Kid Reporters

Rachael Ray's Pet Project

TIME For Kids caught up with the celebrity chef and animal activist in Chicago

December 22, 2010

You may know Rachael Ray from her cooking shows on the Food Network and from her many cookbooks. But did you know that she is also a dedicated advocate for animal charities? She supports organizations dedicated to helping at-risk pets through rescue, adoption, medical care and educational programs.

Ray recently donated $775,000 to support charities, organizations and shelters that help animals. She also has a pet food line called Rachael Ray Nutrish and a line of treats called Just 6. She donates 100% of the proceeds to help animals.

TFK Kid Reporter Francesco Franzese recently caught up with Ray at a pet adoption and book-signing event for her latest cookbook, Look and Cook. He spoke with her about her work with animal charities, her all-natural pet food lines, and her love for all creatures.

TFK:

Were you an animal lover your whole life?

RACHAEL RAY:

My first dog was a pit bull that I got about 15 years ago. I'd always been an animal lover, but that was the first pet I've ever owned. My whole life changed. It just makes you feel so loved.

TFK:

How did you become interested in helping animal charities?

RAY:

I have a pit bull, and pit bulls are very misunderstood. They're frequently tortured and sent to fight each other. I started out just wanting to help pit bulls, but as my business grew, we realized we had the ability to help out all animals. So far, we've raised about $1.5 million.

TFK:

How many pets do you have now?

RAY:

I have only one dog, Izzy, because I live in a very small space. That's another reason I work with animal charities. I have lots and lots of animals of every kind that I can visit in every city I go to.

TFK:

Do you know how your donation will be used to benefit animals?

RAY:

Kid Reporter
Francesco Franzese

The money will be used to improve living conditions in animal shelters, for vet bills, toys, beds and anything that the shelter needs.

TFK:

Tell me about your natural pet food line known as Rachael Ray Nutrish.

RAY:

It's made to human standards. I've actually tried it myself. There are no fillers, no chemicals and all the ingredients are organic.

TFK:

What inspired you to create a natural pet food line?

RAY:

I cook all of my dog Izzy's food. I wanted to create a pet food that is as good as the food I give her. All of the proceeds go to animals.

TFK:

Did you help to create the recipes used to make the pet food in Rachael Ray Nutrish?

RAY:

Of course, and Izzy test tasted them, just like people do with real food.

TFK:

Can you tell the readers of TFK how they can help animals?

RAY:

They can go into their local shelters and volunteer their time. Kids can encourage their families to help foster animals and they can adopt their own dogs or cats. If they have pets at home, they can buy Nutrish pet food since 100% of the proceeds go to animal charities, such as the Best Friends Animal Society. They can also donate their time, money, dog or cat toys and blankets to any of their local shelters.


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