Katie Cleary was first introduced as being in the hit television show ‘Americas Next Top Model’, since then her acting career has led her into roles in movies such as: The Breakup, Rules of Engagement, and Chuck. Since then the actress, writer, and producer, Katie Cleary has em’barked’ on a new mission and that is to aide and shed light on an issue that is all too relevant. Cleary sits down with Splash Magazines and introduces her Award-Winning Documentary, ‘Give Me Shelter’ and also shares her thoughts on the importance of spreading awareness for the animals.
Sargent: Congrats on your Award-Winning Documentary 'Give Me Shelter'! How long have you been an animal rights activist?
KC: I have been an animal rights activist my whole life. Even since I started rescuing animals at a young age I wanted to be their voice and do what I could to help them.
Sargent: Prior to this documentary what are some activities you've been a part of?
KC: I produced my first charity event, "Diamonds Not Fur" in 2011 hosted by Betty White which raised money for the spcaLA and the "Fur Free West Hollywood" movement. In 2012, I produced "Stars 4 Stripes" hosted by Alison Eastwood to save the last of the 3,500 tigers left in the wild. I volunteer at "Shambala" Sanctuary with my friend Tippi Hedren, as well as The Wildlife Waystation with my friend Martine Collette. I also help out at the California Wildlife Center where they rehabilitate Native California Wildlife and re-release them back into the wild.
Sargent: In your documentary you choose to shoot from an interesting angle, what made you decide to shoot from such a personal angle?
KC: We wanted the viewers to feel like they are in the movie with the people who dedicate their lives to saving these animals, to see their struggle. To see their hope for a better life. To understand how helpless they are and how much they need our help. If you watch Super Bowl ads, I swear at least half of the commercials had animals in them! Everyone loves animals. Animals sell products. But we only see the fairy tale version of what goes on with animals around the world. Not the real life version and that was one of our goals - to show the good and bad and to raise awareness to such crucial animal issues that are going on around the world today. Such issues would otherwise not have been exposed if not for this film. Because of this film many animals will be saved because it will educate the viewers on how to do their part to save them.
Sargent: I read that this has been a lifelong project, how did this begin and when was the turning point that you knew this was an issue?
I have always loved and rescued animals from as long as I can remember I wanted to be a veterinarian and have my own animal rescue. I feel like my dream came true in a sense being able to raise awareness through my career in the entertainment business which gives me a platform to talk about these issues on a grander scale and have people listen. The turning point came after the first event I produced by myself in Hollywood. I knew if I could tackle that, I could do anything. That is when I started Peace 4 Animals.
Sargent: Congrats also on launching your own non-profit, 'Peace 4 Animals'! What is your main role in this non-profit.
KC: My role is to tackle the most important issues in the animal world before we loose certain species for ever. I am a very hands on person and have always done things myself but there are just too many issues that need attention that I am building a team of passionate people who can help me make a difference on a grand scale and do what ever we can to educate the public and save as many species of animals as we can.
Sargent: What do you hope to accomplish with your non-profit 'Peace 4 Animals'?
KC: I hope to have Peace 4 Animals be a household name that people look to when they want to help animals and educate others on the plight on different species. I hope to grow Peace 4 Animals into a large organization and open offices internationally
to put an end to the poaching of endangered species and focus on conserving their land. I hope to have a TV show focusing on educating the public about animals and film more documentaries about the most current issues in the animal world so that people can collectively do what they can to help. I would like Peace 4 Animals to be the first main stream animal right organization that has pet products, t-shirts and a portion of the proceeds from sales will go toward the latest campaign we are working on.
Sargent: What are a few points that you feel differentiate your non-profit from other non-profits dealing with the similar issues?
KC: Peace 4 Animals focuses not just on one cause but the most urgent causes in current time. We incorporate the entertainment business into raising awareness about animal issues. We also focus on international wild and exotic animal welfare issues and work with legislators to pass animal protection bills. We collaborate with other animal welfare organizations to tackle some of the biggest issues going on with endangered species, like how to save the remaining 1500 tigers in the wild in India.
Sargent: How can our readers get involved with this movement and your non-profit and in a sense 'do their part'?
KC: You can contact us on our website www.Peace4Animals.com and let us know what you are interested in helping with and we will see how we can help you make a difference for animals. If you are looking to adopt a pet please visit you local shelter to see all of the amazing animal they have for adoption, half of all of the animal in shelters are pure breeds and they also have many puppies up for adoption. If you are looking to volunteer to work with animals you can also visit you local wildlife center or shelter where they are always looking for help year round!
Sargent: Upcoming projects that you are in charge of?
KC: We are working on "The Environmental Education Act" to present to congress this year with 200k signatures in order to implement a class in all schools across the United States in Grade K through High School, teaching children about our planet, it's animals and how to live a more sustainable "Green" Life. Here is the link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/227/837/923/. We are finishing post-production on our documentary "Give Me Shelter" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z41UiRpd2YE&feature=youtu.be. “Give Me Shelter” is a documentary that uncovers the most prevalent issues in the animal world through the eyes of the individuals dedicating their lives to them daily. The film stars Tippi Hedren and many other hollywood stars and animal experts who dedicate their lives to saving animals.
Sargent: Best way for our readers to keep up with you and your organizations?