Katherine Heigl pledges $1 million to help animal shelters
September 24, 2010 5:17 p.m. EDT
Katherine Heigl plays with a pooch at a press
conference on September 23
It's more than just puppy love. Katherine Heigl is behind a $1 million
initiative to help no-cost spay and neuter programs in the Los Angeles area.
The Jason Debus Heigl
Foundation, named in memory of the actress's late brother, will work
with the Cesar Millan's Millan Foundation, the City and County of Los
Angeles and various other organizations on the project, called the
herself has six dogs, three of them rescues, told PEOPLEPets.com at the
press conference to announce the pledge that she and her mother had felt
hopeless and overwhelmed by the pet population crisis in L.A.
50,000 of 80,000 shelter animals in Los Angeles County were euthanized last
year, according to the Heigl Foundation.
"How can we change the
results for these animals?" she said. "[Shelters are not only] euthanizing
sick, old dogs. It's gotten brutal, you know. It's inhuman, really."
The Heigl Foundation wanted a solution -- training and education on how to
reduce the pet population compassionately, instead of having to put down
healthy animals. Heigl says that her upbringing influenced her when it came
to the importance of spaying and neutering.
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I was growing up, my mother and father had zero desire for any one of our
animals to have a litter," she said. "I think it's a lot of work, it's a lot
of energy. Then, as an adult, because of the way I was raised and because I
had the means to do it, [spaying and neutering] goes without question.
"But there are a lot of communities that don't have that education,
weren't raised that way and don't see their pets that way," she added. "They
have no idea that a litter of 10 means a litter of, like, 400 in the future.
We can tell them and educate them, and provide a way for them to spay and
neuter their pets."
For more information on the initiative, visit
the full article at PEOPLE.com