Photo: The one and only Tita! (Instagram)
“The Show with Vinny” host is North Shore Animal League’s ambassador, and with the Pet Adoptathon happening on June 1, now’s a good time time to learn about the amazingness of adopting a pet! We also talked to him about his big plans to move to NYC this summer with Tita in tow. P.S. Ladies, he's single too!
But back to the main reason we chatted with Vin: North Shore Animal Rescue League, located in Long Island, is the globe’s biggest no-kill rescue org, and the Adoptathon will be around the world. Each year about five to seven million animals go to shelters, and a shocking three to four million of them end up being put to sleep. Insane, right? You can join Vinny in bringing these numbers down by adopting and helping out your local shelters and animal welfare groups. For more deets, here's Ambassador Vinny.
ACT: Why did you decide to adopt a dog? Have you adopted one before?
VINNY: I’ve had dogs my whole life, and we’ve pretty much always adopted. Honestly, having a dog in my life is not like an option for me. I’ve always had a dog. In my household, each person has a dog. My dad has a Husky, my little sister has a little mix, my older sister has a German Shepherd-Rottweiler mix. I had an English Bulldog. He died two summers ago. After I moved to my new house and had my own apartment, I needed to get a roommate. So, of course, I wanted to go the adoption route to save a life because there are so many dogs that are homeless right now. It doesn't make sense to buy one when there are millions that need rescuing.
ACT: Can you tell us about the meaning of the name “Tita” and why you picked it?
VINNY: She’s a pit bull, but she’s tiny. She’s like a pocket pit bull. I was looking up a name that meant a strong woman, a butch woman. There's a Hawaiian word named “Tita” that has that exact meaning. I think it sounds cool when I call her, and that’s how I came up with it.
Photo: WE CAN'T EVEN. (Instagram)
ACT: How did you become an ambassador for North Shore Animal League?
VINNY: Well, I got Tita from North Shore Animal League. I stopped by the shelter randomly one day to look for dogs. They didn't have exactly what I was looking for at the time. I wanted a small dog. They had a lot of mutts where you didn't know which size they’d grow up to be. I left and then they contacted me and asked if I’d like them to keep me posted if anything comes in that I might like. They stayed in touch, and next thing I know [laughing] I was adopting a pit bull. They were amazing. They brought out a couple different dogs to see which ones I took to and who took to me. Tita and I kinda fell in love with each other and I ended up getting her.
Afterward, they noticed that I'm really into dogs. I mean, Tita is my cover photo for my Instagram. When you’re a dog lover, you broadcast it to the world. They also found out that I’m friends with Cesar Milan, who’s the Dog Whisperer. We became friends after meeting on an airplane and just talking. I've seen him in New Jersey and LA. He was their ambassador last year, so it just all fit. They asked me to do it and I said, “Of course.”
Photo: Vin kicking it with Cesar Milan a.k.a. the Dog Whisperer. (Instagram)
ACT: What can you tell us about the Pet Adoptathon?
VINNY: The Pet Adoptathon, which started back in 1995, is going to run throughout the month of June. It’s an effort to raise awareness for shelter animals and save a lot of lives. Nearly 3,000 shelters in 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and six countries will join together for it. It gets kicked off at the headquarters of North Shore Animal League, where I adopted Tita, on Saturday, June 1. There are 5 to 7 million dogs and animals who need adoption. I’m glad that they’re doing this to highlight adoption, to give it an extra boost.
ACT: Besides adopting pets, how else can people help shelter animals?
VINNY: Definitely donations. North Shore Animal League is the world’s largest no-kill animal shelter. Tita was brought on a truck from Alabama. There are people that go to kill shelters and rescue dogs to bring them to NSAL. If you have a dog, you know how much money it can be to take care of it, especially one that’s been beaten and mistreated. So imagine them. They take in every single dog. So donations are key to the animals’ survival.
Volunteering at these shelters, too. When I go to North Shore Animal League, there are a ton of volunteers, and they’re just doing it to benefit the animals. A lot of these places are not making money, they’re probably losing money, so the more people that volunteer and donate, the better.
VINNY: [laughs] Michael Jackson had a monkey. I read that Kristen Bell has a sloth. Yeah, I've always wanted to hang out with a sloth, so I’m going to say her.
ACT: Do you trust Melanie to pet sit Tita?
VINNY: Ohh, well, me and Melanie are actually not together anymore. But she was a big part of the process of getting Tita. She did help me pet sit her and she was a big part of having a new puppy around and monitoring her when I wasn't there. But I don’t think she’ll be pet sitting anymore.
ACT: Summer is just around the corner. What do you look forward to doing with Tita?
VINNY: I’m actually looking for a place in the city, like an apartment. Tita and I will be roommates, so hopefully we’ll have lots of walks together in the city. I've never lived by myself before, so I need that companionship. I’ll be doing everything with her. We’ll have a fun adventure there.
Photo: OK, OK, OK. The last photo of adorable Tita! (Instagram)