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Launching The Compassion Revolution

The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation Launches The Compassion Revolution to Directly Address the Pet Population Crisis. Katherine Heigl and the Foundation Unveil Key Elements of the Program.

Los Angeles, CA, Thursday, September 23, 2010 - In a press conference held today at the Four Seasons Hotel, Katherine Heigl, accompanied by the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation Board, kicked off a major companion pet initiative - The Compassion Revolution. Its broad mission is to unite diverse groups and individuals under one alliance to initiate programs that will directly address the pet overpopulation crisis in the area, and to set a precedent for similar programs across the country. To kick off the Compassion Revolution, today the Heigl Foundation announced a $1 million pledge for spay/neuter and supporting programs in the City and County of Los Angeles and neighboring communities.

The pet population crisis is a serious one, and the approach to addressing the problem must be equally serious and all-encompassing. The most practical and immediate means of tackling this crisis is through spay/neuter programs that are accessible and affordable to all pet owners, along with providing the necessary tools to promote responsible pet ownership, including information and training. The time has come for everyone, including City and County officials, local businesses, residents, animal advocates and shelter management and staff, to come together, not only to implement effective programs, but to support an entirely new paradigm to better the lives of our companion pets. Together we have the power to create a consensus which rejects killing as a method of achieving results.

The current statistics are staggering:

  • The ASPCA estimates that 5 out of 10 shelter dogs and 7 out of 10 shelter cats are euthanized annually across the nation in large part because the number of animals entering shelters is far greater than the number of animals that are adopted from shelters.
  • Between 6-8 million dogs and cats are abandoned at shelters in the United States annually.
  • 500,000 companion animals are euthanized every year in California.
  • Each year, California taxpayers spend $250 million to shelter and euthanize dogs and cats state-wide.
  • In 2009, Los Angeles County shelters took in 83,252 cats and dogs. Of that number 50,692 were euthanized.
  • In 2009, Los Angeles City shelters took in 54,129 cats and dogs. Of that number 19,547 were euthanized.

Katherine Heigl, on behalf of The Heigl Foundation, introduced the Compassion Revolution, with the support of the Found Animals Foundation and the Millan Foundation, represented by speaker Cesar Millan.

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