Fabio – Spay First Spokesman

posted July 15th, 2012 by
  • Share

by Anna Holton-Dean

OF COURSE, Fabio Lanzoni is known for his long, flowing hair, impeccable phy­sique and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter commercials—he’s also been known to grace the cover of a romance novel or two—but what many may not know is he is a long-time animal lover, advocate and owner of many rescued dogs. We recently had the chance to catch up with him dur­ing his trip to Oklahoma City in support of Spay FIRST! and his new MVP K9 Pro­tein supplements. Knowledgeable and passionate about the pet overpopulation problem, Fabio talks about his own pets and explains to us why the Spay FIRST! program is so important to animals and our country.

Q So what do you think of Oklahoma so far?

A Love it… very pretty town. I know it’s a city, but when you live in New York and Los Angeles, it’s more like a town. The people are so nice. The middle of the U.S. really has the nicest people. [All over the country] there are great people. That’s why I live here.

Q What kind of pets did you have growing up in Italy?

A I’ve had animals since I was 3 years old. My parents always let me keep a few dogs. Me, my sister and my brother, we always had our own dogs. For many years we had German Shepherds, a couple of Dobermans, my brother had a couple of hunting dogs; we had some Great Danes, but eventually I stopped owning Great Danes because their life spans are too short, and you are having to say goodbye. You know, the average age is 6 to 8 years. So I started rescuing Rottweilers, and I cur­rently have six of them. My family has hunt­ing dogs and a Lab.

Q Where do you live now, and how did you get involved with spaying/ neutering efforts there?

A I live in Los Angeles… I live here the majority of the time so that’s where I have the majority of contribution. My best friend is one of the top professors at UC Davis for the vet school, teaching surgery there. That’s why I always get involved with different associations and now with Spay FIRST! I always knew the importance because she told me when you spay and neuter a dog, you improve their life and help prevent cancer; you give them a lon­ger life span, you know. It’s scientifically proven.

First, for health reasons, you have a healthier pet. Second of all, everybody is so concerned about cutting costs. When you think about it, it’s the easiest cost to cut… $2 billion a year to euthanize about 4 million dogs and cats. This is the most advanced country in the world, and this shouldn’t happen here; it’s a shame. It would be way better for everyone to spay or neuter their dog; I think that $2 billion a year should be back in the pockets of taxpayers.

Q How did you get involved with Spay FIRST?

A I used to work a lot for the American Cancer Society with Tina Mosetis. She contacted me with Ruth Steinberger (founder of Spay FIRST!), and said, ‘You’ve had dogs all your life; what about being the spokesperson, making people aware of the situation?’ The majority of dogs I’ve had we’ve always rescued from shelters. Four of my current dogs are shelter dogs, so I know the problem—there’s overpopu­lation. People get a pet then take it to the shelter because they get tired of taking care of it.

Q What would you say to people who do not realize the importance of spaying/neutering pets?

A There’s nothing more awful than an animal lover seeing a dog suffer in the shelter. They can smell the death all around; they can smell all the other dogs that have been euthanized. Even the most macho dogs walk into the shelter, and they start shaking; they know how they are go­ing to end up. It always takes my heart.

In L.A., and other places, I always got involved to help and place some of the dogs, tried to get some of my friends to adopt some of these dogs. I’ve placed at least 50 dogs by convincing friends, ‘Come on, I’ll help you to get a dog.’ You know, it’s amazing they know you saved their life. They really do. When you invest in a dog you didn’t rescue, there’s a dif­ference. The rescue dogs know you saved their life.

Most of these dogs in shelters, they come from mistreatment or abuse, so they really have a tough life. You can tell if you take a before and after picture of a dog who you rescue, you will see in the dog two different faces, two different personalities. I know every time you leave the first year, they are really afraid you are going to leave them [permanently]. Other [non-rescue] dogs wag their tails when you leave and when you come back; they know no difference.

If you want your dog to be healthy and to prolong the life of your dog, it should be spayed or neutered. It also resolves any ag­gression problem. It’s very rare that a dog spayed will bite a person. It’s important to keep the population under control, and if you want to cut costs in government, it’s a good place to start—not kill 4 million ani­mals every year. It’s a no brainer and keeps more money in taxpayers’ pockets.

Q What’s the most important thing you want people to remember about the homeless pet population?

A I want people to realize when they buy a dog, it’s a responsibility, and they should be man or woman enough to care for it. That dog is going to be in their life for 12 or 14 years. Just because it chews on furniture or shoes all of a sudden, you don’t dump it. It’s like a kid; you have to care for it. It’s not something you buy then dispose of like a Kleenex.

No Responses to “Fabio – Spay First Spokesman”

Leave a Reply