Co-host of Los Angeles-based morning news show Good Day LA, Jillian Barberie Reynolds is both a popular TV personality and an animal rights advocate. She created the show’s successful Adopt a Pet segment and shares her home with nine rescued pets.
Tell us about your cat, Tasha.
She was found in a crate washed up on shore in Santa Barbara. There were two rocks in the crate with her, as well. Obviously, someone intended to drown her. I offered a thousand dollar reward for any information on Good Day LA, but no one ever came forward. After she was in recovery for a month, the veterinarian called and asked if I wanted her, so I took her home of course! She joined my many other animals.
Do you know what type of cat she is?
She’s a Maine Coon with a great personality and very grateful that she was saved.
Do you think she remembers the nightmare she was in?
It did take her a little while to adjust. It took about two weeks to start to gain her trust. Then she came around. It has been eight years now, and I really think she has forgotten her terrible ordeal.
How grateful are rescue pets to their owners?
The love you get back is indescribable. They truly understand what you have done for them and return it with love a million times over.
Are there any similarities between you and Tasha?
She’s a survivor! So am I!
What does Tasha do that makes you laugh?
She barks like a dog. She really sounds just like a dog, not at all like a cat. I have never heard her meow.
How important is it for children to be raised with pets?
I think it is very important for children to be raised around animals. It shows and teaches them respect and kindness toward other creatures.
Out of all your pets, who demands the most attention?
My 2-year-old Yorkie, Duke. I rescued him from a smuggler crate from South Korea that was found in the Los Angeles harbor.
Where did your drive to help animals come from?
Perhaps it’s because I’m adopted. I don’t really know but I’ve had this feeling since I was a little girl.
What made you get started in animal rights?
Growing up, I always knew that was something I wanted to be involved in. I’ve worked with several different groups. I try not to be so oppressive to people who drive the point because I think when certain animal groups get their point across it’s maybe to the point where it’s too extreme for people.
What have you learned from having all these rescue pets in your life?
That cats, dogs, rabbits, birds can all get along and play together! I am proof of that in my home. I have also learned about the tremendous unconditional love.
What is one important thing people can do to help animals?
Speak out and be a voice for the voiceless! There are little things that any person can do to help animals. Spay and neuter is a very important issue that can really help the overcrowding of shelters and save homeless dogs and cats.
How successful has Adopt a Pet on Good Day LA been?
Very! I’d like to think I’m making a difference. But, my dream would be that I don’t have to do the segment anymore because all animals would have safe and loving homes. I know I dream big!
What does having pets mean to you?
For me, having pets is a natural way of life, and my husband, Grant, didn’t have any, so when he moved in, he was coming into a house full of animals.
He just learned to adjust because they really do need you. It makes you focus on what’s important. They never pass any judgment no matter what you do. They get and give unconditional love.
If you are having a bad day, what do your pets do to cheer you up?
They know when I’m upset; they just have that innate sense. They make me so happy and I am so lucky to have them. They keep me grounded. If I am not having a good day they give me extra love and attention.