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37 Pics Of Ian Somerhalder With Animals That Make Him Even Sexier

He's tongue-waggingly hot.

Ian Somerhalder (aka Damon Salvatore and/or Boone Carlyle) turned 37 years young today (Dec. 8), and Ian being Ian, he used his candle-lit spotlight of the day to shine some light on his philanthropic efforts yet again.

This time, he wrote an open letter to fans and supporters of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation to declare that they've officially made his birthday wish come true by helping invest in almost 100 acres of land in his home state of Louisiana which the organization will transform into an animal sanctuary and preserve. Good job Smolderholder lovers, all!

So, as a reward for your undying devotion to all-things-Ian, we thought we'd compile some shots of Ian nuzzling up to all kinds of adorable fur babies to help carry you through the rest of the week.

  1. New Year's day with the wife and kids.

    He really calls them his kids, and it's all we can do not to melt right here and now.

  2. Hey Neech!
  3. This girl makes a good pillow.
  4. For real, though. He loves to lay on her.
  5. Here's the moment when he made pals with an injured pelican.
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    Ian visited made a new avian friend during filming for the Dawn Wildlife "We All Love Wildlife" video series at the International Bird Rescue and Marine Mammal Center in L.A. this July. Then they went out and released the birdies back into the wild in a video that made us ugly cry like mad.

  6. And he and Uggie were total BFFs back in '12.
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  7. Who's leading who?
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  8. Of *course* Ian brings his pets to work. Of course he does.

    This was a throwback to Season 2 of "The Vampire Diaries" when IS took a little nap with his furbaby Moke because why not.

  9. Yes, that is a llama there that Nikki's kissing. Nice.
  10. And here they got the group shot.
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  11. Mooooo-ve over, Nikki.
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  12. There was also this time when he put that whole "black cats are bad luck" stigma to shame.
  13. You're more than a little bit jealous of this cat, aren't you?
  14. Here's when they welcomed Sohalia into the fam.

    Nikki was told she was "feral/not friendly" but they chose to give her a chance anyway, and "she is the most loving kitty on the planet."

  15. And then they posed with another little beauty in hopes of finding her a furrrever home.
  16. This one went straight up the nose and he loves it.
  17. That's an actual breathing dream right there.
  18. Giddyup in our hearts, guys.
  19. Sloppy smooches >>> non-sloppy smooches.

    The caption to this calls his company "3 of the most beautiful ladies in the universe." So, ya know, time to turn into the green-eyed monster for good.

  20. This Eagle loves to soar into all the hearts.
  21. Um, we *think* this one's a goat? Maybe?
  22. Camels are cool. It is known.
  23. Seriously, though, whose eyes are greener?
  24. Here's the time he got up close and personal with a lemur.

    Note: This was taken at Necker Island -- owned by Richard Branson -- and Ian wants you to know that this animal is in grave danger of extinction, so hit Conservation.org for more info on how to help.

  25. When his puppy had a booboo, he laid on the floor with her because AW.
  26. Oh, just Ian raising a bunch of pit puppies after a day at work.
  27. And then here's him with one of Nietzsche's puppies, all grown up. CRY!

    "I cut this little girls umbilical cord," he remembered.

  28. Question: Who looks cooler in this shot?
  29. Yep, that's Ian riding an elephant in Zimbabwe.
  30. Ian loves all the kittens.
  31. This important puppy cuddle moment.
  32. And this dog who got all up in it.
  33. Moke gets prime real estate.
  34. And Moke DGAF about your scarf.
  35. This pup threatened to break the cute limit for good.
  36. This tiger helped him look fierce AF.
  37. Annnnnnnnd, last but not least, here's Ian and Grumpy Cat. Because sometimes we can have nice things.

    He didn't manage to make her smile, but everyone else in the world did, so WIN.