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 appeared on the syndicated “Rachael Ray” show on Friday 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 Rachael Ray Show showtimes, click here.

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