“ Willy was laying next to one of my cats on the little animal couch, Teddy the terrier was laying with another cat on a cushion, and Samba my lab was on the floor with Lolo, my tabby. But I think my rescues know that they’re rescued and I’ve tried to create this haven for them that’s filled with love.’ Jillian, 36, readily admits that her passion for animals and her desire to save them probably dates back to childhood.Born in Toronto, Ontario, she was later adopted and raised in the nearby city of Burlington.I think I related to animals because they were rescued just like I was rescued.” As an on-air personality, Jillian is in a position to make quite a difference.In addition to the “Adopt a Pet” segment, she regularly shares animal tips and information with viewers, and promotes only designers with fur-free lines on her “Style File” fashion segments.We started out featuring one animal a week and then after a few months, when the phone was ringing off the hook from agencies who wanted to come on the show, I suggested we do it daily.” Hundreds of animals later, viewers regularly drop Jillian a line to let her know how well the adoptive animals are doing.“Some of the dogs who come on the show are emaciated and in terrible condition,” explains Jillian.
“I just told the producers I was very passionate about this and it’s something we should do.
In fact, some of the six dogs and cats she adopted were scheduled for euthanasia the next day.
Now they live harmoniously in Jillian’s home, even sleeping together on her bed at night.
Surprised and elated, Jillian accepted the award from her colleague, “Good Day, L. “It was a huge surprise, which is amazing because I have so many friends and they’re all gossips,” Jillian, says, laughing.
“That award, though, means more to me than any other accolade I could get in this town.” Chris De Rose, founder and Executive Director of LCA, says the award is well deserved. She has total empathy and she’s not afraid to speak up for the voiceless.
Chris De Rose, for one, feels fortunate to have her support. Outdoor dogs should be kept safely behind a locked gate.