Katherine covers the Spring 2012 issue of Modern Dog magazine, with an exclusive interview about her animal welfare organization the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation and innovative pet spay/neuter campaign I Hate Balls.

Katherine Heigl Covers Modern Dog Magazine (Photo: Cheyenne Ellis) Katherine Heigl Covers Modern Dog Magazine (Photo: Cheyenne Ellis)

From her childhood growing up in Connecticut to her home in Utah with husband Josh Kelley and daughter Naleigh, she chats to journalist Mary-Jo Dionne about her life and her career. The One For The Money star dishes about her start as a young model, the difference between television and film, what it is like to star opposite Hollywood's leading men on the big screen and her plans for the future.

Katherine Heigl Means Business

By Mary-Jo Dionne

Have you always been an 'animal person?'

Yes. My whole family has always valued and respected the animals we’ve had. And there were many! We all believe animals enrich our lives in ways that are immeasurable.

In 1986, you lost your brother, Jason, in a car accident. What was the inspiration for you and your mom, Nancy, to launch the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation?

Jason and his innate compassion and love of life were the inspiration. That, and our growing knowledge of the horrible situation for many domestic animals. Jason would have been, as are we, appalled by how many healthy, adoptable animals we're killing every year in our country alone. We formally founded the foundation about four years ago but began helping many years before when we became aware of what was happening.

What are the aims of the foundation? And what has been the most rewarding experience for you, being an active part of the foundation?

The foundation's goal is very simple, but a complicated one to achieve: a no-kill nation. Because we are dealing with far too many animals in shelters to immediately save them all, I try to focus on the ones we get out and the major spay/neuter programs we are funding to help prevent more unwanted animals ending up being euthanized. All of us who are an active part of the foundation constantly remind ourselves, in the midst of such sadness, of the value of "the one." Even though we can't save them all right now, every one we save is a victory and keeps us heading in the right direction.

Modern Dog Magazine - Spring 2012 Modern Dog Magazine - Spring 2012

You’ve been an active supporter of Best Friends Animal Society, in particular their Pup My Ride program. Can you tell us what the program is and why you feel it’s an important one?

Transporting small dogs out of LA shelters is one way to bring the euthanizing numbers down. Our foundation now funds our own transports in a big, well-equipped bus we bought. We move anywhere from 50 to 75 dogs twice a month from death row to other approved shelters and rescues where they are easily adopted. The ultimate solution is spay/neuter and although we fund a lot of that, our transport program is an immediate solution for so many abandoned animals that were going to be euthanized.

Read Katherine's full interview in the new issue of Modern Dog currently on newsstands and online at moderndogmagazine.com.