Joanna Krupa of “Real Housewives of Miami” Talks About Her Dogs and Rescue Work

We interview the model and actress who is passionately dedicated to animal advocacy.

Marina Anderson  |  Apr 17th 2014


Best known for her appearances on the reality television shows Dancing With The Stars, The Real Housewives of Miami, and Poland’s Next Top Model, Joanna Krupa is also a huge animal advocate.

What’s new with this exotic and popular femme? Aside from her beauty product Cellogica and recently launching her own lingerie and swimwear line (Esotiq by Joanna Krupa, sold in Europe), Joanna threw a celebrity-driven event in Beverly Hills to raise money for Angels For Animal Rescue, the charity she founded with pal Gabi Gutierrez. It’s clear this model and actress is passionately dedicated to animals with a soft spot for dogs. 

Dogster: There’s an adorable photo you sent with you surrounded by your “six pack.” (Starting clockwise from Joanna: Darla, Sebastian, Rugby, Ginger, Shaggy and Prince.) How did you come up with their names?

Joanna Krupa: Most of my dogs’ names were already selected prior to me adopting them since they came from the shelter. Sometimes I use nicknames for them. My Yorkie mix’s name is Rugby, and I call him Rugs sometimes. Another one’s name is Prince, and I call him Prince Poo, ha-ha.

How did your involvement with animals, specifically dogs, come about?

I’ve been a huge animal lover for years, and had fostered many dogs over time. That is how I ended up adopting the six that I have now. Because of my love for animals, I started my own nonprofit animal rescue last year, and not only do we rescue dogs, but we have rescued kittens, chickens, pigs, boa snakes, and guinea pigs. We are very new, so we need as much help as possible to spread the word that I do have my own rescue.

How does having these adorable dogs in your life affect you?

I’ve had dogs my whole life. There is no human in this world that is as happy to see you as my dogs when I come home. I can be gone for 20 minutes or two hours, and they get excited the same way as if they hadn’t seen me for a while.

Do you feed them anything special?

They all eat organic canned foods by Party Animal and also Natural dry food. A lot of times we also cook them some salmon with rice or salmon with squash. They also love cod with vegetables.

Are your poochies very social?

My dogs love people and other dogs. They always want to be around people when someone comes over, even though there are six of them. You would think they can play with themselves, but they would rather be social.

Most of them sleep together, but once in a while they will sleep with me. A couple of them snore, so they do not ever sleep with me because they would wake me up!

Do they listen to you or are there any discipline problems?

I need training tips! My dogs do whatever they want. They are super spoiled and do not listen most of the time. I desperately need Cesar Millan to come help and give me some guidance. It is hard for me to discipline them because the way they look at me makes me forget why I am upset with them.

Would you trade places with any dog?

I would trade places with any of my six dogs as they have the life. They are treated as my children, are taken care of and are given tons of love and attention. They are treated better than some humans are, but they are part of my family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Was there any specific influence in your life that motivated you to be so involved with animals?

My parents always taught me to love animals, and how can anyone not? They are voiceless and defenseless, and they need our help. They need love like we humans do. They feel pain like we do. They are God’s creations and need to be respected like people should respect one another. 

Is there some specific cause/mission that you support regarding animals?

I support everything when it comes to preventing the overpopulation of animals, because they end up in the shelter and millions get euthanized each year.

People need to be more responsible with their pets and always spay and neuter. We already have problems with millions dying each year, and only responsible people can help bring that number drastically lower.

Microchipping is also very important because if an animal runs away or accidentally gets out of the property, it is easy for anyone to take it to the local veterinarian to have the chip scanned. Then the dog could be safely returned to the owner. As pet owners, we have to be responsible and treat our pets as we would our loved ones.

Tell us about Angels for Animal Rescue. 

We are both huge animal lovers and throughout the years we always came in contact on Facebook or at events when it came down to animals, so one day Gabi approached me and asked if I would be interested in having our own rescue. We had already helped one another when it came to finding homes for dogs, etc. Plus, we know 100 percent of the money our rescue receives goes toward the animals. That was my main reason to start my own rescue because when you support big organizations, you never know where the money is going or what percentage actually goes to the animals.

Is there a special success story about finding a home for any of the dogs?

Yes, one of our dogs was adopted by a preteen that was super depressed, and when she met the dog named King Julian, her life changed. She totally became more confident in her own skin, and the dog was her new best friend. King Julian was between one and two years old. This preteen was depressed because her sister moved away, and since she met King Julian she was no longer depressed and moping around the house. He is helping her cope with her life.

What are short-term goals for your organization?

To keep spreading the word about our rescue and keep saving animals one pet at a time. To find animal lovers that will help us with the donations, with fostering and with ideas for fundraising. We hope to raise a nice amount of money since the vet costs are so high with the animals that we have saved from being killed, and most of them are older, sick, deformed, etc.

What do you love to do most with your dogs?

I love to cuddle with them and kiss them like crazy. I also love to watch them play with one another because they make me laugh. They have such different personalities. It is entertaining to watch them all.

What’s been the most difficult challenge?

Honestly, my mom lives with me, so as of right now, I am pretty lucky. When I travel, they stay home with her, but if she wasn’t living in L.A. that would be my biggest challenge, since I am bicoastal between Miami and L.A.

It is hard to trust someone to watch your dogs, and around our L.A. home, there are coyotes and hawks, so whoever stays with them has to keep an eye on them all the time when they are outside. They cannot ever be alone. I used to travel with my Yorkie when he was little, but not anymore since I have six dogs and they are better off together without the stress of traveling.

Do you believe in alternative medicine for your pets?

Yes, I have taken them to my Chinese medicine doctor, and it helped my dogs drastically.

What about dressing them up in clothes or holiday costumes?

No, never, as my dogs hate it and won’t allow it.

Do you have a dream in life involving animals?

I dream to have my own animal sanctuary one day. There would be hundreds of animals there, but that is just a dream for now as it costs a lot of money to have a sanctuary. I love L.A. and would never want to move out of the L.A. area. My passion is to save as many animals as possible, to be their voice and hope to change one person at a time.

To read more about Joanna’s work, check out her Facebook page, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Keep up with Angels for Animal Rescue on Facebook and Twitter. 

Read more from Marina and more about celebs and their dogs:

About Marina Anderson: Marina is an established actress, professional freelance writer, best-selling author (David Carradine, The Eye Of My Tornado), jewelry designer (The Flying Goddess) and publicist (The Media Hound PR) for clients such as Robby Benson, Ed Begley Jr., and music icon Alan Parsons and Gary U.S. Bonds, to name a few. She is also a personal manager and career and spiritual consultant.   

Her film/TV credits include Dexter (opposite Jennifer Carpenter); co-lead in the Emmy-nominated web series Sophie Chase, Law & Order LA, and Desperate Housewives; supporting and guest star roles in Dangerous Curves, Sex & Mrs X (opposite Linda Hamilton), Forever Knight, and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (opposite David Carradine); the Genie Award-winning film 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould; and many other productions, national commercials, and voiceovers. Marina’s passion is helping animal rescue organizations. Look for her next book, The Adventures Of Lulu The Collie,which stars her beloved dog, Lulu, daughter to Lassie VIII, and keep up with her work by following her on Facebook. 

Do you know of a rescue hero — dog, human, or group — we should profile on Dogster? Write us at dogsterheroes@dogster.com.

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