Through her non-profit MuttNation Foundation, Lambert is presenting 15 $1000 grants to shelters under its 'Share the Love' program.
For this year's Valentine's Day, Miranda Lambert is making the day of love sweeter for animals. The country music icon is donating to 15 animal shelters through her MuttNation Foundation. Last year on Giving Tuesday i.e. December 1, the organization announced that it is expanding its 'Share the Love' program. The grant program was open for anyone who adopted/ fostered a pet through or volunteered at an animal shelter in 2020. Many animal lovers applied for the program and nominated their local animal shelters in the hope that they receive 15 of MuttNation foundation's $1,000 grants. As Valentine's Day approaches, MuttNation is prepared to announce its 15 winners.
"Shelter pets and the people who care for them have the biggest hearts and sharing the love for Valentine's Day feels so right," shared Lambert in a statement to PEOPLE. Take a look at the list below to know the 15 recipients of the $1,000 MuttNation 'Share the Love' grants:
- Angels Among Us in Alpharetta, Georgia, entered by Leslie Kinkade
- Abandoned Animal Rescue in Magnolia, Texas, entered by Joni McLelland
- Black Dog Rescue in Cheyenne, Wyoming, entered by Emily Smith
- Corridor Animal Rescue in Houston, Texas, entered by Dawn Venditelli
- Delta Animal Shelter in Escanaba, Michigan, entered by April Chartre
- Helping Hands in Topeka, Kansas, entered by Rebekah Williamson
- Nicholas Pet Haven in Tyler, Texas, entered by Beckey Woodward
- McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, entered by Michele Hall
- PAWS in Chicago, Illinois, entered by Kenny Kwan
- Orphan Angels Cat Sanctuary in Erie, Pennsylvania entered by Jennifer Ciotti
- Pet Friends in Irwin, Pennsylvania, entered by Susan Reitz
- Pet Pal Animal Shelter in St. Petersburg, Florida, entered by Gary Simmons
- Puppy Haven Rescue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, entered by Lorie Vincent
- Second Chance Dog Rescue in San Diego, California, entered by Lynn Connot
- Sioux Falls Area Humane in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, entered by Samantha Kalved
During last year's 'Share the Love' program, more than 14,000 people participated and considerably exceeded the number of registrations in the past two years. The program started in 2018, saw only 500 participants, whereas the number increased to 2,000 the following year. "It's amazing to have such an overwhelming response to our program," expressed the singing sensation. "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," she continued.
The Texas native began volunteering with animals when she was just a teen, and later created the MuttNation Foundation along with her mother Bev. Founded in 2009, the non-profit organization is dedicated to finding happy and safe forever homes for rescued pets. "Miranda’s love for animals has always been an important part of who she is. While volunteering at local shelters, she adopted her first pup Delilah as a companion when she started touring. To help shine the spotlight on rescue animals and shelters, Miranda and her mom Bev Lambert founded MuttNation Foundation..." reads the website. The organization also aims to provide "financial support to carefully vetted shelters across the United States."
"We've been able to help with natural disasters and help shelters renovate, we kind of have our hand in everything," she told Pop Culture. "That's why we wanted to start it because we wanted control of where the money that we raised could go to. My mom used to be a private investigator, so she vets it pretty hard, wherever we give money to." The singer is a pet parent to many rescued pets, including nine shelter dogs and many rescue cats, horses, and rabbits. "They're doing well!" Lambert said of her animals, speaking to PEOPLE.
"Delta, Cher, and Bellamy have been traveling with us on our recent airstream adventures," she shared talking about the road trips that the Over You singer has been taking with her husband Brendan McLoughlin. The pandemic helped her enjoy more time with all her animals. "My pets always help keep me grounded and help keep things in perspective. It's been nice to have some more time at home with all of them this past year. They make me smile!" she continued.
Lambert is hopeful that her work through the MuttNation inspires others and convinces them to give a chance to pet adoptions. "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," she explained. "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."