Celebrity Pet Matchmaker On Hollywood Dog Rescuers, Adoption Advice, and More (Exclusive)
If you’re a firm believer in the adage “adopt, don’t shop,” then every day is probably National Rescue Dog Day to you. But technically, today, May 20 marks the annual holiday, which aims to raise awareness for all the adoptable dogs in shelters.
So in honor of National Rescue Dog Day, we interviewed Melissa Bacelar, aka the celebrity pet matchmaker, and the founder of Wagmor Pets. The Los Angeles-based dog rescue has helped find dream dogs for celebrities including Sandra Bullock (just wait till you hear that heartwarming story down below!), Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Aniston, and so many more.
Melissa Bacelar founded Wagmor Pets to save as many dogs as possible.
Melissa Bacelar has always been a dog lover. When she and her two dogs moved from her home state of New Jersey to California in 2003, she was shocked to see how common it was in California for people to give up their unwanted dogs.
“I went to my first shelter, and I was completely floored,” Bacelar tells Green Matters over the phone ahead of National Rescue Dog Day. “I couldn’t do a lot, but I did what I could. I would take one dog at a time into my apartment and I would do everything on my own and find them a home … It was very slow, but it was what I could do.”
She encourages any dog lover to think about how they can get involved with rescuing, even if adopting more dogs is not in the cards. “People need to look at themselves and [ask], ‘What can you do to help?’ And that’s OK, [wherever] you are.”
But things changed once Bacelar had kids, and she realized she couldn’t bring tons of dogs into her house anymore. So, she opened a very small rescue shop where she would sell dog products and take in about five or six dogs at a time who needed to be adopted.
“Because I was in such a popular area, I started getting a lot of celebrities adopting dogs from us,” she recalls. “And they would tell their friends, and then I would find dogs for them, and I sort of became the celebrity pet matchmaker.”