Lisa Vanderpump, philanthropist, businesswoman, TV personality, executive producer of Vanderpump Rules (which recently reached a milestone of 2.3 million viewers) and star of Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills. Although Lisa has long been a staple of RHOBH, the show doesn’t define her life, but rather documents it. As an entrepreneur she has launched three successful restaurants located in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills (Pump, SUR and Villa Blanca), all of which she personally designed and manages. But her passion has been and continues to be her activism and philanthropy. It’s how she was raised at home in England.
Lisa founded Stop Yulin Forever movement and has proven that one person truly can make a difference when you are driven by a passion for what you do. A staunch activist in the fight to end the torture and slaughter of dogs at the Yulin Dog Meat ‘Festival’ in China, she led the way with a march on the Chinese Consulate; testified before Congress, and founded the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, to ensure the humane treatment and rescue of dogs both in China, the United States, and elsewhere.
Lisa talks about her new initiative which is something she feels very strongly about.
You are always giving back to the community in so many ways. Viewers of your shows know that ‘man’s best friend’ is your passion, so tell us more about the Vanderpump Dog Foundation.
First we started a line of dog accessories called Vanderpump Pets, then we started receiving pictures of what was transpiring in Yulin. So, we were side-tracked, and we ended up really putting all of our energy and focus into fighting against Yulin. So far, what the Vanderpump Dog Foundation has achieved is having rallies and supplying placards all over the world in order to stop Yulin forever, we’ve also been to Congress and spoken to Congress and formed our own Resolution 30 with Congressman Alcee Hastings, to stop the Yulin Festival primarily, and we already have 160 members of congress already signed up committed to supporting this resolution. We are looking for further support to get this resolution passed. I am at the moment personally with my husband Ken Todd and Dr John Sessa making a documentary about the Yulin fight to shed some light on the matter.
We are opening the Vanderpump Dog Foundation Rescue Center, where we will be selling our product line Vanderpump Pets with the proceeds helping to finance the rescue centre. Our centre is partnering with the City Of Los Angeles to adopt out shelter animals from overpopulated shelters across the city. We have grooming facilities so they can get ‘Vanderpuffed’ (we’ll be loving every minute of that!) and then put up for adoption. Our grooming services are also open to the public. We just brought over three dogs we just saved from the meat truck on their way to the torture ‘festival’ (Yulin) and the meat house. We’ve brought a few dogs over to the United States, but we don’t advocate bringing hundreds of thousands of dogs over from China, because we have a big enough problem domestically.
What we are trying to do is bring them over and let the serve as Yulin ambassadors to show people in America that these are beautiful creatures and their fate was to be tortured, beaten, skinned alive to death, and to show them that all of these animals could be somebody’s pets.
What can readers to help raise awareness and stop the Yulin Dog Meat ‘Festival’ June 21 in China?
I just think if people join the cause it helps. It’s not my sole responsibility to do this, but it’s something that resonates so deeply within me. I felt compelled to do something. I’m not a politician or animal activist. I’m a normal person, a restaurateur who often eats meat and wears leather. So, I’m not professing to be that person. But this was about bringing awareness around the torture of these dogs, around boiling them alive, around beating them to death. We’re trying to educate people in other parts of the world that dogs are wonderful creatures that meet our needs and we should be meeting theirs.
You held a your first ever Vanderpump Dog Foundation Gala in November which was sold out and raised six figures to help support the new rescue centre which opened in LA. Tell us more.
Well, we were lucky enough to be hosted by the incredibly generous and wonderful Mario Lopez, his wife Courtney were so supportive. Diane Warren, an incredible songwriter, wrote us a song that Leona Lewis sang, which was beautiful at the gala, along with Eric Benet. So we had a lot of wonderful people involved, and we raised quite a lot of money. Some of the money is going to fighting against Yulin, some of the money is going to support the animal shelter, some of the money is going to support the Vanderpump Dog Rescue Center. You know, it’s all about really advocating for the humane treatment of dogs, and we want to do what we can.
One of Lisa’s mottos is to find something that you love to do and you won’t have to work a day in your life – because love is not work. And Lisa has clearly succeeded at that.
To register your protest go to: https://www.change.org/p/mr-chen-wu-yulin-governor-please-shut-down-the-yulin-dog-meat-festival-in-guangxi-china. Or e-mail Chinese Embassy on [email protected]