Hilary Swank: animal advocate

Gorgeous: Hilary Swank is the picture of animal advocacy

Hilary Swank has big news.

But it wasn’t her family, her agent, or even her fans she was dying to tell. Swank came straight to Dogtime to gush about her greatest role (arguably) to date: that of spokesperson for Iam’s Home 4 the Holidays campaign, an effort during the 2009 holiday season to find permanent residence for the millions of dogs and cats living in shelters.

“We succeeded!” the Oscar-winning actress told Dogtime. “Home 4 the Holidays helped find homes for 1.4 million animals. It was such a wonderful project to be involved with.”

With two rescue pups herself, Swank has long been a proponent of adoption. Five years ago she found Karoo, a starving and sickly Jack Russell Terrier/Corgi mix, wandering the streets of South Africa. And she adopted Rumi, a Golden Retriever mix, during last year’s Home 4 the Holidays adopt-a-thon.

Going to a breeder never crossed her mind, Swank says, and she was quick to refer to the 8 million homeless dogs and cats across the country. “Twenty-five percent of homeless dogs are purebreds, so you can really find any dog you’re looking for at a shelter or rescue.”

And while she’s clearly excited about the success of Home 4 the Holidays, Swank’s passion for animals is not a passing phase, her enthusiasm not limited to a month-long campaign. She speaks about her Rumi and Karoo like a true dog person (and here at Dogtime, we know a dog person when we hear one).

“Yeah, my dogs are actually pretty well behaved,” Swank admits. “I think dogs want to be trained. They want to know how to please, how to do the right thing.”

As if on cue, she adds, “Training can actually be really fun. And it’s an excellent way for humans to bond with their pets.”

Thanks, Hilary. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.