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Kristen Bell: Champion of the (Under) Dog

Bell's new project raises funds for HSUS and 'special needs' pets

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell

If you think a Hollywood star’s life is all glamour, meet Kristen Bell. She's best known for her star turns in television shows such as the hugely popular “Veronica Mars” and films including “Couples Retreat” and “When in Rome.” But her everyday role is friend to all animals and “mom” to a trio of rescued dogs, including a “special needs” dog who has inspired Bell’s most recent project to benefit The HSUS. More about that in a minute.

A vegetarian since the age of 11, Bell says going veg was the result of not being able to disassociate “the animals I cuddled with—dogs and cats for example—from the animals on my plate.”

That sense of empathy also draws Bell to animals who might be considered underdogs, such as the animals at shelters.  Growing up, she fostered dogs from the Michigan Humane Society. And she’s continued to take in strays, volunteer for local animal shelters, and support other animal groups, including The HSUS. Bell was a presenter at our Genesis Awards this year, and also served as a judge for Dogs of Valor.

Support Kristen Bell’s "Special Needs" Pet Project to benefit The HSUS.

No surprise, then, that Bell shares her home with three adopted pooches. There are the two Corgi mixes, Shakey (Corgi/Chihuahua) and Lola (Corgi/Chow), both from the East Valley animal control shelter in Los Angeles. Then there’s Sadie, an aged Labrador pulled from the destruction after Hurricane Katrina.  Sadie was the inspiration for Bell’s latest collaboration with The HSUS, and the reason she is raising money to help other special needs animals on Crowdrise.com.The brainchild of actor Edward Norton, Crowdrise is a social networking and crowdsourcing platform that makes it easy for anyone to enlist the support of their friends and family to help fund projects they care about. 

Betsy McFarland, senior director of The HSUS's companion animals section, notes, “When we rescue dogs and cats from hoarder situations, puppy mills and disasters, we enlist the help of a network of local animal shelters and rescue groups willing to take the animals in, and care for them until new homes can be found. With money raised through Kristen Bell’s project, we’ll be able to provide some funding to our shelter partners who take ‘special needs’ pets from these rescue operations.”

You can support Kristen Bell’s "Special Needs" Pet Project to benefit The HSUS. And watch for her new films, "You Again" (opening in September 2010) and "Burlesque" (November 2010).  

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