PHOTOS: Meet the Pets of NBC 7, Telemundo 20 in Honor of Clear the Shelters

21 photos
Karla Rendon-Alvarez
Spunky, funny and overall angelic, Cocoa the hamster is a charming, little rodent who was adopted from the San Diego Humane Society. Belonging to Digital Producer Karla Rendon-Alvarez, Cocoa enjoys running in her wheel, playing in tubes and figuring out puzzles in order to get treats. Her most iconic moment was when she stealthily escaped from her bin and was found munching on rice in the kitchen.
Janelle Lafond
Sleeping in or waking up early? It’s a debate that 4-month-old Percy (left) and 1-year-old Freya (right) often discuss. They’re the fur babies of Producer Janelle Lafond and Percy is team early bird. His internal clock wakes him up at 7 a.m. and he makes it everyone else’s lifestyle, too. Freya, however, loves sleeping in Lafond’s arms and tries to resist the wake up calls by sleeping on her human’s pillow.
Melissa Sandoval
This sweet face is that of 14-week-old Agatha, who’s the young puppy of Telemundo 20 Anchor/Reporter Melissa Sandoval. So much is still new to this pooch since she’s young, but she’s so far she has been enjoying the beach, the parks and donning her snazzy, gold bow tie that charms everyone during her walks.
Mari Payton
These handfuls of fluff have names and a loving family at the Payton household. Guinea pigs and BFFs Sunny and Chocolate are roughly a year old, says Anchor and I-Team Reporter Mari Payton. When they’re not snuggling with one another, they love to much on hay and celery.
Catherine Garcia
NBC 7 Anchor Catherine Garcia is a strong supporter of the “don’t shop, adopt” mindset. Her two cats, Lulu (left) and Olive (right) were adopted from a local shelter. Lulu loves her greens in the form of some crunchy lettuce and catnip. Meanwhile, Olive loves nothing more than to take a nap on Garcia and even waits for her to come home every night after work.
Rafael Avitabile
Is there anything finer in life than a nice belly rub or scratch behind the ear? Beebee the dog doesn’t think so. She’s the roughly 12-year-old pup of Telemundo 20 Meteorologist Ana Cristina Sanchez and Digital Producer Rafael Avitabile. This bilingual baby knew in two languages that it was a bit naughty of her to jump into the koi pond at Balboa Park that one time she did.
Aws Haidari
This cool cat who likes to casually rest his arm while lounging is named Spike! He’s the 2-year-old feline of Emerging Platforms Lead, Aws Haidari. Spike, who was adopted from the Humane Society in Washington D.C., loves nothing more than to nosh on a delectable can of tuna and follow up the good times by chasing his favorite laser pointer.
Azucena Barreto
He’s fluffy. He’s charming. He’s photogenic (and even has his own Instagram @sir_otisserie_rotisserie). Meet Otis! He’s the 3-year-old fur baby of Story Producer Azucena Barreto. Otis never says no to a good belly rub and he loves to play with his stuffed animals. He’s got quite the personality and is often told there’s a human inside him because of how he acts.
Wendy Warren
He’s a total love bug and overall lover. Bogart, the gentle 14-year-old rescue cat, has been loving life since Assistant News Director Wendy Warren adopted him. Nicknamed “Bogie,” this sweet cat can’t think of a better time than to sit in a lap or get petted. Warren says he loves affection so much that you can even squish him as hard as you can when you pet him. When he’s not getting his cuddles, Bogart is quite the chatterbox who enjoys meowing at his humans.
Jarrod Valliere
NBC 7 I-Team reporter Alexis Rivas has two of the best hiking buddies anyone could ever ask for. Her pack grew by two when she moved in with her boyfriend, meaning Rivas’ 1-year-old Aussiecollie Hershey (left) gained an adventurous sister in 8-year-old border collie Maya (right).
Ricardo Sandoval
Dream team 2-year-old Benji (left) and 18-year-old Bobby (right) are the best snuggle buddies for one another. As the fur babies of Production Manager Ricardo Sandoval, these two cuddly cats can talk Steve Inskeep any day since they’re avid NPR listeners. Benji’s attempts to “help” mom put on makeup can be seen as mischievous, but he means well! Meanwhile, Bobby is still trying to convince his family that 2 a.m. is the perfect time to meow and serenade his parents with the “songs of his people.”
Artie Ojeda
NBC 7 reporter Artie Ojeda was working on an assignment and ended up adopting his best friend. Ojeda was working on a story about a group of animals arriving in San Diego after being rescued from the destructive floods in Louisiana in 2016 when he saw Theodore; the rest was history. This scruffy pooch is now living his best SoCal life and can often be found with a tennis ball in his mouth or nearby.
Carlos Hernandez
Cats are known to be big appreciators of naps, and this handsome fellow is no different. Ricardo the 1-year-old cat is the sleepy companion of Telemundo 20 photographer Carlos Hernandez. As you can see, Ricardo has mastered the art of finding the perfect, comfy spot and is quite partial to sleeping on pillows.
Priya Sridhar
Matching outfits with mom? Chulis the 3-year-old chihuahua/greyhound mix says YES! NBC 7 Political Reporter Priya Sridhar says she adopted her pup from The Animal Pad after she was rescued from the streets of Ensenada. Chulis may be small in stature, but her sense for adventure is big since she’s hiked all of the major local trails.
Ashley Matthews
From foster to forever, Cashew the chihuahua has found his fur-ever home with NBC 7 Traffic Anchor Ashley Matthews. This 6-year-old pooch came from the Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego and was then adopted by Matthews, who began to foster him in honor of her late dog, Peanut. Little Cashew has helped his new family heal from their loss and has been a great companion for Matthews’ toddler daughter.
NBC 7 Anchor Steven Luke says Ginger the 11-year-old mini golden doodle is a great friend to his three children. Ever so loyal, this pooch tends to follow Steve around the house. Ginger is also the backyard protector since she’s chased off her fair share of bunnies, lizards and crows.
Lindsay Dunagan
He may just be one of the Padres’ cutest fans. Meet Cooper, the 11-month-old Australian Cattle Dog belonging to Producer Lindsay Dunagan. When he’s not cheering on the Paw-dres, Cooper loves to play in the waves at Coronado Dog Beach and Fiesta Island. His post-workout self-care includes a nice belly rub and a refreshing pup cup.
Mark Mullen
Anchor Mark Mullen says his pooch Finn is the best dog his family has ever had! Photogenic Finn was adopted from the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
Dita Quinones
Hoda the 1-year-old chihuahua is a lover who learned to combat her overprotective tendencies after much patience and training from Clear the Shelters Producer Dita Quinones. Rescued by Quinones’ father, Hoda was initially mean to anyone who would approach her new human but with some TLC, Quinones was able to teach her to become a well-behaved pup. Now more mellow, Hoda enjoys snacking on “Greenies” treats and is generous in giving kisses.
Mike Dorfman
Rescued from an animal shelter in Jacksonville, Barney the 2-year-old pooch is now loving life in San Diego. I-Team Producer Mike Dorfman says his pup was initially described as a “major behavior case” while at the shelter since he was very fearful and would growl at everyone. Now, he’s well adjusted and even loves cuddles in addition to going to dog parks and beaches.
Joe Little
NBC 7 reporters Joe Little and Audra Stafford were very much in the Clear the Shelters spirit in 2019. The pair adopted Happy from the Rancho Coastal Humane Society during that year’s initiative. Since then, the tiny but big-hearted spaniel terrier mix has added much joy to their household!
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