The Sweet Magnolias star calls her family’s “crew” of shelter pets “the most loving, incredible family members that we’ve ever been blessed with.”


JoAnna Garcia Swisher has teamed up with Hill's Pet Nutrition to promote pet adoption in support of NBCUniversal Local's annual Clear The Shelters campaign.

Through the #HillsForLife initiative, the proud parent of five rescue pets is encouraging people to adopt from their local shelters and hopes to raise $10,000 to support shelter pets across the U.S.

Consumers are invited to participate in the #HillsForLife social sweepstakes on Instagram through September 19. Simply share a photo of your adopted pet(s) with the hashtag #HillsForLife for a chance to win Hill's science-led pet nutrition for a year. Plus, every valid post triggers a donation from Hill's Pet Nutrition that directly supports the ongoing animal shelter work of Greater Good Charities.

Garcia Swisher kicked off the program's social media initiative on Instagram Wednesday with photos of Cooper and Romeo, two of her family's four rescue dogs.

The Sweet Magnolias star told Southern Living that she's excited to team up with Hill's because pet adoption is a cause that's always been near and dear to her heart. Plus, it's always fun to give people the opportunity to talk about their own shelter pets.

"It's something that speaks to us," Garcia Swisher continued. "Having an opportunity to give an animal a loving home that maybe didn't get set off in the best of circumstances or maybe was surrendered because of extenuating circumstances with their original owner."

There are currently four dogs, one cat, and one hamster under the Swisher roof. The family also has rescue horses, ponies, and bunnies. "They all have stories to tell," she said. "But they are a little crew… well, a big crew."

At home there's Romeo the Great Dane, Cooper the poodle mix, and two Chihuahuas, Lucky and Elsa. The cat, Prince Rainbow Sparkles, was named by Garcia Swisher's oldest daughter Emerson. "He's so naughty," Garcia Swisher said with a laugh. "He'll nibble anything that's not nailed down."

They're some of the lucky ones.

"They need our help," the actress said of the pets still waiting for good homes. "They've always tugged at my heartstrings and always been some of the most loving, incredible family members that we've ever been blessed with."