"I actually have witnessed a dog in a car on a hot day, and luckily I found its owner," Cowell said during a recent interview with PETA about his new PSA. "She was in a shop, and I dragged her out the shop and said, 'Your dog is going to die in a second.' And she wasn't aware of it. People just aren't aware of it."
Cowell said he'd "work with anything to do with PETA" because he "absolutely will not tolerate cruelty to animals"
"Maybe some people are surprised that I like animals, but there's quite a difference between telling someone who's a useless singer, 'You're a useless singer' and drowning a puppy," said Cowell. "I once had an incident with a guy who auditioned [for Idol] who actually admitted that he likes killing animals... he didn't go through."
While some of the Idol hopefuls who audition for a spot on the reality competition series may not share his sentiments about animals, Cowell assured that his fellow judges do.
"The people I work with, they're all animal lovers," he told PETA. "It's part of the criteria for judging the show: you've got to like animals."
While his new PSA deals with the cruelty of leaving dogs in a vehicle on a hot day, Cowell said "there are so many issues to do with animal cruelty that bother me."
"I think the one that probably bothers me the most at the moment is the fur trade with dogs," said Cowell. "These animals are skinned alive. We're supposed to live in a civilized society and you just can't accept that. I won't accept that. It's something everyone should know about. I think if anybody witnessed what one of these dogs have to go through, you'd think twice about it. Like I said years ago, 'You wouldn't skin your dog and wear it on your back.' The fact that somebody else does it doesn't mean it's acceptable."
The PETA PSA featuring Cowell is scheduled to begin airing this summer.
"Everyone should love animals," said Cowell in closing. "If you're good to animals, your life will be good. And my life is good because I've been good to animals. If I see a baby, it's a baby. If I see a puppy, it's a whole different ball game."