Reporting Brendan McGinley
Jasmine Dustin is the founder of Models and Mutts, two things we’re big fans of, though for very different reasons. Her rescue organization helps save animals from an early and unnecessary death, and from mistreatment at the hands of bad owners, by supplementing costs of no-kill shelters and connecting pets with loving owners to adopt them. We think that’s really spiffy, so we asked the ubiquitous model/actress more about it.
Man Cave Daily: So Models and Mutts just started last fall, but you had a previous charity called Red Carpet Rescue?
Jasmine Dustin: It wasn’t a charity, it was an animal rescue…I rescued pups right before they were going to be killed at the shelters. I saved 15 on my own last year from being killed.
MCD: Nice. So Models n Mutts is that same rescue work plus raising awareness? And the fundraising is for food/transport…
JD: We do events throughout the year that benefit a different charity each time. Our launch party was for the animals of Hurricane Sandy. We donated the profits to two different organizations that were taking care of the animals that were affected.
JD: We just partned with A Home 4 Ever Rescue and did a 12 Days of Christmas dog adoption event. We brought a bunch of models out to help get over 40 homeless dogs a home for Christmas
MCD: Sounds like a success already.
JD: Yeah..so far its taking off really well. We also went down to a rescue here in Southern California and donated food
MCD: As a dog owner yourself: have you always had dogs, or was there a moment when you became a dog lover?
JD: Ive always had dogs..but it didnt come until a few years ago that i had such a huge passion for them. I started rescuing and after that I couldnt stop. I have four rescues at home.
MCD: That’s a lot of pups!
JD: I know! I started to foster, but then you fall in love. They’re all tiny.
MCD: Four is the magic number. If you have five, you’d better either own a dogsled or get ready for a Hoarders episode.
JD: (laughs) So true
MCD: They’re all chihuahuas, right? Are they jealous of each other?
JD: I’ve had my oldest for 12 years…and he’s not too happy that I started bringing in these newbies.
MCD: That’s the good thing about little dogs — they live a lot longer.
JD: Yeah…usually not long enough. My senior dog is really getting old…so sad to watch
MCD: The other good thing is by the time they’re too old to get around, the little breeds are used to being carried. So what events and charities do you have lined up for 2013?
JD: I’m planning one right now for March to bring awarness about the NO KILL LA campaign. We’re planning on doing 3-4 big events this year and a monthly model night.
MCD: What goes on at one of those?
JD: We’ll be getting a group of models to come out to a different lounge or venue and a percentage of the profits go to a charity.
MCD: Sounds a lot like our Man Cave Daily monthly model nights, except all that happens in our head while we eat an entire pizza. Do you plan to expand the organization or its scope?
JD: Yeah this is our year to grow. We definitely plan on expanding the brand
MCD: What would you tell someone who had never had a dog before, but was on the fence about getting one?
JD: That they’re a mans best friend!
MCD: Every man needs a friend who can get a bunch of models to come out to the lounge.
MCD: You’re a pretty busy person between volunteer work, modeling, acting, and running a business. How do you relax?
JD: A glass of wine after a long day! I’m a huge foodie as well…so being in the kitchen cooking, listening to country music and drinking wine.
MCD: That’s actually my next question — you’re one of those models who can eat a bucket of pasta and wake up lighter. What’s your ultimate pig-out food? And what’s your elegant foodie dream food?
JD: I make people so mad because, yes, I’m a model and actually eat…and a lot of it! I’m a huge italian lover. Anything with carbs, and my absolute favorite is anything truffle.
MCD: Where do you think the carbs go? You have an organization that finds them a new home in another state, don’t you?
JD: (laughs) Yup. I do go to the gym, though…just not that often
MCD: That’s great, because food is life, and a lot of guys can’t stand when a lady has no gusto.
JD: I eat with the best of them…I usually eat more then the guys.
MCD: You just had a birthday. Did you have any bucket list items to do before it?
JD: Bucket list…not really…but I should make one. Well, I did always want to swim with elephants and I got to go to Thailand in September and volunteer at an Elephant Rescue camp.
MCD: Wow! Rescued from what?
JD: The circus or from the streets of Bangkok. It was amazing!
MCD: Now I’m picturing elephants scurrying through the back alleys, rummaging through garbage cans like raccoons.
JD: They have people that use them to beg for change.
MCD: It seems like a lot of what concerns you in your altruism is not just making the world a better place, but helping those who can’t help themselves. Not that you’d need one, but is there a reason for that?
JD: Exactly. No, I’m not sure where this came from. just happened a few years ago that i had such a huge passion for helping those without a voice. I wanted to use my fame in the modeling world to make some sort of difference.
MCD: Well it seems like you’re getting as much attention for acting as modeling these days. What’s your dream acting gig?
JD: To get a series regular on a sitcom…and never have to go through the audition process ever again.
MCD: Tell us about your role in Knight of Cups?
JD: It was a small role…three lines. Dont get too excited. We had to sign a confidentiality agreement saying we wouldnt talk about the film till it come out. I can say that it was really really cool to work with Christian Bale.
MCD: Okay, here’s something you can talk about — you got to chuck a watermelon at Robert Downey Jr. [in Iron Man 2], making you one of the few people to survive being shot at by a uni-beam ray. Which superhero would you party with?
JD: What super hero? Hmmmmm…I’m not a huge super hero fan but probably Catwoman. I just like her outfit
MCD: It’s true. But you’d have a hard time getting her to come out and support Models n Mutts. Follow-up question: who would you like to throw a watermelon at?
JD: There’s a few people in this town. (laughs) Probably Michael Vick.
MCD: Ooh, tying it all together. Nicely done. And big finish: If you could only have one superpower, how would you use it to destroy produce?
JD: Hmmm…invisible gun shots.
MCD: That’s…wow. Sinister. Remind us not to abuse dogs in front of you. Or at all. Anywhere. Ever. Forever.
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Brendan McGinley misses his dog.