|When U.S. Snowboarding's Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) isn't busy dominating every man woman and child that dares to challenge her snowboardcross skills, she likes to spend her time shedding light on something close to her heart - animals.|
"I just absolutely love animals - all different kinds," Jacobellis said. "We're surrounded by animals because of growing up in the country and I really got a lot of exposure to them."
Jacobellis' love of animals took a shift towards trying to improve their quality of life when she started watching the cable network Animal Planet.
"Since I like animals so much, I started watching Animal Planet and just seeing the Animal Cops shows made me so angry," Jacobellis said. "Sometimes people had the means to take care of an animal and didn't or just neglected it.
"It just made me upset, so I got information about the ASPCA online and I decided that it was the charity that I wanted to be involved with."
While she began by making annual donations, Jacobellis has started getting more closely involved with the organization.
"I recently took a tour of their facility and am going to a fundraiser this month," Jacobellis said. "It wasn't as heartbreaking as I thought it was going to be. They refurbished the entire facility and made it look almost like a pet shop instead of having cold cement floors and cages. It was more inviting and the animals were great."
As she spent time with the animals, Jacobellis took in some facts about the organization that really hit home with her.
"It was so nice to hear that they never put down an animal - it can stay there as long as it needs to and whenever they adopt an animal, they go right to the animal control in the city and fill their spots with animals from there," Jacobellis said. "They're constantly getting in new cats and dogs and whenever there's room, they take as many as they can."
Though she heads back to the slopes soon, Jacobellis has some tips for busy people like her who want to be involved in helping animals out.
"The easiest thing is to go to the Web site, but, if you live in the city, it's a great thing to do on the weekends because you can walk dogs and spend time with the animals," Jacobellis said. "It also fills people's needs - if they want to have an animal but don't have all the time for one, they can take time with them there."
For more information on how you can help visit www.aspca.org
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images