After watching Hachiko’s loyalty in the film “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” Katherine Heigl started an initiative to help save homeless canines.
The actress recently blogged for iVillage’s CelebVillage series voicing the importance of adopting pets and saving them from being killed each year, originally inspired by Hachiko’s loyalty in Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.
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.
Hachiko’s Loyalty Spreads Awareness
The actress is on a mission and nothing is going to stop her.
“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.
Solving the Homeless Animal Crisis
This animal lover 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, “These remarkable creatures have put so much trust and heart into the human race: Now all we have to do is deserve it.”
Life Lessons from Her Pets
In an interview in Dogster, Heigel is asked what she learned from her pets. “That life can turn on a dime! My little furry (Gertie) was next on the list to be killed at a Los Angeles shelter. When we pulled her, she had no teeth and was underweight. Other rescues passed her up, but we saw a diamond in the rough. Now she eats eggs at the Four Seasons and travels in the plane with me wherever I go. Talk about keeping hope alive!
Heigel cherishes the best part of having animals in her life and home. “They help teach my children about caring for others, and help me to always remember the important things in life and that all life is a gift that we need to value.”
Heigl’s 4 Ways to Help Animals
- Encourage family, friends and neighbors to rescue a pet versus buying one.
- Promote and support spay/neuter programs and education in our towns and cities.
- 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 honor the gift they are in our lives is to help their kind any way we can.
It’s gratifying to hear whenever Hachiko’s loyalty promotes animal awareness. That’s why I wanted to make the film! Does Hachiko’s loyalty motivate you to help animals in need?