BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The city of Baltimore is stepping up its effort to fight animal abuse with a new campaign.

Monique Griego was there for the kickoff which had some famous faces showing their soft side.

READ MORE: BPD Officer Dragged By Car 2 Blocks Is Now In Fair Condition; 36-Year-Old Charged

Even tough guys love animals.

“Animals are part of society, and they have rights also,” said Baltimore Oriole MVP Adam Jones.

Jones and his dog Missy are only part of the famous athletes and their animals who are taking part in the “Show Your Softer Side” anti-animal abuse effort.

“Animal cruelty and dog fighting are crimes that must be taken seriously,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings –Blake, who kicked off the campaign Thursday in front of a crowd of two and four-legged friends.

It showcases hard athletes getting soft with their pets.

MMA fighter John Rallo and his cat Doobie posed for the cause. 

READ MORE: Crime Without Punishment: Homicide Clearance Rates Are Declining Across The US. Baltimore's Is Down To 42%

“People that can do these things to an innocent animal I just feel something’s wrong with them,” Rallo said.

The horrific case of Phoenix, a pit bull that was doused with gasoline and set on fire, is what prompted the city to take action against animal cruelty.

“I think it’s exciting that the city decided to attack this issue head on,” said Caroline Griffin.

Griffin heads up the Anti-Animal Abuse Commission. She says the campaign targets juveniles, who sometimes commit the worst cases of animal cruelty.

“I think young men think it’s a way of showing manhood, that they’re tough,” Griffin said.

The campaign will be pushed out to the community in several ways, including having the pictures as billboards across the city.

“If this is a way we can draw attention to this and punish people who are doing these things, I’m all for it,” Rallo said.

MORE NEWS: Man Charged With Dragging Baltimore Officer Had Nearly 20 Prior Arrests

While this campaign hopes to create awareness, the city is also upping its efforts to investigate and prosecute animal abuse.