NYC Pet Project: Stars in Their Eyes

Our pets can read us like an open letter. They can usually tell our mood by watching the flash of our eyes and the movements of our limbs. Sometimes they read us better than we read ourselves.

Authors Edward J. Kaczmarek III and Michael J. La Rue challenged scores of New Yorkers to put into words what their pets already know. They coupled these letters with hundreds of stunning photographic portraits and published them in their book, NYC Pet Project (Good Books Publishing Inc.).

Kaczmarek and La Rue collected letters from a cross-section of celebrities and everyday people. What follows are letters and portraits of celebrities dedicated to our non-human animal friends. Besides letters, the book also promotes charities and no-kill shelters dedicated to the well-being of animals. Sales of the book benefit these charities. Information on these charities is included in this preview.

Actress Bernadette Peters and Stella, Her Rescued Pit Bull

Dearest, Darling Stella,

You have enriched my life tenfold! When I'm away from you there is a big void that I feel, making me realize how healing loving pets are! Thank you for that!Your kindness to little dogs when you crawl up to them to kiss them is another part of your personality that is a wonder!

I know you were abused when you were little, but the choice you have made to be kind and loving makes me very proud. Thank you for all the love you give everyone!OXOX


Actress and Singer Vanessa Williams and Animal Haven Shelter

While promoting Animal Haven Shelter, a no-kill shelter in Flushing, New York, Vanessa Williams fell in love with the two shar peis she held for the photo. She subsequently adopted them. Below is information on the Animal Haven Shelter.

Animal Haven has been finding homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the greater New York area and providing lifetime care to animals that can't be placed since 1967. …

Through our Mobile Adoption Program, sponsored by Manhattan Mini Storage, Animal Haven brings cats and dogs in need of homes to community events throughout the Tri-State area. Animal haven University provides long and short courses on positive reinforcement training and Animal Haven will soon open an adoption center at Biscuits and Bath in Midtown Manhattan. Animal Haven does all this work with nine full-time staff, six part-time staff, four consulting veterinarians and over 400 active volunteers.

For more information on Animal Haven, please visit: or call 718-886-3683

Actor Peter Gallagher and Stray From the Heart

Stray From the Heart is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of homeless and abused dogs. We provide veterinary services, emergency shelter or foster care of dogs, as well as ongoing support to the individuals and families who adopt from us. Stray From the Heart is committed to the placement of rescues in permanent loving homes where the attention to long term companionship and safety is evident.

Stray From the Heart has rescued, rehabilitated, provided veterinary care, foster care and found permanent loving homes for over 300 dogs. Stray From the Heart has been able to fund every stage of rescue, including spay/neuter and temporary kennel shelter, through fundraising events, personal donations and a network of volunteers. Our volunteers include dog walkers, trainers and foster parents who support our efforts to rehabilitate and socialize each dog before a permanent home is found. SFTH also provides training and education regarding the protection and care of animals, as well as ongoing support to the individuals and families who adopt a dog from us. SFTH has a "no questions asked" policy in cases where a dog must be returned to us. Our main concern is the health and safety of each dog we rescue.

For more information on Stray From the Heart, call 212-726-DOGS or email

Shauntay Hinton, Miss USA 2002, and her pet turtle Tyrone

Dear Tyrone, the Super Turtle,

Woo-woo! It is awesome having you around. You have added so much not just to my life, but all of my family and friends' lives as well. Ever since I saved you from your "turtle soup demise" on Canal Street, NYC, you have brought such good luck to me! Did I win Miss USA because you are an Asian symbol of good fortune? Who knows? …I'd like to thank you for being an excellent listener. … Thank you for being a great traveling companion. Where will you go with all your frequent flier miles? And finally, thank you for being a turtle. You being an introvert and me being an extrovert I think forms a spectacular team!Love ya,


Actor Bill Pullman and the Suffolk County SPCA

The Suffolk County SPCA (SCSPCA) working with local municipalities and the North Shore Animal League, provides a yearly rabies clinic. Several thousand animals per year are inoculated. We also provide animal food for the pets of needy senior citizens. We work closely with the Nassau/Suffolk Veterinary Association and are part of Suffolk County's Disaster Planning Team. …

We recently became the proud recipient of a mobile spay-neuter clinic from the County of Suffolk. This mobile clinic … was converted into a mobile animal hospital called M.A.S.H. (Mobile Animal Spay Neuter Hospital). …

The SCSPCA mobile medical unit is one of three units in the U.S. At the request of the NYC Police Canine unit, the SCSPCA responded and arrived on site at Ground Zero at 6 p.m. on 9/11. The unit was operational 24 hours per day and staffed with federal, NYC and Long Island veterinarians and vet techs.

For more information on the SCSPCA, call (631) 382-7722. Donations can be sent to:

Suffolk County SPCA
363 Route 111
Smithtown, NY 11787

Actor Richard Kind with Lulu, Horatio, Hudson and Barnaby

The Staten Island Council for Animal Welfare (SICAW), a non-profit organization founded in 1972, is committed to the rescue, care, shelter and adoption of stray, abandoned and unwanted animals on Staten Island. We are also dedicated to furthering the public's education concerning the issues of proper pet care and the importance of spaying and neutering.

For more information on SICAW, email

Actress Catherine Hickland and her Kids

My Previous Little Loves,
I always wonder what people are talking about when they ask me why I didn't have children. I have eight of the best kids a mom could ask for. With all of your distinct personalities, you add so much joy to my life. You make me laugh every single day. You center me. … And all you ask is that I feed you, and walk you, and love you. Men should be so easy.



Hal Linden and B.A.R.C.

The Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition, known as the BARC Shelter, is a private, no-kill, registered 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization that has been dedicated to caring for homeless and unwanted cats and dogs until they can be adopted since 1987.

The BARC Shelter is proud to be a lead member of the new Mayor's alliance for NYC Animals, which is comprised of NYC shelters and rescue groups dedicated to getting our homeless animals adopted and eventually making this a no-kill city.

To learn more about the BAR Shelter, view some of our animals or to make a donation, please visit our website at

Many letters appear within the NYC Pet Project book in the author's actual handwriting.

Good Books Publishing, Inc. has provided some the content from the NYC Pet Project for inclusion in this website. For additional information on Good Books Publishing, Inc. or to order the NYC Pet Project book, go to or your local bookstore.