Singer Kimberly Caldwell says she once gave a desperate dog mouth-to-mouth

By Kate Hogan and Reporting By Lorenzo Benet
Updated March 11, 2010 07:35 PM

Former American Idol star Kimberly Caldwell loves nothing more than lying around with her dogs and watching old episodes of Sex and the City. But let’s hope she has a big couch: The singer has two pups at home in Texas – Coda and Lady – plus pit bull-lab mix Bodacious Bob (pictured) and Yorkie Sammy in her L.A. home. Oh, and cats Aidan and Kaya, too. Luckily, she has some help, in the form of two sisters who watch her pets for her when she’s on the road.

But Caldwell, 23, whose debut album Without Regret comes out on April 6, turns her attention to pets in need whenever she can; for the past year, she’s been running an animal rehabilitation center from her home. “One of my sisters is a vet tech,” she tells PEOPLE, “so she brings home one dog every two weeks.” The sisters open their doors to any animals racing against the clock in shelters, and “give them another shot,” says Caldwell.

The singer recalls meeting one special pooch, a 12-year-old Shih Tzu-poodle mix, who’d been caught in a car door. As the pup started the recovery process, “we had to teach him how to eat and walk,” she shares. The dog was so close to death that at one point, Caldwell had to perform life-saving mouth-to-mouth-resuscitation on him. “But eventually, we found him a great home,” she says. In fact, all of her stories have a happy ending: Caldwell and her sister boast a 100 percent success rate with placing the pets they’ve rescued!

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