Clear The Shelters

‘SNL’s’ Melissa Villaseñor on Why Adopting a Dog Is No Joke

Clear The Shelters

Clear The Shelters

WBRE-TV joins NBCUniversal owned television stations Clear the Shelters™ pet adoption campaign for the entire month of August

WBRE-TV along with animal shelters and rescues from Northeast & Central Pennsylvania will host the popular month-long event in August for local communities’ organizations will offer low cost or waived adoption fees

WBRE-TV today has joined NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear the Shelters™ nationwide pet adoption campaign. Launching August 1st and culminating with Clear The Shelters Day Friday, August 28th, the pet adoption drive will include the participation of local animal shelters/rescues. On August 28, participating organizations will offer low cost or waived pet adoption fees to help families adopt a pet.

Eyewitness News and NBC Universal have partnered to produce a 60-minute special highlighting the importance of finding forever homes for shelter animals. The first half hour of the special NBC’s “Clear The Shelters” will run at 7:00PM will spotlight the amazing adoptive families, unsung heroes who work at the shelters and of course, adorable pets who are being welcomed into new homes.

The second half hour WBRE-TV’s “Finding a Forever Home” at 7:30PM will be hosted by Eyewitness News morning anchors, Chris Langlois and Kelly Byrne and will highlight the efforts here in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania to find homes for animals.

From older dogs to kittens to rabbits to birds, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign has inspired local communities to take action and open their homes to pets in need. Since 2015, more than 411,292 pets have been adopted.

For more information, visit ClearTheShelters.com. You can also follow the effort on Twitter @Clear The Shelter, and on social media using the hashtags #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues.

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Melissa Villaseñor gets paid to make people laugh on “SNL.”

While her work as an “SNL” cast member is quite enviable, it’s still a job. And at the end of the day, it’s nice to have “a little pal” to come home to.

At the suggestion of her co-star Cecily Strong, she decided to adopt a dog from the same shelter that Strong got her dog, Lucy, Best Friends Animal Society.

Before even meeting the dog in person, Villaseñor fell in love with a photo of a little puppy that was found on the street. “I immediately was like, that’s my doggie,” she said.

In March, she brought Penny home.

Having grown up with all kinds of dogs at home, from a lab mix to a german shepherd to a schnauzer, the breed wasn’t something that mattered. It was important, however, to adopt a dog.

“I think there’s just so many dogs out there that need a home and they’re all sweet and they just all deserve a home, Villaseñor said.

As part of her commitment to finding animals a good home, Villaseñor partnered with Clear the Shelters and designed a t-shirt starring her and her dog Penny. 100% of the net proceeds go to Greater Good and Clear the Shelters funds.

Villaseñor is a self-described “yarn fanatic.” For the t-shirt design, she drew a yarn-like version of herself to represent how she felt “messy and wonky.” Penny is seen as herself as she’s what “grounds” her and serves as her comfort and is her “little protector.”

In these challenging times, she’s grateful that Penny’s always there. “There’s one day you’re feeling good and the next you’re like, boom, I’m a mess today,” Villaseñor said.

Recently, Villaseñor dealt with the passing of her uncle, and she described how Penny somehow knew that she was grieving and offered her comfort by placing her head on her knee.

“She can really feel when something is gloomy and I think that’s just amazing,” Villaseñor said.

Penny has also taught her to appreciate life more, in general. When they’re out walking together, Penny will often stop to smell the flowers. Penny also loves to hop and run in the grass. Seeing how fun it is for her, she now walks barefoot in the grass and notices how nice it feels on the bottom of her feet. Villaseñor also says Penny helps her to be present and even spontaneous.

“I just love seeing Penny run around, especially at a dog park or my parent’s backyard. Just seeing a dog jump for joy gives me the most warmth and happiness,” she said. “I think that’s something that I’d like to see every day.”

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