Celebrity pet matchmaker and Wagmor Pets owner Melissa Bacelar has had a passion for rescuing animals from homelessness and finding them permanent, loving homes since she was a young girl.
Since March 2020, Bacelar has rescued over 2,600 dogs and paired some of them with A-list owners including Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres, Miley Cyrus, Chrissy Teigen, Kris Jenner and Lucy Hale.
“Wagmor Pets saves dogs of all breeds, ages and condition. We go into horrible hoarding situations, shelters and even independent homes to pull dogs and give them a second chance at life,” Bacelar tells ET while celebrating National Rescue Dog Day on May 20.
The non-profit organization uses various approaches depending on the dogs’ needs with the help of full-time staff, groomers and volunteers, who can get involved with cuddling, transporting and fostering opportunities.
If you are considering adopting a dog, Bacelar recommends taking a look at your lifestyle first. “Think about how much time you have to spend with the dog, how active you are, what things you are looking for in a companion, how much money you have to spend on medical needs and food, if you want a puppy or adult dog, and other important factors,” she suggests.
“From there, the adoption process is pretty easy. If you see a dog that you like, you submit an application and one of our adoption coordinators will call and interview you. You can also come in, do a meet and greet and do the interview later. Then they will do a virtual tour of your home to ensure you reside in an environment that is safe for the dog and if everyone feels like it’s a good fit, we proceed with the adoption,” Bacelar notes.
The same steps apply for celebrity pet adoptions, but have a few slight differences. “Some celebrities submit an application, some reach out via Instagram and others contact me directly,” she explains.
“When a celebrity gives me a list of things that they need in a dog, they’re not doing it to be difficult, they’re doing it because they know that once this animal comes into their home, they are committed to making it work. … Most celebrities that adopt believe in adoption and don’t want their fans to think that they can just return a dog. It’s a lot of pressure,” Bacelar adds.
Top requests include ensuring the dog works well with their family members, other pets, and career commitments and schedules. “Sandra Bullock has always rescued chihuahuas and special needs dogs. She has two children that are allergic to dogs, so the biggest concern for her was that her daughter wouldn’t be allergic,” she says.
“Jennifer Aniston works a lot and has two other dogs that are used to each other, so she wanted a dog that wouldn’t butt heads with them,” she adds.
Regardless of your requirements, Bacelar believes there is a dog out there for everybody. “Every dog deserves love and deserves a home. … You want to get a dog that will be the best fit for you so you have the best chance of succeeding,” she shares.
For more information, please visit www.wagmorpets.org. All adoptions are available on the @WagmorPets Instagram account.
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