However, Lisa's love for canines turned into activism when she learned about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China. "A few months ago somebody sent me pictures of the festival on social media and I just couldn't believe it. I've had so many sleepless nights over it. They were just so barbaric, it was so upsetting. I thought if we turned away we're almost condoning it," Lisa told The Daily Mail in a recent interview. "Ken felt equally passionate about it. It's just such an awful annual event. They are man's best friend and I just want to do something about it."
Since hearing about the annual event in China's Guangxi province where thousands of dogs are killed for their meat, Lisa and Ken have taken action. They enlisted friend Sharon Osbourne to help film a PSA and organized a protest march through Los Angeles to the Chinese Consulate-General in October, as we saw earlier this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. "I want to do something about it," Lisa said. "I want it on my epitaph that I was instrumental in stopping this heinous annual event."
Now Lisa and Ken (and their eight dogs) are taking their passion to the next level with the official launch of The Vanderpump Dog Foundation on Tuesday, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the well-being of dogs around the world. The couple hopes to do so by impacting "global legislation, education, and the overall treatment of animals," according to The Daily Mail.
First on the agenda is setting up a rescue center in West Hollywood for dogs that have been mistreated, abused, or abandoned. The couple is also trying to set up a rescue center in Yulin, China to rescue them from the festival, take care of them, and find them homes, The Daily Mail reports. However, the main goal of the organization is to stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival forever.
"I can't live with the fact that these dogs are treated this way – they break their legs to fit them in cages, they pile them up in nets, they travel for days, they're taking people's pets, they're skinning them alive. It's just barbaric," Lisa said. "I can't change a culture. I can't change a country if they believe they want to eat man's best friend. But I can try and stop this festival. It's about the torture of these dogs, which is absolutely one of the most upsetting things I've ever seen."
Lisa plans on bringing the issue to the U.N., as well as a separate issue of the dog and cat meat trade in the Chinese province of Guangdong with California Governor Jerry Brown, who signed an agreement establishing the two as sister states to improve ties in areas like trade, clean energy, and education.
"We don't even think the governor realizes that our sister state in California, Guandong, is the biggest dog-eating state in the world," Ken told The Daily Mail. "We want to bring that to his attention and we want him to do something about it. He doesn't realize he's dealing with Lisa – he's got some trouble coming his way."
That drive is all fueled by Lisa and Ken's love for animals, especially dogs. "We're absolutely passionate about our dogs - they are like our children," Lisa said. 'We're seeing dogs now that predict cancer, predict seizures, arson dogs, CSI dogs, post traumatic stress syndrome dogs. They are just incredible creatures and I think most people understand that. If you're a dog lover you really realize how wonderfully sensitive they are to our needs and I think we should be sensitive to theirs."
See Lisa's canine passion in action in these pics from her march to end the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, below.