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Home » Pet and Animal News » Celebrities and their Pets > ALYSSA MILANO on PETS & ANIMALS
Home » Celebrities and their Pets > ALYSSA MILANO on PETS & ANIMALS
Alyssa Milano and I have known each other for half our lives. We’ve done movies together, Road-tripped the United States and basically watched each other grow up. I interviewed Alyssa at her home while she was getting last minute items together for a trip to South Africa where she is doing a mini-series called the “Diamond Hunters”. She called me from South Africa today to tell me that she saw wild Zebra running on a hillside and she has never been happier… The picture above is Alyssa on the set in Africa.

Brian: What is your first memory of a pet or animal (yours or even somebody else’s pet) Alyssa: Oh I remember this so well, we were in Brooklyn and we stopped by a neighbor’s house…there were these dogs there and I guess they had puppies, she was going to keep one but said she may have to put the rest to sleep if she couldn’t find homes for them, so if we knew anyone that wanted puppies to let her know. I asked what she meant by "putting them to sleep", so I asked and my mom being as subtle as possible said it means they are going to kill them. So we took home one named Pluto. Brian: Really Pluto from…. Alyssa: Disney, because that was my association with dogs. Brian: Perfect, that was going to be my next question. What was your first pet?…so how long did he stay in the picture? Alyssa: We had him until we moved out to LA and then we gave him away. Brian: Like when you were seven or eight or so… Alyssa: Right, exactly. And then we did not have a dog until I moved out of the house. I bought one for my brother because we were so close, and it was very traumatic for him since I was moving out of the house., he was only eight at the time, I bought him a Shetland sheep dog that passed away in the house fire… Brian: Right…of course, how terrible Alyssa: ..that my dad ran into the house to save. Brian: Do you mind if I mention that? Alyssa: No you can. (Alyssa’s family suffered a tragic fire about ten years ago. Her dad went back into the house to save the dog, risking his own life and injuring himself jumping out of a second story window after the search for the dog became impossible because of the fire. The dog unfortunately did not survive) Brian: Why do people...but really you, since this is about you why do you have pets? Alyssa: Ha ha ha (she laughs knowingly). I know why I have pets, I have pets for lots of different reasons actually. The glaring obvious reason is that I am overly maternal and nurturing, especially for babies, so I like to get lots of baby animals to take care of…um… the other reasons…companionship, being kind of alone in your own space isn’t as terrifying when you have 4 cats, 2dogs, 6 birds, and not to mention…the horses. Brian: So speaking of 4 cats, 2 dogs, 6birds, and then the horses, who and what are they and what are their names? Alyssa: Well I’ll start with the horses, I have a national show horse –filly that’s 9 months old and her name is Echo. I have quarter horse gelding ; he is 5 years old his name is Copy. I have a 9 year old paso-fino and her name is Maggie May. I have a German Shepherd attack dog from Germany that’s (named) pinto. I have a Teacup Yorkie her name is Hugo…and I have four cats, Simon, Lucy, Daisy and Miles. they are all rescues except for Simon, I actually bought Simon. 6 birds…wait…oh I don’t have 6 birds anymore Brian: Wow enough animals to forget you got rid of some! Alyssa: 2 love birds, 1 finch and a canary and I don’t name the birds because I feel its sort of like fish…if you name them, then they die. Brian: You think that about fish? Alyssa: Yes, you can’t name your fish Brian: that is going to be bad news for all the fish naming people Brian: So why horse for a girl from Brooklyn? Alyssa: My dad had horses growing up, so I grew up doing a lot of trail riding on the weekends especially when we moved to la, it was sort of a thing my dad and I could do together and eventually my brother when he got older. It never occurred to me that I could own my own horse until I started CHARMED, Shannon and Holly have their own horses, and I was spending a lot of time with Holly going to see her horse and then it dawned on me that I could have one of these. And 4 horses later….I’ve always, always loved horses…my favorite movie when I was little was The Black Stallion. Brian: Mine too. My brothers too… Alyssa: Really oh my god…. Brian: ..the seaweed- when he eats the seaweed, I love that Alyssa: I just watched it recently, it