Miranda Lambert Is Sharing the Love for Valentine's Day by Donating to 15 Animal Shelters

Miranda Lambert's MuttNation Foundation is giving out 15 $1,000 grants as part of its Share the Love Program

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Miranda Lambert is making Valentine's Day a little sweeter for 15 animal shelters.

Started in 2009, Lambert's MuttNation Foundation is dedicated to finding safe and happy homes for rescue pets, and a big part of that mission involves helping the shelters that make pet adoption possible.

On Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1) 2020, MuttNation announced its expanded Share the Love program — a grant program open to anyone who adopted a pet from, fostered a pet through, or volunteered at an animal shelter in 2020. Animal lovers that applied for the program, nominated their local animal shelter to receive one of 15 MuttNation Foundation $1000 grants. Now, MuttNation is ready to announce the 15 winners just in time for Valentine's Day.

"Shelter pets and the people who care for them have the biggest hearts and sharing the love for Valentine's Day feels so right," Miranda Lambert said in a statement.

Over 14,000 participants took part in this year's Share the Love program — now in its third year — greatly eclipsing the number of registrants from prior years: 2,000 in 2019, and 500 in 2018.

"It's amazing to have such an overwhelming response to our program. The number of people who participated demonstrates the commitment and value that community members provide to their local shelters. And, especially given how difficult this year's been — it just means so much," Lambert added.

Here are the 15 recipients of the $1,000 MuttNation Share the Love grants.

Celebrating animals shelters and the volunteers who make their life-saving work possible has always been important to Lambert, who started volunteering with animals herself as a teen.

Now, Lambert is the mom to numerous rescue pets, including nine shelter dogs, and several rescue cats, rabbits, and horses.

"They're doing well!" Lambert told PEOPLE of her rescue pet posse.

"Delta, Cher, and Bellamy have been traveling with us on our recent airstream adventures," she said, referring to the road trips she has been taking with her husband Brendan McLoughlin.

The country star has also enjoyed her time at home with her animal family during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"My pets always help keep me grounded and help keep things in perspective," she added. "It's been nice to have some more time at home with all of them this past year. They make me smile!"

Lambert hopes that MuttNation's work and her own experiences with rescue animals inspire others to give pet adoption a chance.

"I would encourage people to be open-minded as they search for their dog. So many amazing dogs get overlooked because of stereotypes surrounding their mix of breeds," the "Settling Down" singer said "It can sometimes be harder for older dogs to get adopted, too. But the older ones are so loving, and many of them are trained already, so they can be great for first-time adopters. You can really make an impact on their life by giving them a second chance."

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