Celebrity chef Rachael Ray is most known for her cooking, but she’s also a big animal lover and advocate. In April, Ray announced plans to donate $4 million to COVID-19 relief projects through The Rachael Ray Foundation and her Yum-o! Organization. Half of those funds were allocated to animal welfare organizations, including the North Shore Animal League, Best Friends Animal Society and Lost Our Home Rescue.
Why is this issue so close to Ray’s heart? She had a rescue Pit Bull of her own. Sadly, this week Ray and her husband John Cusimano shared news of their beloved dog Isaboo’s passing on Instagram. She was 15-years-old.
“Our beloved Isaboo passed today in her backyard in the sun in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. In our arms. Peacefully.”
Fans of Ray’s show will have an opportunity to catch glimpses of the sweet dog during isolation. She played a big role in their quarantine shows.
“In the weeks to come you may even spot her as she was our only audience for the shows we’ve been producing from our home during this strange time. We just felt it right to share that this was the day she left this world and we hope we see her in the next.”
Though they’re both grateful for their time with Isaboo, they have a hard time imagining life without her.
“Our life will be a little less sweet without our Isaboo…We’ll miss her sense of humor. Her Wile E Coyote-ness. Her energy and her game-on attitude. She was a fighter.”
A Call To Rescue An Animal In Need
Isaboo, Ray said, taught her and her husband “more about unconditional love, empathy, and understanding of one another than [they] could have ever imagined.” She then went on to advocate for rescuing an animal during the outbreak.
“If you have room in your heart, your home, and your budget, I say from experience that bringing an animal in need into your home can help you become a better human being.”
Ray also wrote that she and her husband plan to help out another animal in need, “because that is what Izzy would want. ”
“These devoted humanitarians and animal advocates have always been there for people and animals in need. We know how much Isaboo will be missed by them but, they will have the joyful time they spent with Isaboo and her memory will live on in their hearts forever.”
An Outpouring Of Fan Support
Ray’s fans have always appreciated the chef’s commitment to furry friends. Many chimed in with condolences and love for the dog.
“Rachael and John, I am so sorry your sadness with the passing of beautiful Isaboo. You gave her the opportunity to have a wonderful life full of love and comfort, feast and fun. Isaboo was one very lucky lady! My heart is with you.” – @suedotw via Twitter
“Came here to say how much I’m enjoying your home shows & find out Isaboo has passed. I’m so sorry for you & John. But Isaboo was 1 hella lucky dog. I don’t know of any pup who’s been loved more than you loved her. When I think of you, I’ve always thought of her too.” – @soaprookie via Twitter
Ray tweeted her appreciation on behalf of the family and the late Isaboo.
“Thank you for the love and support. We feel like we have a family bigger then our zip code. Isaboo passed well and her soul must be overflowing with all the positive energy sent to her.”
You’ll be missed Isaboo!