Miranda Lambert is celebrating 10 years of her animal non-profit, MuttNation Foundation in a big way – with $150,000 in grants to animal shelters across the country.
"Music and rescue animals are the two driving forces in my life and I'm so fortunate that the success I've had with my music allows me to help shelter animals more than I dreamed possible," Lambert said in a statement. "Just in this past year alone, we helped 1,776 shelter pets find their forever homes."
MuttNation was started in 2009 by Lambert and her mother, Bev, to help promote animal adoption from shelters, assist with animal transport, and help in times of natural disaster.
In 2015, Bev launched Mutts Across America, which is offering 50 surprise grants to a carefully-screened shelter in each state. To date, Mutts Across America has supported 250 shelters with more than $750,000.
The singer, who just gave three shelters $1000 grants, is proud of how her fans have rallied around a cause that is important to her, with almost 400 people responding to her recent Giving Tuesday challenge of volunteering a day of their time in lieu of a financial gift.
"We didn't know if one person or 100 people would rise to the challenge and were thrilled by the response of 399 rescue-loving folks who signed on," Lambert said of the recent initiative. "Nothing makes me happier than to see people actively participate in making a positive difference at their local level."
Lambert does much more than just advocate for animals through her MuttNation Foundation. The 35-year-old also tries to convince her friends to adopt rescue animals, with a surprising amount of success.
"They all know it's coming!" Lambert told Parade. "I always encourage people to adopt instead of shop [at pet stores]. So many homeless dogs are getting overlooked because of breeders," she says. "I'm a pretty great matchmaker, I have to say. I tell them, 'There's always room for one more.'"
"Rescue dogs are special," she added. "They know you've saved their lives."
Lambert is grateful that her successful career has given her the means to help the cause that is most important to her.
"Music and mutts are my two passions," Lambert said. "So using music to raise money for these animals is pretty amazing."
Lambert owns eight dogs, but she is likely not spending much time with them right now, since she recently married police officer, Brendan McLoughlin, who lives and works in New York City. Her next scheduled performance is on April 1 at Loretta Lynn's All-Star Birthday Celebration.
Photo Credit: Getty images/John Shearer