To honor the memory of her late brother who died tragically in a 1986 automobile accident, Katherine Heigl announced last week a new foundation dedicated to helping animals. 

The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation "will focus on curbing the growing pet population problems in Los Angeles, as well as “support of training and obedience programs, rescue organizations, ‘no kill shelters’, pet adoption schemes and programs which help move homeless animals away from shelters which intend to put them down.”

To help get the foundation started, Heigl — who pulls in an estimated $13 million per film — generously donated $1 million to the new charity. 

Katherine told Access Hollywood: “I said to my mother, ‘I think it’s a really grace-filled way to honor him.’ My mother began the foundation in his name as a way of creating a legacy for this child of hers that didn’t live long enough to do that himself and he also happened to be a real advocate for animals and children and the repressed, so it works out beautifully."“It’ll never change how this day feels to us come Sept. 23 every year. It has a significance now, of beauty, a grace to it, that we are grateful for.”

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Katherine Heigl creates new animal foundation
Former 'Grey's Anatomy' star donates $1 million to help establish the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation.