It’s no secret that singing sensation Jackie Evancho loves animals.
Jackie declared her love for baby seals during an interview on the TV show "America’s Got Talent" last year, according to her father, Mike Evancho.
After that declaration, the Humane Society of the United States contacted the Evancho family to ask if Jackie would sing at its annual “Chefs for Seals” event, which promotes efforts to end seal hunting.
Now the Humane Society has taken the connection one step further and asked Jackie to be the spokesperson for Mission: Humane, its campaign to get kids involved in animal protection.
“Jackie loves animals and is thrilled to be helping them through Mission: Humane,” said Mike Evancho from his Richland Township home.
Jackie became aware of the plight of baby seals and clubbing deaths while watching a show on the Discovery Channel. Soon after, she and a friend made small posters aimed at saving baby seals.
“When she was asked on the show what she would do with the money if she won, one of the things she said was to save baby seals,” said Mike.
Kathy Bauch, senior director for the society said, “Right after she made that statement, I received about 15 emails saying, ‘Have you seen this child that wants to protect baby seals?’ and so we reached out to her.”
The connection resulted in Jackie performing at the "Chefs for Seals" event in Los Angeles in January.
Jackie was a huge hit with the audience, and a video shot for its website also was a hit. Since Jackie wanted to do more, the society decided to appoint her to be its official spokesperson for the Mission: Humane campaign.
“We knew that as a child, Jackie could relate to other children,” said Bauch. “And with such a wide fan base, we knew she would reach a lot of people.”
The idea behind the campaign is that children can make a difference in the protection and care of animals.
“We have seen children make a difference in society so we know this is an important campaign,” said Bauch.
It is also one that Jackie is delighted to be a part of, said her dad.
“She was very honored. I know that is the ‘right’ thing to say, but we really mean it,” he said. “And anyone who knows us knows we love animals.”
Evancho refers to Jackie coming by her love of animals naturally – the Evanchos have their own menagerie with three dogs, two cats, three ducks, three frogs, two guinea pigs and a lizard. Mike Evancho joked that his wife, Lisa, is the one who approves the pets, not him.
“I just roll my eyes when they start talking about getting another pet,” he said.
For more information about The Humane Society of the United States and the Mission: Humane, visit www.humanesociety.org/missionhumane.