Currently starring in the ABC television series Mistresses, hosting Project Runway All–Stars, and designing for TOUCH, her own clothing and jewelry line, Alyssa Milanostill makes time to help her friends—the two- and four-legged kind.
Being an ambassador for Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal-welfare nonprofit, is one of her favorite roles. “I believe we should extend our care and concern to all living creatures with whom we share this planet,” she told PARADE. “Best Friends Animal Society’s vision of a better world through kindness to animals resonates strongly with me. It is inclusive and active and always adds measurably to the goodness in the world.”
Animals have always been an important part of her life. “They give me a window into a world that is different from our own, but every bit as meaningful,” she says. “The fact that millions of loving, homeless pets die in shelters is a national disgrace. Best Friends’ mission, to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets, a time when animals are not dying in shelters for the simple lack of a home, is something I can really get behind.”
When Milano was growing up in Brooklyn, NY, dogs were an important part of her family. “I can’t imagine what life would be like without animals,” she says. “They bring me happiness and a sense of calm and peace.”
She currently has four dogs: Lucy, Gibson, Dodger, and Quixi; 10 horses: Picaflo, Petey, Sarafina, Nostalgia, Peace, Echo, Cisco, Luna, Maestro, and Harmonia; two chickens; and a bunny. “Lucy and Gibson are rescues,” she says. “Lucy was rescued from a yard where she was tied up.”
Her son, Milo, who is almost two years old, also shares her love of animals. “Our dog, Dodger, and Milo are great friends,” she says.
When she brought Milo home from the hospital, she and her husband, David Bugliari, hired a dog trainer to help their dogs get used to and adjust to Milo. It was smart planning, and now everyone gets along.
She also enjoys being around animals at work. “My first job was the play Annie,” she says “There was a big beautiful shelter dog that was in our production. We had a cat on Charmed for a while. I love working with animals. It makes being on the set feel more homey.”
Michele C. Hollow writes the animal advocacy and lifestyle blog Pet News and Views. Her byline has also appeared in the NY Daily News, NY Times, familycircle.com, and other print and online publications. She writes about pets, wildlife, interiors, and travel. Her last article for PARADE was about a dog wedding. You can read that story here.