Soap Opera Weekly: What is zootoo.com?
Rebecca Budig: Zootoo.com is a great resource for pet lovers and their pets. It’s a great community. You can talk to other pet lovers and also adopt pets. You can look through and find the pet that you want to adopt. It’s connected to different shelters.
Weekly: Do you have a pet?
Budig: I have a dog. Bob [Guiney, her husband] and I were going to adopt a dog, and then I did this pilot where I played a veterinarian, and they had these yellow Labs there, and I have always wanted one. I looked into rescuing [dogs], and they are very hard to come by, because so many people want Labs. So I got her, but we are going to get a second dog, and we are going to adopt it. So we are really excited. We are debating about [what kind]. I said, “Let’s just get a mutt.” We go between having a Boxer and a Vizsla. There are all kind of rescues for different breeds, so you can get a certain breed and go to the rescue. My in-laws got a Vizsla through the Vizsla rescue; my sister got a Great Dane through the Great Dane rescue. I would love a Great Dane.
Weekly: What kinds of dogs were at the shoot?
Budig: We had a bulldog; he was adopted. We had [one that] looked like a White Shepherd type of dog, and the most amazing cat. It was gray with beautiful blue eyes. They were all adopted. [The shoot was] to launch the Adoption is the Option [campaign] for ZooToo. Up to eight million pets and dogs go into shelters every year, and only three or four million are adopted. It makes me cry. If I had a farm, I would have 10 dogs. I grew up with dogs. I rescue dogs — I see them on the street and I pick them up. I gave my sister a dog that I found in Central Park. I was getting ready to go for a run, and the dog didn’t have any collar or anything. She was a mess, but my sister adopted her because she was moving back to Kentucky from New York, so there was a lot of land. The thing is, I missed my calling. I wish I had been a veterinarian. [Actually,] I don’t wish I had been, but that’s what I wanted to do and I realize that this is the perfect fit for me, because I love animals so much.
Weekly: The site uses a point system, right?
Budig: You sign in, and for everything you use, you get points, and those points go toward a shelter of your choice — they donate money to that shelter. You don’t pay for it. It’s part of being involved with ZooToo.
Weekly: So they keep track of your activity and make donations?
Budig: Yes. It’s really cool.
Weekly: What do you do on the site?
Budig: I’m on there, me and Phoebe (my Lab). I post different things in my journal about things she’s doing and that I’m doing with the site. It’s a fun way to communicate with people. I’m going to post on there about my [dog] trainer. He’s so amazing, so if anyone’s in that area and they are interested in a trainer, he’s amazing. [I post] things I learn along the way about Phoebe, or little tricks that I’ve used with here; kind of like a blog. It’s like a MySpace site for you and your pet.