Pet Causes

UPDATED 11/23/2009 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/23/2009 at 01:00 AM EST

Tricia Helfer

PET CAUSE: kittenrescue.org

WHY SHE CARES: The Battlestar Galactica actress is such a doting adoptive and foster mom to seven rescue cats that her husband e-mails her kitty-grams every morning when she is on location. "My dream is to have my own shelter," Helfer, 35, says. "Rescue animals just seem to inherently understand that you've helped them."

Jared Padalecki

PET CAUSE: adogsliferescue.org

WHY HE CARES: At 6'4" and 220 lbs., the Supernatural star sometimes scares the stray dogs in South Central L.A. that he coaxes off the streets: "It takes me longer to earn a dog's trust because sometimes they see me as a threat." But the work is worth it, says Padalecki, 27: "When people wonder how they can get dogs like mine, I say, 'You go to a shelter.'"

Katherine Heigl

PET CAUSE: bestfriends.org

WHY SHE CARES: After mom Nancy told her about Best Friends last year, Heigl, 30, sprang into action. "It was clearly obvious what a great program this was and how many lives they could save," says the Grey's Anatomy star. "They move dogs out of overcrowded L.A. shelters to Utah and other states with waiting lists for small dogs."

Minnie Driver

PET CAUSE: dawnsaveswildlife.com

WHY SHE CARES: "Having my son and swimming with humpback whales were the two most religious experiences in my life," says the actress, 39, mom of Henry, 1. Driver, partnering with Dawn dish detergent, has now helped to raise more than $150,000 in consumer donations to marine animal rescue.

Pauley Perrette

PET CAUSE: petcoplace.org

WHY SHE CARES: NCIS star Perrette was volunteering at a People Assisting the Homeless shelter in Hollywood last year when she discovered it had a small "shelter within a shelter" called Petco Place, for homeless people and their pets. "If you say, 'It's you or your dog,' that's not an option," says Perrette, 40. "It's so important to keep people and their animals safe. That's exactly what this is."

FOR MORE PET NEWS AND PICTURES, VISIT PEOPLEPETS.COM

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