Hilary Swank is the new ambassador of one of the most successful animal adoption programs in the world.

The actress is the new face of Iams Home 4 The Holidays program, an initiative established in 1999 that has helped more than 3,278,143 families experience the joy of pet adoption, including 1.2 million pet adoptions this past year alone.

“I’m so proud to be working with Iams Home 4 the Holidays to help raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption,” said Hilary Swank, pet parent and 2009 Iams Home 4 the Holidays Ambassador. “Last year, the program’s adoption goal was to get 1 million pets adopted in just three months, but this year the goal is even bigger – we’re on a mission to find loving homes for 1.5 million orphaned pets between Oct. 1 and Jan. 4.”

Swank has adopted many pets throughout her life, including her two dogs Karoo and Rumi. She rescued Karoo from the side of a road while filming in South Africa a few years ago and adopted Rumi last fall from a participating IH4TH shelter in Los Angeles.

“Now more than ever orphaned animals need our help and who better to give them a voice than Hilary?” said Mike Arms, founder of Iams Home 4 the Holidays and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “Along with Hilary and her inspiration, our 3,500 animal organizations are working to shine a big spotlight on the need to help the nearly 8 million homeless pets in our country, and are committed to helping raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption.”

“Hilary’s genuine passion and love for animals combined with her pet adoption experience makes her a tremendous ambassador for Iams Home 4 the Holidays,” said Dan Rajczak, vice president and general manager, P&G Pet Care in North America. “We’re confident that with the support of an advocate like Hilary, we’ll be able to achieve or even exceed our pet adoption goal again this year and help 1.5 million pets find loving homes.”

Iams Home 4 the Holidays is dedicated to helping homeless pets. The program has placed more than 3 million animals in homes since 1999, and in 2008, the adoption drive found homes for 1,202,718 pets. The 2009 program officially kicks-off on Oct. 1, but in the meantime, there are still millions of homeless animals that need help. To learn more about how to make a difference in the life of an orphaned pet, including finding participating shelters, volunteering and making a donation to support animal organizations and pets awaiting new homes, visit www.iamshome4theholidays.com.

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