How Much Does Hilary Swank Love Dogs? 'Cause for Paws' Isn't Her First Moment of Canine Philanthropy

It's always interesting to see which random celebrities end up hosting which random events, but Hilary Swank hosting Fox's Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular is a kind of a no-brainer to the informed dog lover. She's also an executive producer for the event, and on Thanksgiving night, Swank and her co-host Jane Lynch are coming together to honor the people who dedicate their lives to finding homes for rescue dogs and bring awareness to viewers at home to try and get even more rescue dogs fostered and adopted.

While this is the first large-scale televised effort to raise money for rescue dogs, Swank has been a dog advocate for years; I'd call her a puppy philanthropist if I was into that kind of wordplay (I AM). In a statement for Fox, Swank said:

I have long been an advocate for animal adoption and know first-hand the immense joy a shelter animal brings to our lives.

And now she's trying to help spread that joy to others. In addition to raising two adopted dogs of her own, Swank advocates to find homes for the nearly 8 million animals that end up in shelters every year. She's not just a Cause for Paws host... she's a believer.

Hilary Swank: Dog Lover

Not every two-time Oscar winner spends his or her Thanksgiving trying to find homes for four million un-adopted rescue animals, but Swank's love for dogs runs deep. She told The Bark that her love of (wo)man's best friends comes from knowing that dogs are able to "look at us and see us for who we really are." She adopted her first rescue dog, a black Lab/Shepherd mix named Lucky, when she was just 18 and moving out on her own for the first time. But she didn't stop there...

Her own rescues

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In addition to visiting shelters in her days off filming, and working with humane societies to find "forever homes" for dogs all over the country, Swank also lives with two furry pals of her own: Kai and Rumi. Both are rescue dogs from high-kill shelters, and even with a ton of positive-reinforcement training, Kai is still known by the paparazzi for getting a little mischievous.

Swank's Shelter Efforts

Swank has been assisting at shelters and seeking out homes for rescue dogs pretty much since she rescued her first dog Lucky 22 years ago. She lends not just her name or celebrity to animal rescuing organizations, but her hands and hard work: while volunteering her efforts to the Humane Society of New York after the attacks of 9/11, Swank asked if there was anything she could do for the animals near ground zero. When told about a poodle who has been trapped in an apartment for four days, Swank climbed 31 flights of stairs so that Lola could be reunited with her owners.

Selfless actions like this have led Swank to previously be named the ambassador for Iams' Home for the Holiday Campaign, honored by the Petco Foundation, and with the passing of her second rescue dog Karoo in 2012, Swank was inspired to start her own foundation. The goal of the Hilarro Foundation is to connect underprivileged youth with abandoned animals. Swank's efforts are guaranteed to grow tenfold with the huge audience of Cause for Paws and the major effort (and celebrity power) she's putting in to giving thanks for rescues.

Images: Michael Becker, Brian Bowen Smith/Fox; giphy