Kristen Bell on Her Pets: 'They're Just Kids I Didn't Birth'
The actress and animal lover lends her voice to Shelter Me, a PBS series featuring celebrating shelter pets
She plays a mom on the edge in the upcoming comedy Bad Moms — if you haven’t seen the hilarious trailer yet, click here now — but, don’t worry, when it comes to her real kids and her fur kids, Kristen Bell is all good.
“I’ve certainly been a lazy Mom to my pets, but never a bad Mom,” the actress tells PEOPLE. “I love my pets so if they are happy, I am happy.”
And, in case you’re wondering, the animal lover’s furry children are just as well cared for as the human ones.
“I have treated all my dogs like my kids,” she says in an email interview with PEOPLE. “To me, they’re just kids I didn’t birth.”
Animals are so important to Bell that she’s dedicated herself to the cause of helping homeless pets in our country’s shelters find loving homes. Like actors Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch, Allison Janney, Katherine Heigl and Edie Falco before her, the star signed on as host for the sixth installment of Shelter Me: Hearts and Paws, and a new episode of the inspiring national PBS series that celebrates shelter pets with uplifting stories, premiering May 22 (check ShelterMe.TV for local listings).
“I believe in adopting not buying,” she says. “There are so many wonderful pets in shelters around the country ready and waiting to find a home. If they don’t get adopted, they get euthanized. So breeding more animals just doesn’t make sense to me. Shelter Me is the perfect way to expose people to how many great pets are currently living in shelters, and how they need our help to survive.”
Bell, who has one dog named Lola but is also pet-sitting a dog named Mac whose parents are out of the country until August, says Lola is her family’s mascot and “favorite bear to cuddle.” The sweet pup has done amazingly well as Bell and her husband, actor Dax Shepard, expanded their family with daughter Lincoln, now 3, and Delta, 1.
“Lola is the world’s most patient dog,” she tells PEOPLE. “She’s comfortable in our chain of command and knows I am in control, so she is calm, and not reactive.”
Although Lola was “confused and intrigued” when the couple first brought Lincoln home three years ago, like a good Mom, Lola helped keep watch over their offspring.
“[She] kept a close eye on the cradle while the baby was young,” Bell says.
And as any frazzled Mom should, Lola removes herself from the situation when the kids get a case of the crazies (and tell you your food tastes like dog food, like Bell’s daughter Lincoln once did).
“She is very gentle with my kids, even when they are loud and crazy,” Bells says of Lola, “If the kids get too much for her, she just finds a quieter place to rest.”