Hilary Swank: My Life with Pets
Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank talks about her pets, and her work helping homeless animals get adopted.Two-time Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank spoke to Petside about her pets, and her excellent work helping homeless animals get adopted.
Petside: Tell us about the pets in your life right now.
Hilary Swank: They are one of my favorite things to talk about! I have a little Jack Russell-Corgi mixed with, I think, many other breeds inside. She's this little ball of joy, a fireball that I got from South Africa when I was working there.
She was roaming the streets and was about 8 weeks old. I took her to the vet and she had a plethora of problems and they said, "if you don't take this dog, she'll for sure die."
So that was a no brainier, and I've had her now for 6 years. I found her in the in the Karoo (desert) in South Africa. So that's how she got her name, Karoo.
I also have a Golden Retriever mix that I rescued from one of the animal shelters during the Iams Home 4 the Holidays drive last October. Her name is Rumi and she is named after one of my favorite poets.
Petside: Do you have any favorite breeds?
Hilary Swank: I love all dogs. I can't say there's really a favorite breed of mine. As a young girl I was given a black Lab named Buddy and he literally was my best Buddy. But I just love all types of dogs.
You know, one of the things I find interesting is when people say "I don't want to adopt a dog or cat from a shelter because I want a purebred." But I found the statistics, and 25% of shelter animals are purebred! So there's a little bit of something for everyone in a shelter.
But, I'm a mutt myself. I have such a mix of different backgrounds in me that I find mutts suit me just perfectly.
Petside: What's your favorite thing to do with your pets?
Hilary Swank: My pets are my favorite thing to hang out with. I just want them with me all the time. I'm lucky to have a career that allows me to have my animals with me. They get to go to the set with me, run around and meet the whole crew, sit in the hair and makeup trailer with me, and then between scenes or at lunch I go out and I throw the ball to them.
So I would say hanging out with them in every way. I really, really love walks on the beach or hikes. They're trained really well so they'll walk by my side and look up at me with a big smile, and it's nice company. I just couldn't imagine life without them!
Petside: Have you worked with any animal actors in your films?
Hilary Swank: I have, but believe it or not, Karoo has been in a lot of my movies! She was in "Million Dollar Baby." There's a scene in the gas station that Clint (Eastwood)'s daughter Morgan and my dog are in.
Petside: You were the spokesperson for Iams' Home 4 the Holidays adoption event this year. You mentioned that you adopted your Golden Retriever mix through Home 4 the Holidays last year. What did you learn from the experience this year?
Hilary Swank: I know animals don't have a voice of their own, so they need someone to speak up for them. When you learn about the statistics, and how many animals need homes, there are nearly 8 million homeless pets and approximately 6 million of them get put to sleep every year. To me that is not okay.
Any way I can raise awareness, it's my pleasure and my honor. I get to spend everyday of my life with an animal that is so grateful and brings me so much joy that I want to spread the word. And Iams Home 4 the Holidays does a magnificent job of raising that awareness. So it was really a no brainier to become a partner with them.
Petside: How many animals were adopted during Iams Home 4 the Holidays this year?
Hilary Swank: Nearly 1.4 million. Isn't that excellent?
Petside: That's great! So, what would you say to Petside readers who want to help?
Hilary Swank: I think it's important to know that it's not just dogs or cats that need to be adopted. Approximately 50,000 of the animals adopted during Iams Home 4 the Holidays were rabbits, birds, turtles, and horses. And like I said before, 25% of shelter animals are purebreds. So you can adopt a purebred as well.
If you can't bring an animal home, there's a lot of different ways you can help. You can donate your time, you can still go on www.home4theholidays.com even though this year's drive is over, and there's tons of information on how you can get involved to help animals.
To learn more about Hilary Swank and Iams Home 4 the Holidays, visit www.home4theholidays.com.