Did you know that over seven in ten LGBT Americans own pets? That’s higher than the national average! For us, our pets are members of our family, and we love to spoil our animal friends. After all, it’s the least we can do considering they give us such joy and love. Here are profiles of eleven pet owners from across Florida who are introducing us to their beloved companions.

 

brendanBrendan Corman, Co-Owner, Rumors Bar and Grill

What is your pet’s name, age and breed?

My kitten’s name is Charlie and he is three weeks old.

When and where did you get your pet?

I got Charlie as a rescue from the Humane Society.

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

His favorite game to play is “Let’s see what i can knock off the counter.”

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

He loves to sleep on my chest watching late night sitcoms and/or attacking the top of my head when he wants me to wake up and play.

 

Don-Missy-picDon Granatstein, Owner, Parliament House Resort

What is your pet’s name, age and breed?

Missy is a 14-year-old tortoiseshell cat.

When and where did you get your pet?

She chose us.  There were some wild kittens in the neighborhood.  We opened the door and she came in, so we adopted her.

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

Her favorite game is when I put a blanket on her and she escapes.

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

She lays beside me all day and night.

 

Howard-and-RexHoward Andrew, President, FabScout Entertainment

What are your pets’ names, ages and breeds?

Lexi is a four-year-old Shiba Inu and Daphne is an eighteen-month-old mixed-breed terrier.

When and where did you get your pets?

We got Lexi two years ago from the Humane Society, and we saved Daphne at three months of age after we witnessed her getting run over by a car.

Do your pets have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

Lexi likes all squeaky toys and tennis balls. Daphne likes shoes. A LOT.

How do your pets indicate to you that they love you?

They both sleep with us every night and cuddle on the couch.

 

Gary-and-LolaGary Santis, General Manager, The Manor

What is your pet’s name, age and breed?

Lola is a five-year-old pedigree boxer.

When and where did you get your pet?

She was born under the astrological sign of Aries like myself, on March 22, to award-winning parents.

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

She likes to grab a toy, look at you, then take off running so you can try and catch her.

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

She cuddles up next to me in bed and falls asleep with her paw on me.

 

RickRick Kowalczyk, Owner, Southern Nights Orlando and Southern Nights Tampa

What is your pet’s name, age and breed?

Piper is 2 1/2 years old.  Her breed is a King Charles Cavalier.

When and where did you get your pet?

I got her just over two years ago from a breeder in Ohio.

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

We love to play catch. We play catch every day with her favorite ball.

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

How does my dog indicate she loves me? LOTS AND LOTS OF KISSES!

 

Kip-ReynoldsCharles “Kip” Reynolds, Realtor, Atlantic Properties Int’l Inc.

What are your pets’ names, ages and breeds?

Bauer Godfrey is a five-year-old puggle and Henry Chester is a nine-month-old mutt. (I’m unsure of the breed since he was a rescue.)

When and where did you get your pets?

Bauer is my adopted son. Brent Kuenning, my fiancé, got Bauer from a small breeder outside Iowa five years ago.

Brent and I got Henry from the Abandoned Pet Rescue in the Lake Ridge neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale in February.  It’s worth mentioning that the Abandoned Pet Rescue is a “no-kill” shelter.  They are always looking for funding sources and appreciate donations.

Do your pets have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

They love chasing each other with the ball. Henry will take Bauer’s favorite ball, hold it in his mouth, and squeeze it slightly so it squeaks just a little bit.  He’ll run around the living room and hide behind things and Bauer will bark and chase.

Bauer LOVES to eviscerate stuffed animals. He will get to the squeaker in a stuffed animal fast (faster than any toy manufacturer would imagine) and then litter the floor with the stuffing…a part of the game that Brent does not enjoy. [laughs]

How do your pets indicate to you that they love you?

Bauer greets me at the door every day when I come home.  He wants to play with the ball and be petted.  Henry, who is crated for now until he stops eating carpeting or baseboards, will roll over as soon as he is out of his crate and nibble on my hands and arms while I rub his tummy.  He’s still a puppy, so he might tinkle like a water spout in this position now and then. [laughs]

 

PhillipPhillip Chad, Skin Care Professional, 78 Degrees Spa

What is your pet’s name, age and breed?

Paco is seven-and-a-half years old and he’s a full-size long-hair chihuahua.

When and where did you get your pet?

