Friday, April 16, 2010 / 6:49 pm
Lucky Number Seven?
Katherine Heigl Wants a Seventh Rescue Dog
By Kate Hogan and Paul Chi
You'd think that with six dogs and a baby at home, Katherine Heigl would be totally stressed out. But the former "Grey's Anatomy" star is actually clamoring for a seventh rescue pup. "I'm trying to talk my husband [singer Josh Kelley] into one more right now," she tells PEOPLEPets.com exclusively. "But he is not cool with it."
Regardless, the actress is already doing her part to save shelter pups. With the help of mom Nancy, she runs the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, an organization named for her late brother dedicated to promoting animal welfare and saving pets in need. Receiving honors at last night's American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ball in New York, she told PEOPLEPets.com that the operation is flourishing.
"Right now we have the Heigl Hounds of Hope program, which pulls big dogs out of the shelter and trains them in preparation for adoption," she explains. " A lot of people have a fear of big dogs - they think they're going to be uncontrollable and wreck their houses - so we're trying to encourage people to take them."
She's also launching a new spay/neuter initiative. "There's such an overload of animals in Los Angeles, and ultimately we want to make shelters no-kill," she explains. "The only way to do that is really encourage people to spay and neuter, so we'll provide free services every weekend for a year."
Though Heigl doesn't visit too many of the dogs her foundation aids - "it's really hard to go see them when you know you can't save them all," she says - her mother knows they're making a difference. "We love animals, and Jason had a really compassionate heart," Nancy says. "The foundation really means so much to us."
And they truly keep their dog-loving ways in the family. Heigl says her newly adopted daughter, Naleigh, is "fantastic" with the family pets. "She's just starting to walk, and they follow her everywhere," she says. They also know their big sister is generous when it comes to sharing food. "We give her crackers to eat, and she'll be munching on her crackers and be looking at the dogs. They're just standing there staring at her, waiting, waiting ... and then she'll let them have a bite. It's hilarious."
Luckily for Heigl and Kelley, the don't mind the pitter-patter of all those little feet. "We are real homebodies," she says. "The dogs go to the dog park every day so that they can run around, then we hang out on the couch together as a massive family and watch TV. Everyone has their place."