Courtesy Miranda Lambert
Kay West
November 12, 2014 03:00 PM

Blake Shelton has been known to go on Twitter rants, opine from his judge’s chair on The Voice and speak his mind at length in interviews. But it only took one word to get his message across to wife Miranda Lambert.

“I’ve already gotten the ‘No’ text from my husband,” the singer giggled to PEOPLE as she cuddled 8-week-old pup Patsy. “That’s it. Just ‘No.’ I know what it means. He knows where I am.”

Lambert, 31, who feels you can never have too many dogs, was happily surrounded by mixed-breed puppies in the Pedigree Adoption Suite at Nashville’s Music City Center, talking about her partnership with the pet food company to further promote rescue dog adoption.

Taking time between rehearsals for last week’s 48th Annual CMA Awards across the street at Bridgestone Arena, the most-nominated artist and ultimate four-trophy winner also spent quality time with Waylon, a caramel-colored Chihuahua. “Waylon is awfully cute,” she said wistfully. “I have a Chihuahua named Cher and Ashley [Monroe] has one named Sonny. So that’s probably enough.”

Cher is just one of her large brood of adoptees and rescues. “I have seven now,” she confessed. “Delilah was my first, but she lives with grandmother half the time and they’re equally neurotic so they’re perfect for each other. Delta Dawn was my next one. My newest is Bellamy and I got him in a shelter in Florida on tour last year. I named him Bellamy because he’s from Florida and because Blake loves the Bellamy Brothers so I hoped that would help. But I’m done – for a while. ”

She has found other ways to make the four-legged, fur-covered members of the family less burdensome on her husband. “I have two that live at my farm, that’s kind of their haven. They’re golden retriever-Australian shepherd mixes. They’re huge and they’re happy on the farm,” she said.

“When I’m home, I go get them and bring them to the house. I have four that are in our house most of the time. But I looked at Blake one day and realized if I don’t give him a break from these dogs, he might go crazy. I want to keep them all, but I need Blake to be good with that too, so I built them their own house outside of ours. It’s one of those pre-fab buildings from Lowe’s and we had heat and air put in it, little doggie beds and built them a fence. So they have their own place. I’ll let them know when they need to have dog time and off they go.”

Lambert‘s work on behalf of Pedigree and shelter dogs is a true labor of love and gratitude. “I started MuttNation Foundation in 2009 with my mom. Pedigree saw what we had been doing on our own and two years ago, they came to us. We had the same goals, to raise awareness for shelter pets, to take care of them with good food and to renovate shelters. That’s what MuttNation is all about. It’s exciting for me that a big company like Pedigree is really helping us, so it’s not just my mom and me. They’ve given us hundreds and hundreds of bags of food, for our shelter at home and 500,000 pounds of food over the last year for 48 shelters in 48 states. I love the awareness they’re raising for shelter pets.”

Thanks to his wife’s good work, Shelton isn’t totally immune to canine charms: He’s a platinum sponsor of MuttNation‘s new five-acre, private, no-kill shelter facility in the couple’s hometown of Tishimongo, Oklahoma, called Redemption Ranch. The center’s grand opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22, with plenty of pups available for adoption, plus wine and food for the humans (and plenty of doggie treats!).

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