Celebrity Pet Lovers Q&A – Elaine Hendrix
We know we live in a celebrity-centric culture. So, here at The Pet Matchmaker, we’ve decided to hop on the celebrity bandwagon – but only to benefit rescue pets. In this series, we’ll have an intimate Q&A with a celebrity pet lover. We want to put a celebrity’s love of rescue pets in the spotlight.
Naturally, our first celebrity pet lover is our very own, Elaine Hendrix, The Pet Matchmaker, herself!
Elaine Hendrix is a very busy actress. You’ll likely recognize her from The Parent Trap, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, Inspector Gadget 2, SNL’s Superstar, Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion or the cult classic, What the Bleep Do We Know?! She’s also been very busy in TV, with THREE holiday movies: Anything But Christmas, Mr. St. Nick and The Munster’s Scary Little Christmas. Elaine has lots of episodic TV under her belt, as well. Among her credits are Two and a Half Men, CSI, Miami, Castle, The Mentalist, and she’ll soon be featured as a recurring character on Mistresses. Elaine is also active in live theatre, having recently been off-Broadway in It’s Just Sex, as well as playing Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, regionally.
As much as she enjoys acting, animals remain Elaine’s true passion. Below, she opens up to TPM about her furry family.
Why did you choose your particular pet or pets?
Ha! …as if I had a choice. My pets choose me. My latest bunch came from shelters and off the street, because I rescue and adopt my pets. Present roll call (in order of joining our family):
- Goodie Cornbread, (cat) – off the streets of Atlanta, GA;
- Rossmore, (dog) off the streets of Los Angeles, CA;
- Kimbo, (cat) – out of the North Central Shelter in Los Angeles, CA;
- Ellie, (dog) – out of the Baldwin Hills Shelter in Baldwin Hills, CA
If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
As corny as this sounds, I’d want to stick to being a 2-legged animal. The reason for this is because most animals around the world are in grave danger of abuse and neglect, and many of them are facing extinction. They need all the help they can get. So, as long as I’m human, I can continue to do everything I can to protect them.
What have your pets taught you about life?
To take it easy and enjoy the moment. My pets have no worries in the world. And when they want something they let me know. It’s impossible for me to go too long without getting some gentle (or not so gentle) nudge: HEY, PAY ATTENTION TO ME! It’s a nice, constant reminder to keep my priorities straight.
What was your experience with animals growing up?
I’ve had pets my whole life: birds, fish, hamsters, turtles, rabbits, dogs, cats. And I am very lucky to have parents who allowed me these pets and encouraged my strong relationship with nature. I was a sensitive child, so even my stuffed-animals had names and were well taken care of.
I will also say, neither my family nor I had the awareness we do now of the atrocities inflicted on animals in the food, fur, testing, etc. industries. All I knew was that I loved animals. I had no idea what was happening to them. Learning about their sufferings and their rights has taught me to make different (and easy) choices that are humane. Fortunately, most of my family has grown with me in this regard.
What do your pets know about you that others may not?
My pets know that I talk to myself… a lot. Now, as to whether I answer myself back… you’d have to ask them. =^.^=
What’s your best experience with an animal?
My best experience with animals is saving them. Specifically: I will never forget being on a puppy mill bust. I found a dog that was hidden in an unsearched box in the corner of the room. The moment I picked that puppy up, he latched his paws around my neck, nuzzled into me and wouldn’t let go. It’s easy to put human emotions on animals, but I’ve had enough experience to know that animals have their own unique way of communicating. There’s nothing in the world that can convince me that puppy wasn’t hanging on for dear life with some kind of understanding he was getting out of hell.
What’s your most challenging experience?
My most challenging experience with animals is when one (or more) can’t be saved. Specifically: I trapped a cat who had been living in a neighborhood for a few months. He was starting to have problems – poor guy was filthy, had an eye infection and was clearly underweight. When I took him to the vet to be examined, it was discovered that he had FIV (basically feline aids). There is no cure for FVI – it’s a virus that attacks the immune system. It spreads to other cats easily and it’s an extremely painful way to die.
We made the decision to put the cat down. It was certainly the humane thing to do – for the cat and for the sake of other cats. “Humane” doesn’t always mean “easy” though. In my experience it’s never easy to put an animal down.
What do you love most about your pets?
My pets make me laugh all the time. They are so entertaining. They’re better than watching TV. Thankfully, they’re also very social and cuddly pets. I get plenty of snuggle time which makes me very happy!
If you worked with animals, what job would you do?
IF I worked with animals…?!?! HA! Working with animals is my fulltime second career.
Is there a particular animal cause that you’re interested in, and if so, why?
I work on behalf of all animal issues and they are each as important as the next. I just started to type that fur is my “home” issue because it’s so evil and unnecessary – and because more than 40 million are brutally killed every year just for fashion. And then I think about factory farming psychotically affecting more animals than any other industry on the planet – ranging in the 10+ billion (that’s with a ‘b’) annually. Then I think about animals in testing labs and how barbaric and also unnecessary it is – endless rats, rabbits, dogs, birds, primates… Violence against animals is my cause.
I’m also quite partial to this organization called The Pet Matchmaker – whose mission is to foster healthy, happy relationships between people and their rescue pets. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?!
Much thanks to Elaine Hendrix, for her honest and thoughtful answers to our questions. Come back for more Celebrity Pet Lovers in the future!
As The Pet Matchmaker, Elaine’s got plenty to say in her regular blogs. If she’s inspired you to start adopting your own menagerie, please take a look at our Guidance for Soon-to-be-Pet-Parents and our free How-To Pamphlets.