Peter Alexander’s new line of bags and PJs are inspired by Heigl’s miniature schnauzer Romeo

By People Staff
Updated November 20, 2008 09:18 PM

We all agree that Katherine Heigl’s pooch Romeo is crazy cute. But Australian designer Peter Alexander was so smitten by the miniature Schnauzer, he’s putting the pup’s mug on a collection of pajamas and bags hitting stores next year. Proceeds from all sales of Romeo’s line – which features items adorned with the phrase “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” – will benefit pet charities Hearts United for Animals and Kinder4Rescue.

PEOPLE Pets had the chance to speak with Katherine at the launch party for the line in L.A., and learned more about her views on pet adoption, how the collaboration with Alexander came about and if she plans to add more pooches to her brood.

PEOPLE: What’s your take on pet adoption?

Heigl: I totally understand people wanting to purchase a purebred animal or having a particular breed that they’re passionate about, and I really can’t criticize. Romeo is a purebred miniature schnauzer, or so they said anyway! But I have suddenly in the last eight years started to realize how great the need for animal rescue is in any big city, and it would break your heart, the stories. You start to feel like there are no other options but to rescue from shelters, because most shelters are kill shelters.

Q: So did you adopt Romeo?

A: No, Romeo I got from a breeder, but that was 11 years ago and I knew I wanted a schnauzer, and I do understand people going to breeders. What you cannot ever do is get a dog from a puppy mill. You can never buy a dog from a pet store because it really is promoting puppy mills which treat their animals atrociously.

Q: Any plans to adopt more dogs?

A: [My husband] Josh [Kelley] would kill me. Kill me! He married into a five-dog household.

Q: Is he a dog person?

A: Yes, thank God. Oh my, that would be awful!

Q: How did you end up collaborating with Peter Alexander on this?

A: I’m such a big fan of his stuff and his pajamas. He approached me and said, ‘Would you want to do this?’ He’s such a huge animal person and he loves his dogs so much, and he said, ‘We could raise some awareness and raise some money for the shelters of your choice.’ Because I’ve been working with these particular shelters for a long time, we knew how huge it would be for them to get this money to make their facilities bigger to better accommodate more animals.

Q: Is Romeo going to have a big head now that he’s a fashion inspiration?

A: [Laughs] You know what’s funny about Romeo is he’ll never care. He’s like, ‘You guys are lame. I don’t care about this.’
Kate Hogan and Jenny Sundel