Katherine Heigl is on a mission to save rescue dogs in Los Angeles county from being put down and hopes people will adopt unwanted pooches.
Katherine Heigl is on a mission to save rescue dogs in Los Angeles from being put down.
The 'One for the Money' star runs the charity Jason Debus Heigl foundation - which is named in honour of her late brother - with her mother Nancy and the pair's goal is to encourage people to adopt abandoned mutts.
In her blog post for the iVillage series CelebVillage, the actress revealed: "My mother Nancy and I ... have been fighting diligently to change policy, bring awareness and stop the unnecessary euthanization of healthy adoptable dogs in the city and county of Los Angeles.
"It was only four years ago that I became aware of the dire situation in our shelter systems and since then it has been immensely important to me to inform others who, like me, adore and respect their pets and would do anything to protect and shelter them but who are unaware of all The Others in our country about animals suffering and dying needlessly.
"Four million healthy adoptable companion pets are being killed every year in our shelters due to overcrowding. I have faith, however, that we can change the statistics. The solutions can be complicated and seem impossible, but the reality is that there is something each One Of Us can do to help: We can encourage our family, friends and neighbours to rescue a pet versus buying one. We can promote and support spay/neuter programs and education in our towns and cities. We can donate time, money (even a dollar matters!) or supplies to local shelters. And, most importantly, when you curl up on the floor, sofa or bed with your most loyal friend, you can remember that the best way to honour the gift they are in our lives is to help their kind any way we can. Every little bit matters, no kindness is too small. One saved life matters, one unnecessary death avoided matters."
Katherine - who has a three-year-old adopted daughter, Naleigh, with her husband Josh Kelley - insists dogs deserve the compassion of society because of the special relationship the animals have shared with humans for centuries.
She added: "It's easy to lose sight of humanity's capacity for compassion, but in the world of animal rescue I am reminded over and over again of how most people are inherently good and well-intentioned. That's what I force myself to focus on when despair and hopelessness starts to creep in. I choose over and over again to see people's character and integrity as my dogs do. They have set the bar high when it comes to faith, compassion, patience, loyalty and unconditional love and when I pray at night, I ask that I can follow their Example more often. These remarkable creatures have put so much trust and heart into the human race: Now all we have to do is deserve it."