Katherine Heigl is making headlines and no, it’s not for her upcoming movie “One for the Money,” but for her initiative to save homeless canines.
The 33-year-old actress recently blogged for iVillage’s CelebVillage series voicing the importance of adopting pets and saving them from being killed each year.
Heigl, along with her mother Nancy, founded the Jason Debus Heigl foundation, in honor of her late brother. Started around four years ago, the organization fights to change policies, raise awareness and stop the killing of adoptable dogs throughout Los Angeles.
The actress is on a mission and nothing is going to stop her. In addition to being an animal lover and an activist, what really inspired her was the film “Hachi: A Dog’s Story,” which illustrated the connection between humans and dogs.
“The message of “Hachi” is one of true unwavering loyalty, devotion and love — and that’s just from the dog’s perspective. This emotional and spiritual connection between humans and companion animals comes as no surprise to me since I have had the great privilege of fostering just such relationships throughout my life. But I wondered if it came as a surprise to others,” she writes.
“I began to think about the abandoned, the forgotten, the abused animals Nancy and I fight so hard for and asked myself, “Who is responsible?” Is it just the abusers or the reckless or the thoughtless that we should be pointing our fingers at, or are we as a society and community culpable too?”
For Heigl, having a pet is more than just feeding and taking them for a walk, but it’s about loving them as a companion and having them love you back.
She is reaching out to protect these beings, “There is a crisis going on for our beloved friends and they need us. We can help, we can make a difference, we can change the outcome for millions of voiceless, innocent creatures who have done nothing more to deserve their outcome than be the product of a neglectful society.”
According to Heigl, four million pets up for adoption are being killed in shelters each year, because of overcrowding. She is trusting people will open their hearts and do the right thing.
As she says effortlessly, “These remarkable creatures have put so much trust and heart into the human race: Now all we have to do is deserve it.”
Vicki Shigekuni Wong
I first spotted Hachiko's statue many years ago at Shibuya Station. Upon returning home, I adopted a dog and named him Hachi. When he passed away, I missed his reflective, welcoming and calm ways. We can all learn from the innate emotional grace of our animal friends and the Way of Hachi. I love sharing the story of the loyal dog of Japan, and hope he inspires more people to "Be Hachi"!