Animal Activist Tiffani Thiessen Discusses New EmBARK On Pet Health Initiative

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Tiffani Thiessen may be most known for her television work on Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, but what you may not know about the actress is she’s also a very dedicated animal activist. When not working on her USA Network hit White Collar or raising her adorable daughter Harper, Thiessen campaigns for the emBARK on Pet Health initiative. During her latest appearance at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando on Feb. 21, Thiessen let us in on how she got involved and what others can do for their pets.

“I’ve been a long-time animal activist for, gosh, probably since I’ve been a young kid. My father worked for the city and he actually designed the parks for the city back in California and so we were always the house known to bring in strays constantly all the time,” she recalled. “I’ve always had a love for animals. Always wanting to try to find homes if we weren’t able to bring them. So it was a passion that started when I was very, very young.” So when Sergeant’s approached Thiessen a little a while ago to become part of the team, there was no question. “It was kind of a perfect fit for the both of us.”

And Thiessen has been spreading the word about the campaign and its three major points every since. “One is if you are a pet owner, to really make sure you don’t forget to neuter your pets and making sure they stay healthy. And that’s in many different ways, by making sure they exercise properly. Being a mom, my whole thing is not forgetting your pets (laughs) even when you have a child that takes over your life! I have two dogs and a cat and we take them to the park every single day. They are still going to the vet on a regular basis to get their teeth cleaned.” Secondly, “We’re trying to get people to the website to pledge that they will be more aware about their pets.” Getting people more aware of adopting from animals shelters is also something Thiessen is very passionate about. “I’ve been a huge, huge activist for really trying to get people to know that there are amazing animals out there in shelters that need homes. I do believe there is a lot of overbreeding that doesn’t need to be happening right now and especially when there are amazing dogs and amazing cats out there that can be if not, even better. I think at times that cats and dogs that come from shelters make even better pets because—I don’t know if it’s a sense that they know they are being rescued and they are just so thankful that they are actually getting a nice home.”

Contributing to Sergeant’s has also given Thiessen the opportunity to show her daughter “to be compassionate and thoughtful” to there own little animals. Thiessen, along with her husband Brady Smith, own two dogs, Buck and Pearl, and a cat named Savannah. “Real Southern names for ya!” she joked.

Clearly, Sergeant’s picked the right person to help the great cause. If acting weren’t an option, fans of the actress would be seeing her in an entirely new light. “If I weren’t doing what I did for a living I’d live in some crazy ranch style place out in the middle of nowhere and have like 9 billion cats and dogs,” she exclaimed. “That would be me. I would be like the cat and dog lady.”

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