Chelsea Kane Is Serious About Shelter Dogs
Lots of shelter dogs will be well fed, in part thanks to actress Chelsea Kane’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Kane, a Disney Channel star who finished third this past season on “Dancing with the Stars,” teamed up with Pedigree dog food. Together, through a social media campaign in June called Every Dog Deserves, 100,000 pounds of Pedigree’s new dog food formula was donated to animal shelters.
“Those are the dogs who need it the most,” says Kane in a phone interview. “Four million dogs go into shelters every year, and only about half make it out.”
To promote the campaign, Kane visited shelters and did some traditional media, but mostly offered support through social media.
“I’m a huge Facebook and Twitter user,” she says. “I asked for social engagement in return to my posts, and people did it!” Even though the promotion has ended, Kane encourages Facebook users to go to www.facebook.com/pedigree and post “what all dogs deserve” (belly rubs, a good scratch behind the ears, etc.). “It’s fun,” Kane says.
Kane adds, “I’ve always been an animal lover.” The 22-year-old actress grew up with a Pug. She now has an English Bulldog named Woman.
I want to make sure she’s not confused about what she is; after all, she’s not very feminine looking,” says Kane. “And I enjoy turning heads in public when I call my dog and say, ‘Woman, come here!’ I think that’s pretty funny.”
Aside from helping animals, Kane was impressed with the idea of utilizing social media. She’s especially in love with Twitter, maybe even addicted, she admits.
“I love getting feedback from my friends and fans, and then I can write back so they know what I’m up to. And they get to know me. On “Dancing with the Stars,” I played myself, but as an actress, I typically play a character. I also enjoy how funny and witty my fans are. And I’ve even begun relationships. No, not like that kind of relationship,” she says with a laugh. “For instance, one fan that I definitely consider a girlfriend today I met through Twitter.”
Kane echoes what other celebs say about Twitter — that it’s an effective means to communicate the truth about her life, as opposed to untruths sometimes invented by “creative” media types.
As for Kane, her fans read her Tweets about Woman. And they’ve heard about her ups and downs on “Dancing With the Stars.” Smartphones were not allowed on the DWTS set — for the very reason that contestants or anyone with access could Tweet outcomes before the show could be viewed on the West Coast.
Kane loved her experience on “Dancing,” and learning from her professional partner, Mark Ballas. “He is amazing, the real deal,” she says. “His parents are professional ballroom dancers and teachers. Mark was competing since he was 6.”
About what really goes on with the judges at “Dancing,” “It’s TV, so I assumed we’d get to know the judges, and see them backstage,” she says. “But the only time I saw them was behind their podium on-stage. What viewers see on TV is real.”
Her favorite judge, she says, was Bruno Toniolli because “he was always so sweet, and would give me a reassuring wink and smile as I was about to start. It made me feel good as I was about to do something crazy on national TV.” The judge who intimidated her the most was Carrie Ann Inaba. “She was my mentor judge for the last performance,” says Kane. “I think because she’s a woman she knew what I should be doing better.” As for the celebrity dancers she was most blown away by, actor Ralph Macchio and the season winner, Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kane feels that she’s ready to move on from the Disney Channel and break into network TV, perhaps with a sitcom. Meanwhile, she’s continuing to help shelter animals.
“People sometimes assume they are there because they’ve done something wrong but that’s not the case,” she notes. “Shelter animals deserve a home, too.”
(c) Steve Dale, 2011 DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.