GLAAD’s Head of Talent, Anthony Ramos, caught up with Who’s The Boss Star Danny Pintauro about leaving Hollywood and heading to Texas to rescue animals. Pintauro’s work with Austin Pets Alive is featured in an episode of the new CBS All Access Series That Animal Rescue Show.
That Animal Rescue Show is executive produced by five-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater (Boyhood, School of Rock) and two-time Academy Award winner and documentarian Bill Guttentag (You Don’t Have to Die, Twin Towers).
That Animal Rescue Show follows the animal rescue community in and around Austin, Texas, where Linklater lives. The docuseries provides a window into this captivating world through moving, humorous, and powerful stories of animals and the humans who love them.
Check out the Q&A below:
AR: How did you get involved with Austin Pets Alive?
DP: My favorite thing about Austin is that it’s this lovely city that allows you to feel like you can accomplish anything your heart desires. After a few failed attempts at other jobs I came back to my very, very, very first goal in life – to be a veterinarian, so I started searching Austin for jobs in the vet field. I applied for EVERYTHING, including a ton of positions typically called ‘kennel tech,’ which basically means you spend the whole day cleaning kennels. But with my lack of experience in the field I had to start somewhere. I got an interview with Austin Pets Alive!’ cat department to be a kennel tech but it just so happened they were losing a cat care person so I was hired as both. A year or so later I worked my way up to the clinic and eventually became the full time pharmacy technician in the clinic.
AR: What’s it like working for the organization? What’s your daily routine like?
DP: The cat care position was exhausting! I spent 8 or more hours feeding, cleaning, medicating and catching CATS. It was my job to clean and feed all of the feral cats in our barn program. I was also feeding and medicating upwards of 60 cats a day. And then I was also doing all kinds of vet technician duties for the cats like giving fluids, syringe feeding, nebulizing, and taking care of cats with calici. To take care of those cats I had to basically put on full hazmat gear so that I didn’t give any healthy cats calici (calicivirus) after I left the calici ward. I remember my arms were constantly covered in scratches from the feisty cats – they just didn’t understand I was there to help them! But helping them is what we did, whether they liked it or not. Once I became the pharmacy technician it was my job to fill medications for every foster animal, on site animal, and hospitalized animal as well as fill meds for all of the spayed and neutered pets each day.
AR: Why is pet rescue so important to you?
DP: I have always been a huge pet fanatic and, in my adult life, I have always adopted and fostered rescue animals. But it wasn’t until I started working for Austin Pets Alive! that I realized what a TERRIFIC opportunity they are providing for Austin and for the country. Teaching people how to make their city NO KILL is an amazing feat! Watch the show and you’ll learn how easy and yet incredibly hard it is to make shelters No Kill! Watch the show and then help your local shelter learn how to save as many animals as Austin Pets Alive! does!
AR: What pets do you have of your own?
DP: We have three dogs. Lucy is a rescue from some neighbors in Las Vegas who were leaving her outside during the summer months. Bella was adopted from a Las Vegas shelter, nobody wanted her because she was born with a deformed leg. And Bacon is a foster from Austin Pets Alive! that we ended up adopting – we couldn’t resist! We have a freshwater aquarium with several fish and live plants… And tons of Bonsai.. I consider those pets as well.
AR: How excited we’re you to be a part of this series from five-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater (Boyhood, School of Rock) and two-time Oscar winner and documentarian Bill Guttentag?
DP: You know, when we were filming the documentary at Austin Pets Alive! I was not privy to any information about the production. I barely found out it was for CBS All Access by the time we wrapped filming. So to find out AFTER the fact was a big ‘Oh WOW!’ In fact, at some point I wasn’t even sure the episode would AIR! I was just happy to be helping people learn about Austin pets Alive!
AR: What are you hoping people who watch this episode and the series take away from it?
DP: That it takes a village! Just from the preview I can see that each episode is filled with people trying to make a difference – and they can’t do it alone. For our episode – I hope people walk away with a strong desire to run to their local shelter to volunteer. But I really hope people will run to their local shelter and convince them to seek out Austin Pets Alive! and learn how to become a No Kill shelter. It’s POSSIBLE. It’s very possible. It just takes time, money, volunteers and hard work.
That Animal Rescue Show premieres October 29 on CBS All Access.