Actress assists in transport of Chihuahuas in danger of euthanization

By Helin Jung
Updated February 19, 2010 04:54 PM

More Chihuahuas have flown out of California’s overcrowded shelters this month, and not without a little help from Katherine Heigl’s Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, which has been integral in rescuing dozens of the petite pooches from euthanization.

Last Friday, 21 Chihuahuas flew on a sponsored Alaska Airways flight from L.A. to Vancouver as part of a project called Operation Doggie Do Good. The Heigl Foundation joined the L.A. Animal Services, the Animal Advocates Alliance and Cold Noses, Warm Beds, a Vancouver dog rescue, to transport the black and tan and beige dogs to new homes in a community that has very few small dogs available in its shelter system. Why did it take the work of so many organizations? As Phillip Gharabegian, Animal Advocates Alliance board member says, “It really takes a village to save a dog.”

Four of the Chihuahuas have been rehomed already, and Kathy Davis, interim director of the L.A. Animal Services, tells that “we’re hearing nothing but happy tales, if you don’t mind the pun.”

Beady Singer, founder of Cold Noses, Warm Beds, says that all 21 of the pups are “adorable,” especially Trigger, a 13-lb. survivor of a rifle wound to the chest. Singer tells that all of her work with the Heigl Foundation has been, incredibly, done over phone and e-mail. “It’s incredible to think that we’ve been able to save 400 dogs without even meeting each other,” she says. “They’ve all been absolutely amazing to work with.”

Davis has had closer contact with the Heigl Foundation –she has worked at spay and neuter events with Nancy Heigl, Katherine’s mother and co-founder of the foundation. “She understands that there is a problem, and she’s been gracious and generous in working to help get the funds to get our pets adopted,” Davis says. “She’s always very complementary of her daughter, but she thinks her daughter works too hard.”