Taking Back Sunday is a stalwart in the alternative music scene. In 2002, the band helped usher in a new era of heart-on-your-sleeve classics with Tell All Your Friends—and now, a decade later, they’ve reclaimed their rights to the throne. Throughout it all, and withstanding the notorious revolving door of members, is drummer Mark O’Connell, who has been with the band from the basement shows to the big time. Mark recently reached out to us from his home in New York to talk about his rescued dog Lucy and how animal adoption has enriched his life.

As a vegetarian and the proud guardian of a rescued dog, Mark O’Connell is clearly an animal lover. Seeing as how all animals have the same parts and how the chickens and pigs who wind up on your dinner plate are no different from the animals you may share your home with, it only makes sense to go meat-free and save the lives of more than 100 animals every year—all while doing the environment a favor and bettering your health.

Aside from not contributing to the deaths of an estimated 55 million animals a day on factory farms, Mark is making a difference for animals in his own community by adopting from local shelters. Every year in the U.S., 6-8 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters, and more than half of them must be euthanized because there simply aren’t enough homes for them. Every dog or cat purchased from a pet store or a breeder takes away a home from an adoptable animal in a shelter. Before bringing an animal into your life, visit local animal shelters in your area and give a home to a four-legged friend in need!