September 14, 2015 | Posted in Breeds and Stars

Carousel of Hope Ball 2008 - Los Angeles, CA

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“Hot in Cleveland” star Valerie Bertinelli was an animal lover even when she was growing up.   Her love of animals came about because her mom was always taking in strays, she says. When she and her family moved to Los Angeles in 1971, her own dog was a basset hound named Barney.

Years (and a failed marriage to rocker Eddie Van Halen) later, she’s still an animal lover, serving as a foster “mom” helping to socialize animals waiting for a chance at adoption.

She is happily married now to a second husband named Tom, who decided last year that he wanted to adopt a dog – his first.  The woman who works as Prop Master on “Hot in Cleveland” volunteers at mobile adoptions in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley area, where Bertinelli lives. She suggested the couple come have a look at the dogs available.

Bertinelli claims she and Tom believed they wouldn’t take a dog home – they would just have a look…and there was Luna – “just the cutest dog ever – the biggest mutt ever”, she says. The pup was about six months old at the time and a mix of several breeds – terrier, basset, mastiff, Chihuahua and pit bull.

Bertinelli says Luna has helped the couple heal from the devastating loss of one of their cats. Luna accepts the fosters Bertinelli takes in (kittens at this point), heading straight to their kitty condos each morning.  Ever the proud dog mom, Bertinelli says Luna is incredibly smart and needs to be kept active, which is where the kittens come in handy.

A huge supporter of adoption, she is appalled at the people who dump their animals at shelters because they no longer want them, saying “Animals don’t want to do anything but please and love us, and what do we do back?”

The busy actress loves her duties as a foster mom. “Helping get dogs out of kennels for a little while, socializing the shy, scared ones…” she says, “can make all the difference”. Though she didn’t foster Luna, the dog had been scared, cowering in the back of her kennel, when Bertinelli and her husband saw her,  meaning her chances of standing out and getting adopted were pretty slim. Luckily for Luna Valerie and Tom came to the rescue.

They’ve had Luna for not quite a year as of this article( August, 2013), and Bertinelli is clearly in love, calling her “the best dog ever.”