Alison to the Rescue

Actress. Director. Daughter of Clint. Alison Eastwood has worn many hats, but the role she is most proud of is founder of the Eastwood Ranch Foundation.

Alison Eastwood has always been an animal lover. When she lived in Topanga, she owned horses and she has always had dogs. She says her love of animals took a dramatic turn when she got involved with Animal Intervention on Nat Geo Wild. Alison helped create and hosted the show. “We traveled the country to help animals, mostly exotics, but I saw firsthand what was occurring in shelters. I realized that I had to do more than just document the problems. I had to start doing something about it,” she explains.

That “call to action” resulted in the Calabasas resident creating the Eastwood Ranch Foundation, a nonprofit that rescues (or removes) animals, mostly dogs and cats, from high-kill shelters. The foundation also participates in adoption events at shelters. “We’ve helped get hundreds of animals out in one week. We believe that working with other rescues is the key to making a greater impact,” says Alison. With a host of fosters and volunteers, the nonprofit gets animals into loving foster homes until they can be adopted. It also transports shelter animals to other states like Washington and Oregon where over- population isn’t as big of a problem.

Fundraising is currently underway for the foundation’s own adoption center and Alison says her dad, Hollywood powerhouse Clint Eastwood, is a big supporter. “My dad is a huge animal lover. Our whole family is. He has come to all of our fundraisers and has made generous donations to help the critters. He’s proud of what we are doing.”

Alison admits, with such a large shelter population, it is hard not to get discouraged. “But every time I get a call or an email from a happy family who loves their rescue pet, it makes it all worthwhile. We know we can’t save them all, but we know we make a difference and sometimes that’s what you have to focus on.”

Alison believes the key to reducing the unwanted pet population is to enforce mandatory spay/neuter in California. She says, “We might actually be able to have very few animals in shelters. The laws need to change and be taken seriously for this epidemic to end.”