kills me. Brian: How come you haven’t married that guy yet…? A: I know, I love that guy, where is that guy…(That guy’s name is Kelly Reno- he returned to do several other incarnations of Black Stallion Movies in the early 80’s…) Alyssa: All the same points in that movie that made me cry still make me cry. Brian: Exactly, me too Brian: That was another one of my questions...was that your favorite pet or animal movie...? Alyssa: Yes definitely Brian: That’s mine too. Alyssa: I am half horse because I am a Sagittarius Brian: So do you identify people like that, in some form do you find their sign and corresponding animal and define them in those terms, not to pigeon hole them but do you see people that way? Alyssa: no of course, but every Sagittarius I know loves horses and animals, every Capricorn I know loves animals but isn’t doting about it, thy don’t get all ga ga oh doh doh doh… Brian: What sign is the most ga ga (for animals) all around? Alyssa: Sagittarius definitely, so that’s what my trainer (says) that I can get on any horse, no matter how crazy and have a really nice ride- even if its not the way I am supposed to be riding it…you know with an English saddle. My trainer attributes that to the Sagittarius thing, I just think that they’re beautiful and really powerful and owning horses has given me probably one of the most important life lessons and it taught me how to live in the moment because when I first had Copy, my quarterhorse, I would go and visit him and I wasn’t around horses as far as the ground work goes in tacking them and washing them, so I was a little freaked out and terrified but I would bring with me what I was feeling that day whether I was upset or frustrated and the horses would pick up on that so much that it would dictate how he would feel. I started learning that I had to leave everything at home and go there with a clear head. Brian: It sounds like a good metaphor…just between people. Alyssa: To be right there with the horse, very on guard, and yet in the moment, and stuff like that and also how to read body language I know when my horse is upset and just to be very sensitive to what an animal can’t tell you, when he can’t tell you to pay attention to the little things he can show you and tell you by the body language; Brian: That would work between people as well... Brian: The way dog people talk about the owner looking like the dog, do the horse people say that too, do they look like their horses? I wish I looked like my horse, he is over 17 hands, and his butt is taller than my head Brian: so I’m wondering if the horse people say that…they don’t say that? Alyssa: I think with any sort of animal you are going to be attracted to a certain look…that suits…my favorite books when I was a kid was Barney Beagle, and I still can’t find a copy of that book, it burned in our house fire Brian: I’ll get you the book Alyssa: It’s my favorite book ever, it’s about exactly that- no one came to buy the beagle because nobody looked like him Brian: …Mogilla Gorilla Alyssa: ..yeah yeah it’s very sad, and then when the pet shop closed… Brian: the guy tried to sell Mogilla for less than a penny, less than a penny remember? He would cross out a penny on the sign but the gorilla was still there, he would still be in the window. That killed me Alyssa: And after the pet shop closed( in the Barney Beagle book) , a little boy with an aviation cap walked by and Barney Beagle said, “that’s my boy”, and then ntually going to show her then sell her Brian: Final question because that is already so much… Alyssa: ..right that’s already like 4 web pages. Brian: Yeah it’s a whole site, “ALYSSA MILANO ON PETS & ANIMALS .COM” Brian: What do you say to people, in other words, when people give money to animal charities, when they save Whales, Dolphins a lot of people say “how could you”, not you of course, but people give money to animal causes when other people are starving, people need love and people need shelter, people need care etc. etc. etc. Alyssa: I feel a lot of different ways about this actually, the first thing that came to my mind that animals are helpless in a lot of ways and they depend on humans in time of need to help them you know they don’t have families they can call in time of need and be like… Brian: Alyssa: help! Brian: They kind of do though they kinda of yelp and howl Alyssa: Animals, they are one of the most beautiful gifts we have and you know, if there are people that have compassion, there are very few people that put their money into animal rescue organizations, and if there is someone that has that passion, animals need all the help they can get.