Diana Basehart & the Diana Basehart Foundation
Diana Basehart has had a life-long love of animals. She and her late husband, actor Richard Basehart, conceived of and formed Actors and Others for Animals in the early 70’s. The Actors and Others for Animals website says, “It all began in 1971 on one of Los Angeles’ busy freeways. It was on such a freeway that the late actor Richard Basehart and his wife, Diana, watched in horror as someone in a car ahead of them nonchalantly tossed a dog out of the car window to a grisly death. Both Richard and Diana were animal lovers and very aware of the daily cruelties that so many animals endured. Their shock and outrage that day motivated them to gather fellow actors and members of the community together to work to stop such inhumane treatment.” Actors and Others for Animals is still going strong today.
But Diana is not one to sit back and relax while animals and their guardians are suffering. As a long time Montecito resident, she realized that there was a great need to provide support for people in Santa Barbara County who are struggling financially and can’t afford to care for their beloved pets.
She formed the Diana Basehart Foundation to provide financial help for essential veterinary care to low-income families, seniors, veterans, and the disabled in Santa Barbara County. The organization keeps people and their pets together, while also minimizing the number of animals being turned over to shelters.
Diana says that they get several calls from pet owners needing assistance on a daily basis. While some of their clients are homeless, others are everyday people who are living paycheck to paycheck and simply don’t have the means to pay for veterinary care when their pet gets sick. In the two years that the organization has been in existence, they have helped over 500 people and their pets. They also regularly care for service animals whose owners would not be able to survive without them.