Achieving Balance and Harmony

THE SCOOP

Rachael to the rescue

Rachael Ray, the Food Network Star, is on a mission.

She is pouring so much of her time, energy, and kitchen savvy—to say nothing of her own money—into altering the plight of abused and abandoned animals, her name has nearly become synonymous with the idea of bettering the lives of pound puppies and their ilk. “I don’t have kids; I have dogs,” Rachael tells Cesar’s Way, “This is my way of giving back.”

And give back she has. Since launching Nutrish—in conjunction with Dad’s, an all-natural pet food manufacturer based in Pennsylvania—Rachael notes that 100 percent of her cut of its profits has gone to animal charities. “In less than two years,” she says, “I’ve given $1.6 million.”

Using Yum-o! as a business model—it’s the nonprofit organization she founded in 2006, which is aimed at ensuring kids eat healthfully—Rachael explains that when it comes to allocating animal funds, she makes a point of spreading the wealth around. “We have a group of constants,” she says, citing The North Shore Animal League, particularly because of their commitment to abolishing puppy mills; and Bad Boy Kennels, a group of breeders dedicated to changing society’s pit bull misconceptions; as well as the SPCA, Frontline, and a vets’ group that retrains problem dogs. “But beyond that core group,” she says, “we try to get a mix of small and large organizations; we look at them on a case-by-case basis, and our awards will range anywhere from $7,500 to $750,000. “

Despite the plethora of causes currently worthy of superstar chef’s consideration, for Rachael, there was never any doubt about where to turn her charitable attentions. “Animals,” she says, “are like small kids. They’re innocent; they can’t speak for themselves. What more deserving group is there?”

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