Kristin Bauer van Straten: Standing Up For Animals

March 3, 2011 by  

The True Blood Star Asks All to Be Kinder to Animals

Kristin Bauer van Straten by Grace Chon for Shine Pet PhotosGrowing up on a Wisconsin farm, Kristin Bauer van Straten‘s love for animals started young. And to this day True Blood‘s snarky Vampire (Pam) still surrounds herself with pets. Recently Melissa Maroff, a Los Angeles based writer and animal advocate, interviewed Kristin about her love for animals and her advocacy work.

Animals and True Blood

Luckily for Kristin, she’s not alone in her love for animals on the set of True Blood.

“There are many dog lovers on the set who have brought their dogs, which I believe are mostly rescues, I am so lucky to be included in this cast and to be part of such great writing but dog friendly is the cherry on the sundae!”

And it doesn’t stop with the cast. In the True Blood episode titled “Hitting The Ground” writers brought to light to the horrors of dog fighting. For this, it has been nominated for the Humane Society’s 2011 Genesis Award for Best Dramatic Series.

“Dog fighting is such a horribly cruel, harsh world that I could not be more repulsed by… I wasn’t in the dog fighting scenes, so I read the script and then had to wait to see how it was filmed, and of course when it aired, was once again overwhelmed with how fortunate I am to be part of this group of people.”

Working with The Amanda Foundation

Kristin has been volunteering her time to The Amanda Foundation since 1997, when Kristin met actress and Foundation President, Teri Austin.

“Teri did an incredible job, so I started bringing my friends there and volunteering. When you go to a shelter and see it with your own eyes, it changes you. Like with anything, the more you know, the more you evolve. I saw cage after cage after cage filled with amazing, beautiful animals… puppies too… just sitting there due to no fault of their own, just because people move, get married, divorced or have a kid. They’re a symptom of a culture not paying attention. Cruelty and suffering is unnecessary; that’s what’s so sad to me.”

Kristin’s Rescues

Caring for cats most of her life, Kristin’s first rescue dog happened thanks to a friend. Working at a veterinarian’s office, her friend told her the story of a large white shepherd type dog who was abandoned and had been caged for 9 months. Kristin couldn’t resist. The next dog she rescued from a breeder in a rough area of L.A.

“He had one Rottweiler puppy left that he was holding by the scruff of the neck and showing to a gang-looking guy. I literally ran over there and said I’d pay more for the dog.”

Soon after that she adopted a one year old Doberman rescue as a companion for her Rottweiler.

Currently, Kristin proudly has two rescued dogs; a yellow Lab rescued from L.A.’s Forte Animal Rescue named Ozmand (aka Oz), and a Rottweiler mix rescued from “death row” at the Carson Shelter named Asher. In addition Kristin took in two “bottle baby” kittens, who are now 7 months old. She shares how great Asher is:

“No way that I could ever have purchased a dog as good as Asher. This is the most perfect dog. People think they research and know what they’re getting just because they go to a breeder, but just like with humans, you never know how they’ll turn out.”

Adoption Advice

Are you looking for a pet? Here’s Kristin’s advice:

“Go to a rescue, tell them about your life, your energy level, your personality, and they will find the perfect companion for you. Breed is not important, personality is… just like when looking for a mate! And remember, none of us are pure breeds, so to be wonderful, your pet doesn’t need to be either.”

Advocacy Work

In addition to the arts, Kristin works closely with the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). Both Kristin and her musician husband, Abri van Straten, have toured as ambassadors for IFAW’s whale program, with all proceeds from Abri’s song Voices going to the campaign. She’s also worked with PCRM (Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine), mentioning that the hard work of PCRM has paid off and currently 95 percent of universities have stopped animal testing.

Kristin’s Hopes: Be Kinder

“I hope for animals the same thing I hope for humans: that we can find a way to pay more attention to each other… to look and listen more… to stop and think who and what we are affecting when we shop for a car, a dog, a purse, a meal. Animals have thoughts, feelings, hungers, loves, hates, hopes… just like we do. I hope for animals that we can just be kinder… and I believe all we need to do is just pay more attention.”

The complete interview can be found Here.

For more information on Kristin and the wonderful causes she supports please visit her website Here.

Souce: – Kristin Bauer Standing Up For Animals is in Her “True Blood”

(Photo: Grace Chon – Shine Pet Photos)

Edited by: Diana Edwards