Who hasn’t swooned over sweet doggy kisses or warm kitty cuddles? How about playful head butts from a goat, affectionate nuzzles from a donkey, or shameless flattery from a parrot? Such is business as usual at Rancho Providencia, the private home and animal sanctuary of Kelly Holland in Chatsworth, California. In addition to her work as president of Penthouse Media, Kelly is heavily involved in animal rescue and hosts a yearly Monte Carlo night on her property to raise funds and awareness for the cause. This year’s 6th annual Vice Is Nice event is coming up on July 25th, and Kelly took time out of her busy schedule to talk with The Swoon Society about The Animal Rescue Alliance, juggling work and charity, and why the porn industry is an animal’s best friend.
How did you become involved with animal rescue?
Well, I’ve always liked animals and I’ve always had a lot of animals, but when I got the ranch there was a pregnant, feral cat there who had kittens. And then somehow she died—she got attacked by a coyote or something—so I was brought this litter of kittens that had to be bottle fed.
At the same time, I was working and I had a film shoot I had to be on and I was going to be there 16 hours a day. I knew nothing about rescue at the time, so I took these kittens up [to a local rescue]. I paid them a couple hundred dollars to keep the kittens for two days and bottle feed them while I was on the set. I came back to pick the kittens up and they were in a kitten room with about 15 other kittens who all were sick. The volunteer said, “You’ve got to get these kittens out,” and I said, “Alright, give me my kittens,” and he said, “No, you need to take them all out of here. This is a really terrible place. They take a lot of donations, but they never have healthcare.”
So I load up all 15 kittens. Unfortunately, all of those kittens had something called panleukopenia, which is a fatal disease. And one by one by one by one, times 15, they all died. I tried everything. I couldn’t get one of these kittens to survive. That was so traumatic for me—and I’m not easily traumatized—that I would find myself for months afterwards walking down the street, driving down the street…I would just burst into tears. And I thought, “You know what? I’ve got to get over this. Maybe I just need to kind of get back on the horse.” So I met another rescue and asked them if I could foster and that’s how it started.
Being the president of a major media company and working with animal rescue seem like two full-time jobs. How do you manage to do both?
Lots of caffeine. Truly. I mean, I go like 16 hours a day. I know where to relax. I have a great bunch of volunteers that support me. Thankfully, because I’m the president of Penthouse, I make a lot of money and I can hire people, so I have people that work every day taking care of the horses, the pig, the goats. I’ve just managed to craft a life where it works. Oh, and I don’t have a personal life. That would be a major issue.
You founded The Animal Rescue Alliance. Is that an umbrella organization?
The key word is “alliance.” I worked for many different rescues, [but] I’m an alpha. I just don’t do well when I’m submitting to irrational, stupid shit. So I thought, “I’m going to start a rescue, but I’m going to do what is key to these other rescues, which is…fundraising.” I’ll take the animals that I want to take, and that included horses and other farm animals. I will do it on my terms as my schedule will accommodate at any given point in my life. But I raise money for several other rescues and I facilitate.
Did you think when you started Vice Is Nice in 2010 that it was going to be a one-time deal?
No, I probably knew it wouldn’t, because I have a history of doing ongoing parties. I tend, once I do something, to keep doing it. Also, each year it gets so much easier. You have all the investment in the banners and the materials and everything. You’ve done all that in the first two, three, four, five years. This year, our costs will be down by half, because we have so much from last year.
How many people, approximately, show up for the event?
It seems like a lot of people in the adult film industry are involved in animal rescue. Why is that, do you think?
I don’t know. I’ve made that observation before and I don’t know why. I think that adult [film] people are essentially constantly judged, constantly ostracized. They’re social pariahs, and it may be that animals are so non-judgmental that that’s why they get into it. It’s pure hypothesis on my part.
Some of the sponsors for this year’s Vice Is Nice event are Adam & Eve, Adult FriendFinder, Jack Daniel’s, Param Yoga, Stella Artois, and Vivid Entertainment, many of which have donated items to be raffled off. All proceeds go to support The Animal Rescue Alliance and its partners Rags2Wags, Pink Paws, Life4Paws, and Almost Home Animal Rescue. In addition to a poker tournament, there will be psychic and tarot card readings, a silent auction, musical entertainment, vegetarian food, and the popular “Dunk-a-Porn-Star” game, so leave your inhibitions at home and come out to party for a worthy cause.
Rancho Providencia is always in need of volunteers to work with the animals, and The Animal Rescue Alliance is grateful for any financial support through tax deductible donations and gifts of hay, feed, and other supplies. For more information about how you can help, call (818) 718-4800.
Listen to the complete interview with Kelly and see more pictures of Rancho Providencia at The Swoon SocieTV.
All photographs of Rancho Providencia by Dillon Padgette Photography.