Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Aniston and More Celebs Love Wagmor Pets, Owner Melissa Bacelar Explains Why
The non-profit organization, created by Melissa Bacelar, is committed to rescuing, rehabilitating and finding forever homes for dogs experiencing homelessness regardless of their condition, age, breed, gender or ease of placement.
"My favorite thing to do is to physically take a dog from a terrible situation and watch them relax and transform," Bacelar, who also owns The Wagmor, a luxury pet hotel and spa, exclusively tells ET.
"Wagmor Pets came about truly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I had these two fully staffed, very empty dog hotels. ... When I looked around I thought, 'We have the room and the resources. Let’s save as many dogs as we can,'" she explains.
And in nine months, the organization rescued over 1,800 dogs. "I think the pandemic opened people’s eyes to what really matters. ... When we are faced with losing loved ones, faced with tragedy, solitude, anger and loneliness, we look at ourselves," Bacelar says.
"Some people give up and some people find ways to make their lives better. Dogs make our lives better, so thankfully a lot of people realized taking care of a four-legged being was the way to go," she adds.
Among those people are A-list animal lovers. "Every celebrity that has come to us for a dog has been so unbelievably sweet and grateful. ... Ellen DeGeneres in particular has been so supportive and vocal about our rescue efforts and we are forever thankful," Bacelar shares.
Wagmor Pets offers volunteer opportunities, adoptions, fostering, transportation, as well as fundraising. They are currently working on spay and neuter programs and will also be finding clinics for stray dogs and low-income families in the near future.