Seven years ago, he was adopted from a far-away land called Fort Myers!

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

Paco has had the same toy for probably 4-5 years now. I can’t throw it away; he always seems to find it.

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

He is a lover all the way and a huge kisser and flirt.  I ask, “Can I get a kiss?” and he responds…and my heart melts.

 

Amys-dogs AmyAmy DeMilo, Former Miss Florida F.I., Entertainer and Photographer

What are your pets’ names, ages and breeds?

I have four dogs. Two are Miniature Pinschers: Flaco, 10, the father; and Mimi Louise, 8, the daughter. I have one Yorkie who is two named Maggie Bo, and a rescue pit bull named Davis; he’s almost 2.

When and where did you get your pets?

I bought Flaco as a companion for my first pit, Jack, who’s no longer with us! He died at 16. I bred Flaco, got pick of the litter, and got Mimi! Maggie was a gift from Sidney and Jeffrey Cuevas when I won Miss Gay USofA Classic, and I rescued Davis about three months ago from a shelter.

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

Any and all toys, but none last long. They love to chase frisbees.

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

I have a special bond with each. They all stare and are always fighting for the spot closest to me! You just feel the love and affection from them, never a doubt or question that they love their mom!

 

Fred-SwingFred Swing, Agent, Atlantic Properties Int’l Inc.

What is your pet’s name, age and breed?

Molly Swing Townsend will be 6 years old on Christmas Day.  She is a Labradoodle.

When and where did you get your pet?

We adopted her through the Labradoodle rescue program in Indiana.

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

Her favorite game is to run laps around our pool when we swim.  She also loves the water.

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

How do I know she loves us? By always having to touch us when she lays down.  She is always laying on our feet!

 

Terry DeCarlo, Director, The Center Orlando

What are your pets’ names, ages and breeds?

We have three: Sir Buddrick Von Beaverhousen (the long lost son of Anastasia Beaverhousen from Will and Grace), Pomeranian/Corgi Mix, 13 years old; Duke Beauregard Pickett Burnside (Auntie Mame Burnside’s Southern Cousin who used to live at Upson Downs), Cattle Corgi, 4 years old; and The Earl D’Brewster (who just thinks he is royalty, but is truly 185th in line for the throne), Tabby, 7 years old.

When and where did you get your pet?

All the boys are rescues. Sir Bud we got from a shelter, Brewster we adopted from a vet’s office where someone had just dropped off a litter, and Beaux was found wandering the streets in bad shape so we adopted him also.

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

Buddy has a stuffed dog called Mr. Puppy that he got when he was adopted and still has to this day, Beaux has a toy chest full of squeaky toys that are usually strewn around the house and Brewster has little stuffed mice that, when you throw them, he jumps off your lap and tries to catch them in midair.

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

Many, many kisses from the pups. The need to sleep right up against us (making sure they touch us at all times, which makes the bed very crowded) and also when arriving home from work or being away they go nuts and have to roll around with us. While sitting and watching television at night they have to be right there on the couch with us or on our laps (this goes for Brewster also).

 

Peter,-Cleto-&-HunterPeter Clark, Publisher, Hotspots Media Group

What is your pet’s name, age and breed?

Hunter is an English Harrier and he is 13 years old.

When and where did you get your pet?

Hunter is a rescue. We got him 12 years ago at the Broward Humane Society. We had specified the type and size of dog we wanted, and they sent us an alert to let us know that he had come in and he was available for adoption. Within 30 minutes, I was at the Humane Society, and I knew I was in love with him. He’s such a special story.

Does your pet have a favorite game they like to play, or a toy they like to play with?

He’s a huge fan of small stuffed animals. We’re constantly bringing him home stuffed squirrels and other animals — as long as they have a tail — and he loves them. He picks favorites, though, so when you bring him a new toy, he’ll covet it for about two or three weeks, and play with it everywhere and carry it everywhere. He plays well with them; he hardly ever tears them apart.

How does your pet indicate to you that they love you?

As soon as we come home, he greets you at the door with his tail wagging and his eyes all lit up. He’ll pounce and prance around for a little while, and then he’ll bring me a toy, as if to say “It’s our time together now; let’s have fun!” He also loves sitting near me and Cleto…he has to be within arm’s reach of one of us.

Want to see more cute pets? Check out our pets and owners spread from last year by accessing our archives at hotspots.lgbt.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.