11/07/2011 at 05:45 PM EST
Getting 5,000 animals adopted in one month? Bring it on, says Katherine Heigl
The actress and animal advocate has never shied away from helping pets in need
, and now she's taking that enthusiasm one step further with a challenge.
"Super proud and excited to announce the Fall 5000 program," she Tweeted
on Friday, sharing news about a new pet adoption initiative led by the Los Angeles Animal Alliance
and the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation
, which honors her late brother.
"Hoping to get at least 5000 animals adopted this month from LA city and county shelters!" she continued. "Encourage people to go to their local shelters and adopt!"
The campaign, which spans five counties and 20 shelters, began Nov. 4 with a press conference at the East Valley Animal Shelter in Van Nuys, Calif., where Heigl and her mom, Nancy, also announced they would be funding no-cost adoptions for veterans looking to take in a shelter animal through the Pets to Patriots
"It is a small token of our appreciation to the legion of heroes who have given so much," said Heigl, whose late uncle Frederick John Debus was a Navy veteran and ardent animal lover.
The actress herself, a longtime proponent of animal welfare
, is mom to six dogs
– three of which are rescues – with a seventh addition
possibly on the way.