Press Release



Longtime supporters of animal rights, daytime host and bestselling author Rachael Ray and actress Katherine Heigl are joining forces to address the pet overpopulation crisis.

Katherine Heigl & Rachael Ray Announce Fundraising Partnership on The Rachael Ray Show Katherine Heigl & Rachael Ray Announce Fundraising Partnership on The Rachael Ray Show

Today, Katherine will appear on the syndicated "Rachael Ray" show to announce that Rachael has pledged $150,000 in proceeds from the sale of her Nutrish® line of super premium pet food to Katherine's animal charity, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation (JDHF), $75,000 of which will be donated to JDHF in the 4th quarter of 2012. One hundred percent of Rachael's proceeds from the sale of all the Nutrish product lines are donated to charities and shelters that support animal welfare and humane education causes similar to the JDHF. JDHF will use 100% of the donation to fund spay/neuter initiatives directly aimed at reducing the number of unwanted, yet highly adoptable and loving, pets abandoned or relinquished to municipal shelters and subsequently euthanized.

"I'm thrilled to have a passionate friend like Katherine to help animals in need," said Rachael. "There are so many pets that have no one to love them and I am very excited that together we can donate our celebrity to give these animals a voice, a home and a healthy life."

The donation will be crucial in helping the JDHF continue its mission of eliminating the needless suffering inflicted on animals by human cruelty, indifference and ignorance.

"We are very grateful for Rachael Ray's donation in support of this important cause and excited for our partnership with Rachael Ray that is sure to give greater exposure to this crisis", stated Katherine Heigl. "The Foundation's effective programs and our shared compassion will provide a dynamic combination to help save countless lives and lend a voice to voiceless and forgotten pets in dire need of our help."

Katherine and her mother, Nancy, founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation in 2008 with a desire to work with compassionate and like-minded individuals and organizations to put an end to pet overpopulation, animal cruelty and abuse. Katherine has recently gone to great lengths to promote JDHF and in December 2011 partnered with Funny or Die to launch an innovative campaign called 'I Hate Balls' – an edgy campaign with a mission of raising awareness about the immediate need for spay/neuter of companion pets, a simple and extremely effective means to curtail the number of adoptable pets entering public shelters and subsequently killed.

Always an animal lover and advocate, Rachael decided in 2008 to partner with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition® to create a super premium line of pet foods and treats called Rachael Ray Nutrish® as a way to continuously fund programs that help animals in need. She personally donates 100% of her proceeds from the sale of Nutrish to shelters and organizations that provide food, medical supplies and treatments for needy animals. She also created "Rachael's Rescue" a website that highlights organizations that are dedicated to helping animals in need. To date, Rachael has donated close to $3 million in cash to organizations ranging from the ASPCA and the North Shore Animal League to Mighty Mutts and Bad Rap.

For information on showtimes, visit the Rachael Ray Show web site.

About Rachael's Rescue™ and Nutrish

In 2008, Rachael Ray partnered with pet nutrition experts from Ainsworth Pet Nutrition® to develop a line of super premium food and treats for dogs called Rachael Ray Nutrish®. Rachael Ray Nutrish® is made with simple, natural ingredients and includes three full-feeding varieties featuring real meat as the first ingredient – Real Chicken and Veggies, Real Beef and Brown Rice, and Healthy Weight with Real Turkey & Veggies. The line also includes a limited ingredient diet recipe call Rachael Ray Nutrish just 6, formulated with only six simple ingredients, as well as treats and wet meals for dogs. All of Ray's proceeds from each sale of Rachael Ray Nutrish® food and treats for dogs are donated to organizations that help animals in need through Rachael's Rescue™. So, not only are Nutrish products great for your dog, they're great for countless other dogs as well.

About Ainsworth Pet Nutrition®

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition® is a fifth generation family-owned and operated company named after one of the company founders, George Ainsworth Lang. The company is focused entirely on pets, catering to all segments of the pet food industry. Ainsworth Pet Nutrition has three business units including DAD'S Pet Care®, Ainsworth Specialty Brands™ and Ainsworth Custom™. The company makes a wide spectrum of pet foods and snacks, from brands that offer sound nutrition and convenience to ultra-premium specialty foods. Ainsworth Pet Nutrition is committed to food safety and manufactures all of its pet food in the United States using whole grains and quality meats that can be traced throughout the entire supply chain. To learn more, visit Ainsworth Pets.

About the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation

Katherine Heigl and her mother, Nancy Heigl, founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation to improve the plight of pets through a variety of programs, such as funding spay/neuter initiatives and assisting rescue organizations. Katherine and Nancy are convinced that spaying and neutering saves lives and stops litters – litters that too often end up at public shelters and are subsequently killed due to a lack of adopters and lack of space. The Foundation is focused on "fixing" the problem. Since its inception, the Foundation has contributed more than $2.5 million towards saving the lives of many deserving pets and educating the public in the process.