaths were cruel, both deaths were pointless, and both deaths were preventable.
"Through the Red Collar campaign, Wspa is leading the way in ending the unnecessary deaths of millions of dogs every year caused by our fear of rabies. Mass vaccination works. It's the only proven solution for controlling rabies in both dogs and humans."